Quality UX design is the core of any great product, app, or website. The term has been growing in popularity as the demand for great digital user experiences has expanded. UX design represents all aspects of the creation of a product, from beginning to end. At this point you may be asking yourself, what does UX stand for? In this article, we will learn what UX stands for and why it is important for quality design. We will also discuss some tips for UX design best practices.
What Does UX Stand For?
UX stands for user experience. The user experience is how a user interacts with and experiences a product, system, or service. User experience focuses on understanding what users need, what they value, and also what limitations they might have. Therefore, a UX designer is tasked with creating the optimal user experience. At the core of this process is making sure that users can find value in what you have created for them. Designer and information architect Peter Morville calls this the “User Experience Honeycomb.” In his example, Morville notes that in order for there to be a valuable user experience, information must be:
- Useful: The content should be creative and fill a user’s needs
- Usable: The product, site, or app must be easy to use
- Desirable: Image, brand identity, and other design elements should evoke appreciation and emotion
- Findable: Content needs to be easily navigated, both on and off-site
- Accessible: Content should be accessible to all users, especially those with disabilities
- Credible: Users must be able to trust the information that you have given them
The UX Umbrella
Many people confuse the terms UI (user interface) and UX (user experience). The user interface is anything that a user interacts with when using a product or service. UX, however, is an umbrella term that encompasses all aspects of creating and designing a product or service. This can be anything from acquiring and creating the product, to branding, design, and usability. This is why the complete process of designing a holistic user experience is often referred to as the “UX Umbrella.” The UX umbrella includes:
- Interactive design
- Information architecture
- Computer interaction
- Human factors engineering
- Holistic user experience
Why is UX Important?
UX design is important because it focuses on the needs of the user. Too often, creators focus on the end result and the specific goal that they have in mind. This can cause them to forget about who will actually be using the product or service and what that user might need. UX design is also beneficial because it aims to provide a positive experience that will keep users coming back. Lastly, a meaningful user experience can help designers understand the customer journey from start to finish. Having a better understanding of what your users do while they use your product is key to great UX design.
10 Tips for Great UX Design
Besides discussing what UX stands for, it is also important to take note of what makes great UX design. With these 10 tips, you will create a great UX design for your website or app.
#1: Begin With User Research
Just like it sounds, user experience is all about who will actually be using the finished product. Before you begin designing an interface, you need to ask yourself who you are designing it for. This is where user research comes in. Take a moment to think about the target audience of the product, app, or website you are designing. What are their demographics? What interests do they have? Which products or services are they most likely to use? Once you have this target in mind, you can research designs that suit that audience. Only then can you design with the user in mind.
#2: Keep it Simple
Simplicity is one of the key components of good UX design. When it comes to website layout, simplicity means getting rid of unnecessary design elements. This often means having a clean layout and sticking to a 2-3 color scheme, with plenty of white space. This usually also means sticking to around 2 different fonts, with a third for your website’s logo. All of these elements will work together to maintain a clean and simple design.
#3: Make Use of White Space
Surprisingly, white space doesn’t actually have to be white! In web design, white space is the space between elements on a page. One of the easiest ways to enhance your design is to increase the amount of white space. Even small amounts of white space can help your website look more polished. When there is enough space between your elements, it makes your page design appear simple and more elegant.
#4: Make Sure Visual Elements are Distinct
Another great way to enhance UX design is to make sure you have a visually distinct layout. This will also help users to easily find what they are looking for on your website. To accomplish this, make sure that the most important elements on your website stand out and are visible first. Likewise, call-to-action buttons should be distinguishable from the rest of your content. It is also a good idea to add navigation tools, such as breadcrumbs, to let your users know exactly where they are.
#5: Use Customer Feedback
A key component of any business or marketing strategy is to listen to customer feedback. UX design is no exception. To create a great user experience, it is important to pay attention to what your users are saying. If you don’t, you run the risk of losing visitors. One great option for this is to include a survey somewhere on your website. You can ask users what they liked about using your site and what they didn’t. Build on the elements they liked and remove ones they did not.
#6: Maintain Consistency
As with any kind of content creation, consistency is key in website design. The flow of your website refers to the way that users can move from one element to another. When designing your app or website, you want to make sure that this stays the same throughout. Take a moment to think through the path that your users are likely to take. Make sure that from entry to exit, the user experience feels seamless. Get your users from point A to point B as easily as possible to create a great UX design.
#7: Pay Attention to Loading Time
Page loading time is a crucial element of great web design and is a vital part of what UX stands for. The longer a page takes to load, the higher the bounce rate will be. In fact, 1 in 4 users will abandon a webpage if it takes more than 4 seconds to load! There are many ways to increase page loading speed, including allowing compressed files, optimizing images, and using a faster server. You can also use different tests, including Google’s Page Speed Insights, to check on your progress. Bottom line is to design your site in a way that lets users accomplish their goals as efficiently as possible.
#8: Focus on Your Content
Great UX design means focusing on creating quality content. Many people think that a UX designer’s job ends with the layout. However, there is also UX writing. The user experience is directly related to well-written text and quality images. Always consider your target audience and create your content with them in mind. Users should be drawn in by the design and should stay for the creative content.
#9: Make Sure You are Mobile-Friendly
With people spending so much more time on their phones, it is no wonder that a huge percentage of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Nearly 61% of consumers say they are more likely to complete a purchase if the website is mobile-friendly. This is why it is so important to create mobile-friendly websites for good UX design. Make sure that all of the important elements from your browser-based site are compatible with mobile devices. Perform frequent checks to make sure that anything you might add along the way is also mobile-friendly.
#10: Conduct Audits Frequently
The UX designer’s job doesn’t just end at creating a design. It’s also very important to follow up with the products you’ve created and test how they are working. You will also want to pay close attention to how users are responding to them. Just like with other forms of content creation, you can use data metrics to see how users are interacting with your design and content. This is also a great place to see if there are parts of your strategy that you might want to change.
Creating a Great UX Design
UX stands for user experience and a great user experience is crucial to creating a quality product. As we’ve learned, quality UX design means always keeping your users in mind. After all, they are the ones that will be visiting your site and interacting with your content! Creating effective and quality UX design will ultimately benefit you and your visitors. If you would like some extra help designing a great website, check out SEO Design Chicago’s web development team. Their web designers will help you to turn your vision into a complete and well-designed website!
- What is UX design?
- What does UX stand for?
- How is UX different than UI?
- What is the User Experience Honeycomb?
- What is the UX umbrella?