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Why UX is so important when building or redesigning your website

  • Blog
  • 29 November '22
  • 4 mins
  • Caity Tanner

You might be thinking it's about time for a website refresh or just a redesign of a feature or page that isn't serving much purpose anymore. But where do you start? 

Surely it should be easy enough to slap on a few new elements you saw on your competitor's website and call it a day – it shouldn't take too much time, right?

When only parts of your site are updated, over time it creates a disjointed, disorganised, and incohesive user experience.

This is where UX can really help you to implement strategic changes to your website!

What is UX? 🤔

Nielsen and Norman Group, industry leaders in research-based user experiences, say, "User experience (UX) is a powerful philosophy that includes processes for delivering digital products that delight users while achieving a business or organisation's goals."

UX is a process that comprises research, finding common themes through data analysis, problem-solving, creating designs, and testing the final design with end users. It helps organisations quickly identify user needs and goals, and implement them into website features, functions, and flows.  

Let’s dive a bit deeper into this:

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Research 🔬

When a UX designer begins researching your organisation and your users, they will start by getting an understanding of the foundations – what services you offer, products you sell, or memberships you provide – by speaking with your stakeholders. Typically, this is done through a series of workshops and interviews right at the beginning of the project, before they even think about project goals and specs.

They will look over your website to understand its content and the Information Architecture (IA – the navigation of your site overall) and build a picture of how a user might use your website in its current state. They will also start identifying key user groups and match them to areas of the site they may frequent or use.  

They'll then speak with end users in the different groups identified by stakeholders to understand how they discovered your organisation, how they have interacted with your website/organisation in the past, and how they feel the experience is overall. The UX designer will ask a series of questions in interviews or surveys to gather Qualitative and Quantitative data (Qual = Quality, or detailed information, Quant = Quantity, or data by numbers) to find common themes presented.

One of the themes could look like this:  

"I was looking for some information about x, but when I searched for it, I couldn't find it anywhere! I even tried the search bar, but this didn't find me what I was looking for, so I gave up and went elsewhere."

Analysis 📈

The UX designer will take all the information collected from the organisation and end users and pull out common threads found throughout the data. In doing this, they can build a user journey with the end goal and pinpoint any frustrations, friction points, and roadblocks the user may face on the current website. This information is vital as it helps the UX designer make educated changes to the website based on concrete evidence. Each piece of information helps them to begin the design process. 

Design 🎨

After reviewing the information and painting a bigger picture with collected data and evidence, the UX designer can start building solutions to the user's goals via wireframes.

Wireframes are effectively sketches of tools, features, and functions of the website, without any colour or branding, to give an idea of how everything will be pieced together to help the users reach their goals. If a user is looking to find a piece of information on a website and there are thousands of resources and articles on that particular topic, one solution might be a special tool that narrows down information based on a few key fields the user might input. 

Testing 🧪

Once the product is built and brushed up with branding, imagery, and visuals, the UX designer will take these designs and test them with end users – this ensures that the solution built will be used the way users envision. They will also test to see if there are any new or remaining friction points in the overall experience, allowing them to tweak and perfect the experience based on feedback from the testing sessions.

This process is iterative and could be used for smaller areas of the site over a more extended period, where budget allows and where time and resources are available.  

So where does this leave us? 🤷

UX helps to ensure your organisation's website supports your user's goals in an enjoyable, usable, and beautiful way. Still not convinced that UX can help you? Some additional benefits of UX are:  

  • Keeping costs down: UX ensures you don’t go down potentially costly routes and helps to keep you from making mistakes that could be expensive to fix later down the road.
  • Boosts conversions: When a user finds the web experience challenging, they are likely to jump ship and go to the next website that is easier to use (a big example of this is shopping websites, and users leaving items in their cart when the checkout experience is too complicated).
  • Creates loyalty: Users who have a good experience with your website are more likely to stick around. This could come with good publicity via word of mouth too.
  • Strengthens your brand SEO: When your website's UX has multiple positive visits by users, search engines will reward you by bumping your site up the search results and helping to drive organic traffic.
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Looking to improve your product’s UX? Our specialists would be more than happy to help. 

Reach out to [email protected] or get in touch here to find out more.

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