Website User Experience: Think of your users, not yourself

Posted In: design, web-development by Alex on 9 May, 2014

Website User experience

So many times am I faced with clients who think that I am designing a website user experience for them. I am not. I am creating a user experience for their customers or clients. These are two very different things. Here are a few points you should consider when developing a new website…

Your Customers Don’t Understand Your Jargon

So many times do we see websites which list a boat load of jargon but offer no explanation for what it means. These are not necessarily keywords which your customers will search for.

When it comes to jargon, consider speaking to someone who fits the demographic of what you would think to be your customer. Speak to them, drop in jargon and gauge their reaction. Help Icons next to key words or even links to their own pages can help improve your websites user experience. This way you won’t alienate your audience by throwing overwhelming words at them.

Use relevant pictures, not just what you think looks pretty

Pictures can paint a thousand words. We’ve heard it a thousand times before simply because it is true. Allow designers to be creative with the images they place on your site. Think about the story they tell or the image they create.

Choosing generic stock images can be a lengthy process. It is often well worth hiring a talented photographer. I have often said to my clients, I could create you the best website in the world… without good images it is worth nothing. You may as well wear a nice tailored suit and walk around in a straight jacket.

The purpose of your website user experience

Who visits your website? What are they expecting to find when they visit your site? What age are they? Where are they? All simple questions but often overlooked.

Unless you understand your clients and prospective clients you will never be able to produce a site that generates business for you.

The Website User Experience Test Of 5

Once you’ve got some designs to look at- before you look at them, take this test…

  • Write down 5 things you expect to be able to find
  • (This is the tricky part) open up your designs, then close your eyes for 5 seconds before you see it
  • Remembering the 5 things you’ve written down, look at the design

If you can find all 5 the things you wrote down within 5 seconds, you’re onto a winner.

Make sure buttons do what you think they do

A click is a key event in website user experience. Especially the first one in a visit, I see it as a test of faith. Make sure every link, button, nav item, image or anything else that a user can click on does exactly what you expect it to do. If a link goes off to another site, you might consider placing an icon next to it. If you’re popping up lightboxes or even (shock horror) ads, make sure your user expects it.

The internet is a fickle place, it is so easy for people to turn away. Provide your users with the information they are expecting, no more, no less.

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