Website design or User Experience (UX) design is more than just the esthetic appearance of your site. It focuses on the experience of your end-users as they traverse your pages and articles. Good design can not only make the user's experience on your site a positive one, it can help them find what they are looking for, instill trust in your organization and guide them to your call-to-action.
There are 3 broad areas of focus in a website's UX design. They are summarized in the table below and further explained lower on this page.
|Design Item||Its role in designing the website|
|Knowing the User||Having a deep understanding of their needs, values and abilities.|
|Asthetic Appeal||Using design elements to evoke appreciation for your products and services.|
|Usability||Designing for intuitive navigation, accessibility, and flexibility in user control|
Knowing the User
In order to provide a meaningful experience for your audience, you need to know what motivates them and how your product or service fits into their life and values. This knowledge provides many answers to design questions about your website.
How this knowledge effects the design of your website:
- Design elements and styles are used that your audience identifies with and responds to.
- Your end-users' abilities and limitations are accounted for and skillfully accommodated.
- Unique content is provided that fulfills the end-users' needs and the reason they came to the site.
The asthetics of a website are not separate from its functionality. It conveys the personality of your organization to your users, can make your products and services appear more attractive just by virtue of being within an attractive container and can make your website seem easier to use.
How asthetics effects the design of your website:
- It keeps the design clean and simple
- Plenty of white space is used between the elements of the layout
- At most, one or two base colors (and their variations) are used
- Attention is paid to the font styles along with their color, size and spacing
Usability's aim is to avoid frustrating the user and make it easier for them to accomplish what they came to the website to do.
How usability effects the design of your website:
- Navigation and information is organized to be intuitive for your end-user making it easier to get around your site and find what they are searching for
- Consistency is keeping in mind the website conventions that people have come to know and expect. In this way they don't have to learn something new just to manage on your website. It is also keeping your visual elements, voice and tone, and functions consistent across your site.
- User control is anticipating your audience's behavior on your website. It makes it easy to accomplish tasks and undo mistakes gracefully when necessary.