As creatives, we all know that User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design is vital to creating a successful web presence, as well as creating successful business growth for our clients. Like any design function, UX and UI design takes time, practice and understanding in order to achieve optimal results. Here at Oblique Design, we have been working to understand our design practice when it comes to successful User Experience and have broken it down to two simple concepts; understanding the users and shaping the content and design to be as clear as possible. This post will walk you through what we have found to be successful in expanding our philosophy of UI and UX design.
Understanding your User
Analysis of your user is fundamental to the process of successful UX design and is necessary to define the right direction for the design. Setting clear goals is a crucial step to defining what the interface should include and function as. Some questions to ask could include:’
– What would a user want the interface to accomplish?
– How comfortable is the user with technology?
– How would a user engage with the interface in the normal course of their visit?
Understanding the user doesn’t end with the launch of your project. Even after establishing goals and doing thorough research, the process of understanding user behavior is ongoing. By leveraging the data in your analytics account (keywords, user paths, successful interactions) and gathering solicited feedback (staff interviews, visitor surveys, social media) you can continue to adjust your content and remove barriers to success.
Clarity is Key
As designers, it is very easy to get caught up in designing a web page using a designer’s point of view. We sometimes get too absorbed in our own creative process and forget that this site is not necessarily meant for us. The interface needs to be creative, yes, but more importantly, it needs to be functional. Here are a few things to remember:
User Outcomes Need to be Intuitive
Navigation of information should be essentially invisible to the visitor. If the goal is to get the visitor to complete a task (which it usually is), they shouldn’t have to solve a puzzle to do so. As humans, we ignore things we don’t understand, meaning that viewers will most likely neglect items or content with an unclear purpose. This is especially important when creating a UI for mobile devices.
Information served via a mobile interface needs to be even more streamlined and intuitive because it is a completely different experience for the user. Testing your mobile UI with several different tools (https://crossbrowsertesting.com is one example) to confirm its functionality works as you planned. Also, keep in mind your page loading time, call to action features as well as how you are utilizing the smaller screen resolution.
Clear Trumps Clever
It’s important to avoid being “clever” and vague, rather than clear. This concept can be applied through the entire site, but should be taken into consideration especially for the homepage and the navigation. The homepage should explicitly state the company’s main value proposition, quickly communicating the purpose to the visitor. Further, the navigation should be perceptive and easy to follow. Consistency is key for UX and UI design. When the visitor sees features more than once, they will begin to understand how to interact with it.
The point of having a clear and intuitive interface is to simply allow the user to have a comfortable and positive experience using the site. Trends and technology may change, but the human brain does not. Keeping a tight grip on the psychological tendencies of your target users will allow for smarter design and better conversions.
Now that you’re armed with some new UX and UI design insight, we hope you can incorporate some of these tips into creating a better and more efficient experience for your users!