Any web design company will tell you — there is more to a website than a group of pages linked together. And it’s certainly more than just design aesthetics, imagery and content.
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. It’s important as it’s what creates connections between brands and consumers.
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, understand your target audience. You should know where their needs lie and what might stand in the way of them reaching their goals. Known as user-testing, this phased approach is broken down into various different forms. Examples include speaking face-to-face with your audience and watching them interact with your product. Asking questions that allow your audience a say in what you offer them is another effective approach. By doing so, you will learn what their needs are. In turn, you can 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. Thorough research into the core of your audience’s needs will better inform you of how to best use the interface. You will discover what type of content you should 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. Their direct interaction with the interface should be the focus. Alongside, indirect interactions external to the product, such as using key commands, pointing and clicking with their mouse and typing into a form field. Technology is constantly evolving; with touch-based devices becoming the norm, it’s an important consideration to make when defining your 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 to confirm user satisfaction, you could add a pop-up that asks for a consumer’s opinion.
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 ask 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
Strategies are most effective when centred around the targeted audience, as this provides an understanding of what will prove to be user-friendly.
In part one, we covered some important points to consider when designing a new website or improving the one you have. Your client is the most important element in the success of your business. Therefore, to survive in the ever-changing digital world, you need to focus on the ever-growing needs of your target audience. 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.