I’ve worked in web design my entire professional career. From time to time, people ask me what has changed the most in the industry since I started, so I gave it some serious thought, and I think the answer, hands down, has been the industry shift to User Experience (UX) Design.
What is User Experience (UX)?
I’m going to make a conscious effort to save you a bunch of technical jargon. I’ve come up with an analogy that I think demonstrates the differences pretty well.
Think of UX Design like building and designing a new house. It’s this huge project, and when it is done correctly, everything works together to give anyone visiting a consistent feeling. The rooms flow into one another. It is well constructed. Each room has details that add to the experience and none that detract. The bedrooms are perfectly designed for rest. The kitchen is designed and organized for efficiency. The living room is perfect for conversation and the study for productivity. It was designed with purpose and that intention shines through. Think HGTV home.
UX Design is about creating products and experiences that are intuitively functional and intentionally delightful.
In our UX analogy, you might think of the platform as the foundation, the coding and structure as the framing, the architectural design as the website layout, and the furniture choices and the paint choices as the typography, imagery, and color palette.
The important takeaway in UX Design is that every decision is done with your customer in mind. It takes their likes, needs, wants, and buyer journey into account every step of the way, from the first time they visit, to the first time they convert, all the way through delighting them enough after the conversion to make sure they want to come back over and over again.
Why Should Your Business Care About UX?
One of the biggest advantages that small business has over big corporations is the ability to zero in on what users are looking for and to temper the temptation to build a bloated website with a lot of unneeded fluff.
A good UX elevates the reputation of an organization by putting what we learn about your business during our Discovery Phase and combines that with what your audience needs to make decisions. A business who buys into this philosophy can steal a sizable niche market share from their competitors because they are better equipped to meet needs of the people it was designed for.
Larger companies and Ecommerce sites often have a much more complicated path because serving several unique audiences that provide multiple services or solve a myriad of problems call for custom-made user solutions that allow for multiple paths to the same product or service, but the philosophy remains the same in principle. Know your audience. Design for their needs.
The First Step to Better UX
If you want to build a new house, the first thing you do is visit an architect or contractor. If you are having issues with your website converting visitors to leads or leads to customers, the first step is to talk to an expert about your user experience.
We’d love to help you out with both, but don’t try to skip steps. The health and growth of your business depends on it.