Ask any web design company and they will tell you that there is more to a website than just a group of pages all linked together and filled with information and imagery.
A good web design company, as well as web development gurus, work hand in hand to create an interactive space. This is where brands and people can meet, where they can communicate and positively affect each other. This interaction creates an experience that determines how your audience responds to your bran. This being said, it’s important to ensure that these experiences are the best they can possibly be. This kind of approach is called User Interface Design (UI). UI focuses on the layout and functionality of each interface used to create those connections and interactions between brands and people.
Our web design company, The Agency, breaks down the concept of UI design into 9 essential parts. These parts are so easy to apply to your process when wanting to design a new website, or even just improving your current one.
Web Design Company UI guide PART 1
- Get to know your audience
- Define how your audience uses your website
- Set audience expectation
- Prevent and provide
1. Get to know your audience
Before you start anything you need to sit down and understand who your target audience is. You also need to know where their needs are and what stands in the way of them reaching their end goals. This phase is called user testing. The approach to this part of the process is broken down into different forms. Examples being speaking face-to-face with your audience, watching them use your product or service and asking questions that allow your audience to feel like they have a say in what you offer them. By doing so, you are able to access what their needs are. In turn, you are able to provide a product or service that they need. This helps you design your website in such a way that helps your audience achieve their goals. This, without the challenges that may hold them back ordinarily. By doing your research and digging to the core of your audience’s needs, you will better inform you on how best to use your interface. You will also discover the types of content you will choose to highlight, within your interface.
2. Define how your audience uses your website
How your audiences use your website is an important part of the process. You need to focus on their direct interaction with the interface, such as touch buttons, swipe cards and drag n` drop with fingertips. Alongside, indirect interactions external to the product, such as using key commands, pointing and clicking with their mouse and typing into a form field. With this digital age constantly evolving and more devices are fast becoming touch-based, it is become even more important to include this into your process when formulating and defining user experience.
3. A good web design company sets audience expectations
As with anything in life, many interactions lead to certain consequences. However, by implementing the right design and copy you can properly inform your audience what to expect when they complete particular actions on your website. What does that mean? Well in design you would highlight a certain button that corresponds to a particular action, or you could make use of widely understood icons and symbols. When using copy to inform users of what to expect, you could deliver warning messages to alert your audience of important information; or you could implement a pop-up that asks your user to confirm that their action on your website is in fact what they intended to do.
4. Prevent and Provide
The next step in user experience is to “mistake-proof” your website, everybody makes mistakes but that does not necessarily mean that they should have to suffer for it. It’s quite an easy process to consider, on the one hand you would focus on how you can prevent mistakes before they happen and on the other you would be providing quick solutions on how to fix it. A great example of this would be setting your call-to-action button as inactive until all fields are filled out on a form, or you could make use of fun pop-ups that asks your audience a question before they complete a particular action. When an error does occur you’d want to make sure that you a fast response that provides both a reason and how to fix the problem holding them back
Again, thinking about whom your audience is and what they want will determine how you would strategise and implement user friendly ways to prevent errors and provide fast solutions.
So in part one, we covered some important points to consider when designing a new website or improving the one you have. Don’t forget that your customer is the most important key to a business successfully surviving the ever changing digital world and the ever growing needs of your target audience, especially as technology continues to make leaps and bounds in innovative design. In part two, we will cover the next five essential parts to create and run a successful website by using UI design. We will focus on points like the importance of creating a layout that is easy to learn and how eliminating distractions will help users make faster decisions when responding to call-to-action buttons.
Look out for part two next week and if you would like to know more about web design and development do not hesitate to contact our web design company, The Agency, www.theagency.co.za, we will be more than happy to field any of your queries.