UX Design – Is It Just Buzz?

July 28, 2014In UI/UX5 Minutes

If you’ve been listening in to what’s been happening in the web design industry, then you’ve undoubtedly heard about user experience (UX) design. As you may know, user experience is a design process that improves the user’s experience through the improvement of intuitiveness, ease of use and satisfaction of using an app or website. But the question you and many others may have is if it is actually necessary. Is it just a design premium that’s being pushed by the industry itself or is it something that’s essential for your business?

The answer to this question is that it is important but not for every situation. Websites nowadays are visually appealing to the eye. But their flaws lie in the aspects of design that are not so clearly visible to the eye. Things like the navigation UI, loading time, and intuitiveness all affect the performance of a website. It impacts how long visitors stay on the website, how deep they browse into your site, and what kind of actions they take.

UX design is incredibly important if your business is based around developing apps. The success of an app lies in how much satisfaction and comfort that users get from using it. A well-designed app will get highly rated in marketplace listings and as a result, gain momentum and increase sales. A poorly designed app will have the opposite effect and lose the confidence of all potential customers that come across the ratings and reviews from other users.

But one of the bigger topics is how meaningful user experience design is in today’s mobile device-driven world. Websites that are optimally designed for desktop devices often do not translate well to smartphones and tablet computers. With more people purchasing over mobile devices and as much as thirty percent of visits originating from mobile devices (for some industries), it’s becoming essential for many businesses to invest in improving user experience design for their mobile websites.

UX Design | Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The growth of responsive design is also creating a demand for talented UX designers. This new design standard helps assist website owners deliver an optimized browsing experience for mobile device users. However, designing for this format is very technically challenging. Converting a regular desktop website into a mobile device optimized version requires extensive formatting, edits in coding, condensing images, and other demanding changes.

In the case of designing for smartphone devices, you are given a limited amount of space for how to organize your website. This is particularly challenging for website owners that have more significant developed sites. Trying to crunch a site with hundreds of pages into a miniature version takes an extensive amount of planning, testing, and optimization. The majority of site owners will not be able to create meaningful user experience design changes alone and will need a professional firm to carry out the differences.

Some websites, like microsites, created only to generate keywords, don’t need the services of a professional UX designer. This type of website is built around simplicity and clarity, with the goal of maximizing conversions. The most important metric, in this case, is how many visitors convert into leads or in some cases sales. UX design often doesn’t make a big enough impact to warrant spending money on a designer.

In summary, you shouldn’t look at UX as another buzz topic but a service you may need depending on your circumstances. If you are developing mobile versions of your main website, you’ll likely benefit immensely from improving UX. If you are managing a simple blog, it is probably an unnecessary expense. It’s ultimately up to you to consider the benefits and determine what makes sense for your business.

UI design of a web page on mobile

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