5 Tips for Designing Sites with User Experience In Mind

October 2, 2015In Development, Framework4 Minutes

There’s a limitless number of things that you can do to improve your UX design. What you have to understand is that not all the advice you read about will be relevant to your website. Some changes will also be far more impactful than others, so you want to make sure you implement the right changes with the limited resources that are available to you. Here is a small list of cherry-picked user experience best practices to designing sites with user experience in mind to get you started.

1. Simplify Your Website

You still see websites that have multiple navigation bars, widget boxes, and ads strewn out all over the place. This negatively impacts the user experience. UX design is about providing the right elements in the right context. If you have a navigation bar for related articles, why not just add it to the bottom of the main content? If you have a calendar widget, why not just put it in a separate page that is linked from the UI menu?

2. Identify the User’s Objective and Create a Linear Path

Why did your user come to your website? The answer will be different for every page, so you will need to think about that as you create the design, layout, and content for each page. That will help you come up with a linear path that the user can follow so that he meets his objective. The only challenge is to try to design it in a way that meets your objective as well.

Person working in a coffeeshop on their laptop

3. Make Content the Focus of Your Site

Are images dominating the top fold of your sites? If so, you may want to experiment with making the content the priority and fitting the images in your content. The lead in is just as important as the headline of the page, so don’t think that the headline and a big image right below it will be the best combination.

4. Make it a Goal to Improve Your Responsive Design

Many website owners are using responsive web design but most are not optimizing their sites to perform as well as it possibly can. Small things like conditional loading, optimizing image sizes, and responsive elements (fonts, images, formatting) can result in big changes. You’ll see your abandon rates decrease, time spent on site increase, and see more user activity.

5. Make Your Website Intuitive and Consistent

Making your website intuitive is often translated by website owners as simplifying your website. However, it goes way beyond that. While simplicity is part of it, you want your users to easily ‘get’ how to use your website. Things like organizing your navigation menu, providing breadcrumb links, and using graphics/color to distinguish interactive elements are all good examples of making your website intuitive. Consistency is a key factor for user experience best practices.

Again, you will not have the time, budget, or expertise to implement all the advice you read on improving UX design. Figure out what is relevant to you and what would be the most impactful to your website. A prime example is if you have a responsive site and a big portion of your customers consists of mobile users. It’s very likely that it will be worth it to invest in improving your responsive design.