User experience (UX) focuses on an in-depth understanding of the target audience; their needs, interests, values, abilities and also their limitations. These points should be carefully considered alongside the overall objectives of the website. UX best practices focus on providing the best experiences for the user’s interaction with your product and services. Great website design is not just about the aesthetics, essentially it must be centred around user experience and functionality to ensure it appeals to the intended audience. A successful website should be useful, usable and engaging.
UX differs from UI (User interface), which focuses on the appearance and communicating the experience visually, but together they combine to make the overall experience and perception of the brand website.
The objective of a website’s UX design is to create a welcoming and usable platform that helps users get what they need and encourages repeat usage. Making the experience of the website memorable is more important than what the website says. Users often forget the content, but they will remember how it made them feel.
Nearly 40% of people will leave a website if the content or layout is unattractive.
Graphics, layout, text, and interactive elements work in synergy to present the user with an experience, not just present them with information. This, in turn, will help to ensure visitors engage with the site for longer and also return.
Making your page stand out from the sheer quantity of websites and information on the internet is essential. Modern websites contain more visual and interactive qualities to strike at more emotional responses to help them stand out in a highly competitive world.
Successful website design starts with analysing data and trends. Once this data has been gathered, it is then possible to create a plan and begin testing to see how it works in practice, as even the most considered plan may not give the intended results. You also need to be prepared to break the mould, try new techniques and applications - it could be the beginning of a new trend!
A good example of someone breaking the mould and then that becoming common practice is checkout pages. An eCommerce website relies on converting users of the website into customers. Preventing users from abandoning their carts and not converting is top priority. In analysing the data, it became clear that a lot of cart abandonment was caused by a huge checkout page full of fields to be completed. So, UX designers began to split the checkout process into multiple shorter pages that together give the same result. This relatively simple change dropped cart abandonment drastically, so much so, that this design is now common practice.
From a web development standpoint, implementing good UX and UI design in the past have often used outdated methods that were created for websites that consisted of simply a little bit of text and some images. This technique got us by for some time but as design patterns develop and expectations rise in complexity, these methods get more fiddly and inefficient. This is where CSS Grids come in to play.
You can find out more about CSS Grids on W3Schools website.