UX Web Design In Focus – How Your Customers Should Experience Your Website

Today we’re going to talk about UX web design (User Experience), or how a User Experiences your website, but to really understand it, we’ll need you to do some imagination.

Imagine visiting your insurance agent for the first time. You walk into his office, and on his desk are picture frames. Some frames have pictures in them. Others have just a little “x” in their centre.

When you leave, you stop by the bathroom, but when you open the stall door, all you see is a sign saying “Sorry, what you’re looking for cannot be found.”

On your way out, you get lost, because the directions to exit are written in white letters on a yellow page. If that doesn’t drive you crazy, the cheesy music playing on repeat over the speakers will!

An office like that would never exist, but many websites play that experience over and over. Broken links, obnoxious design choices, and inaccessibility drag countless sites down.

The UX Web Design Solution – The Walkthrough

There’s really nothing more important to your website than how it appears to a random web user. At Montreal Graphic Design we take this very seriously, but many designers skip these crucial steps. UX web design is also very easy to overlook if you’ve built your own website from a template.

Your customer should experience your website in a way that answers their questions, takes their view into consideration, and satisfies instead of frustrates them.

Is visiting your website like going through an excellent museum or trudging through a hoarder’s home? To find out let’s take a walkthrough of your site.

Get a notebook, or blank text document, and let’s go through your site like it’s your first time.

Everyone Needs To See The Same Site: Browser Compatibility

What are you using to look at your website? Google Chrome? Safari? Depending on what browser is used, your site could look wildly different.

A web browser is essentially a lens that lets you see a website, and just like prescription lenses, what you see with yours is not the same as I see with mine.

What device is being used to look at your website is just as important. Depending on the size, settings, and type of device accessing your website important elements could be missing.

A good website designer will ensure that your site looks consistent across every web browser and every device, regardless of resolution or size.

Want to know how your site looks to other people’s computers? Visit Browserling, Screenfly, or BrowserShots and type in your web address.

Don’t Ever Leave Them Guessing, Or Keep Them Waiting

The average person spends 10-20 seconds on a website.

This means you have a very limited amount of time to let people know what your website is, what information they can get from your site, what the next step is, and how to take that next step.

Does your site answer those questions immediately? Are next steps confusing, or not even there?

If your website did not have a lot of initial planning, this could be a real problem. Our post on planning ahead to build an excellent site can help here!

If someone needs to guess what your site is for, or where to go for more information – they probably won’t stick around.

How long will you wait for a website to load?

While UX studies vary, it’s estimated that people will spend as little as 2 seconds waiting for a site to load. How long did it take your site take to load? Was it a pain waiting for it to finish?

Don’t Ever Leave Them Guessing, Or Keep Them Waiting

It is standard for businesses to have ramps and elevators or handicap parking spaces. People of the world are differently abled, and shouldn’t be kept away from their business due simply to accessibility.

Almost 20% of web users are disabled. Many of those people deal with visual or auditory impairments. This is one thing that you may not be able to test for just by looking at your site unless you yourself deal with accessibility issues.

Fortunately, there are standard practices for everyone building a site to ensure that their site is accessible for every user. Things like ensuring images are described in the code, web colours are visible, and much more are essential UX web design practices.

Test, Test, and then Test Some More

The last step of this basic walkthrough is to start clicking. On everything! Does every link work? Good!

Go through every section on every page. Is anything broken? Anything missing? If so, fix it!

If you have a contact form or anything else interactive, send a test message and make sure it works. Are you missing vital inquiries from customers?

Conclusion

Now that you’ve gone through your site, you’re not finished. You’ve hopefully got some ideas on how to improve your website. Take action! Make those changes, or call your designer.

This walkthrough should be done regularly. Servers changes, links move, things happen. By staying on top of this and doing regular maintenance you’ll be ensuring your UX web design is the best it can be.

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