The Value of User Experience Design
(Does it make that big of a difference?)

User Experience (UX) is complicated, challenging and multi-faceted, but critical for successful website and software development projects to achieve desired business goals.

User Experience (UX) design is often misunderstood — even in the marketing and digital worlds.

In simple terms, UX enhances users’ satisfaction, accessibility and the shopping experience during their interactive journey your product or services.  User Experience Design is, in theory, a non-digital, cognitive science, used and defined predominantly by digital — specifically website— and software development industries. Some say, UX is both an art and a science.

While visual aesthetics are important and first impressions do play a part in great websites, it is only one step in the process. If users can’t figure out what to do, or where to go to get what they want, their overall experience will be less than memorable. In fact, they are not likely to complete any Call to Action (CTA), nor are they likely to return to the site. Likewise, if any of the functionality on a site doesn’t work correctly — for example – forms don’t load, error messages occur, or copy is vague —the overall user experience is likely to be bad.

On the flip side, a great user experience can be measured and when executed well, leads to many positive outcomes, including improved conversions, completed CTAs, extended time on the website, loyal customers and referral traffic among other business results. In other words, great user experience is a means to an end and achieves a specific company goal. The quality of users’ experiences, will positively or negatively impact their opinions and actions.

Hence, navigation is a cornerstone of usability. Remember, it doesn’t matter how great a website is if users can’t find their way around it to accomplish what they want to do.

Navigation should always include:

  • The simplest site structure possible
  • Clear and obvious actions for users
  • Consistent navigation from page to page

Of course, a person’s “experience,” is also personal and subjective. It varies based on past occurrences, unique preferences, mood and a myriad of other things. True with any UX design work, success hinges on a deep understanding and balancing of the project ‘s context and business goals, user needs and behaviors and compelling content.

Our team here WebRealSimple understands the importance of user-centered design driving website development and our client’s success has come from following a UX methodology, which includes both user research and user testing. Our UX designers are part marketer, part designers and part project managers. They ensure clear communications between our customers, developers and users. They deeply understand the users’ needs and behaviors. They accurately define the project requirements, and they understand stakeholders’ business objectives.

Our three-step process includes:

Strategy &
Content

  • Competitor & Customer Analysis
  • Navigation Structure & Information Architecture
  • Content Development

Wire framing &
Prototyping

  • Wire framing
  • Prototyping
  • Testing & Iteration
  • Development Planning

Execution &
Analytics

  • Coordination with User Interface (UI) Designers
  • Coordination with Developers
  • Tracking Goals & Integration

The Takeaway

  • Invest in UX
  • Catch and fix UX issues as early as possible – the design and prototype stage should nail down all issues
  • When UX issues do slip through take the time to make sure you only have to fix it once. A clear plan reduces development time.
  • Remember: the better the experience your users have on your site is just as important as the service you provide.

If your website is not producing the business results you desire, contact us for a complimentary consultation and we can provide some insights and steps you can take to improve your current site.

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