Have you heard website designers and others talk about UX? It is one of those jargon terms that people in the website design industry often use without thinking. What is UX, though, and why is it important?
UX stands for user experience. So, UX is the part of the website design process that focuses on user experience.
User experience, or UX, involves considering the emotions and attitudes of people using your website. The goal with UX design is to ensure your website is meaningful and relevant to users.
As a result, it covers just about every aspect of your website’s design. This includes navigational structure, the layout of content on the page, the detail of content on the page, the branding and colour scheme, how easy it is to use the website’s functions, and more.
Importantly, it is different to UI design – UI stands for user interface. UI design is more about the visual aesthetics of the website. UX design, on the other hand, involves looking at the UI, among other things, to ensure it delivers a good user experience.
As you can see, UX can be quite a complex topic. It is possible, however, to boil it down to something very simple: does your website help visitors achieve their objective and is the process of doing so painless?
Here are two examples:
UX is important as it helps ensure your website achieves your objectives. Let’s go back to the two examples above to illustrate this. The building contractor, for example, might have a high-quality, modern, and very professional website, but if it doesn’t give visitors enough information about the company’s experience and capabilities, visitors might leave without making an enquiry. In other words, the website will fail to meet its objectives.
Similarly, an online clothing retailer that has a checkout process that makes visitors concerned about the security of their information may have a higher-than-normal shopping cart abandonment rate, i.e. people who start but don’t finish the checkout process. This is another example of a website that fails to meet its objectives.
As you can see from the last point, UX is an ongoing process. That said, it is important to focus on delivering a good user experience from the start of the website design process.
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