Website user experience design

This is the third of a 6-part website design and development series. The series covers creative web design, website SEO and marketing, user experience design, quality development, stellar performance, and regular website maintenance.

What is user experience design? How can it benefit my small business website? Can you fit this in the budget?

What is user experience design?

Website user experience (UX) design focuses on a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and their limitations. It also takes into account business goals and objectives. A good website user experience benefits the user and the business.

Peter Morville, a pioneer in the UX field, identified 7 facets of user experience in the user experience honeycomb.

UX honeycomb by Peter Morville.
UX honeycomb by Peter Morville.

Useful — website content should be useful and fulfill a need. It must have a purpose in the eye of the beholder. Practical applications are adding your business address and phone number for customers to reach you. Another example is writing quality information on your services and products and including images, reviews, and links.

Usable — a website must be easy to use. Practical applications are a responsive website that works well on different size devices, text that is large enough to read with good color contrast, and fast performance.

Desirable — a website should elicit appropriate emotions in order to create a positive experience. Practical applications are short forms that are easy to use and avoiding the use of too many pop-ups.

Findable — information should be findable. Practical applications are having clear and intuitive navigation, headings and sections that add structure to a page, and making content reachable with as few steps as possible.

Accessible – website content should be accessible to users with different abilities so they can have a similar user experience. Practical applications are implementing W3C web accessibility guidelines. A few examples are having alt tags on images, good color contrast, and captions on videos.

Credible — a website should be accurate and trustworthy. Practical applications are adding an author bio with credentials, social media profiles, showing customer reviews, awards, and industry memberships. For a more in-depth read visit Stanford’s guidelines for web credibility.

Valuable — an effective website provides value to the business and the customer. This is the core of the UX honeycomb.

How can good website user experience benefit my small business website?

User experience design is often included in large website budgets. Internal website teams continually evaluate user experiences and improve website functionality. Website user experience can be overlooked for small businesses if the budget is tight. It may be included in a new website project but ongoing work is usually non-existent.

Examples of a good website experience for your customers, clients, members, or job seekers may include finding it easy to contact your business. Gathering information, making a purchase, or applying for a job are other examples of good website user experiences. In other words, being able to quickly complete a task is a good user experience.

If your website user is not having a good user experience, it may be time to find out where the problems are. Below are a few ways to do that.

  • Review the Google Analytics reports. They will show user flows, which are the pages users entered and exit your website, and how much time they spend on a page.
  • Add a survey to your website to ask questions about website user experience.
  • Talk with customers, employees, or others that have used your website. This may reveal actionable findings.

Can you fit this in the budget?

The quick answer is yes. If you are building a new website, user experience design can be a part of the whole process. If you want to make improvements to your current website, perform a site audit to find areas that need the most work, and fix those first. A site audit may sound like a big process, and it can be, but a simple site audit is better than none.

Improving website user experience is an ongoing effort and can be done at a pace that fits in your budget. Below are questions to ask website visitor and strategies to gather information on their user experience.

  • Who are your website visitors? Set up a call with a few people to discuss their experience using the website.
  • Do you have an email list? Send a survey out with questions about why they use the website, if it works well for them, and what else can be done to improve their experience with the website.
  • Test your website — fill out the forms, access the website from different devices, use the navigation to get around the website, and click to call the phone number. What was your experience like?

Summary

In conclusion, we covered the basics of what user experience design is, how it can benefit a small or mid-size business, and most importantly how you can fit this in your budget.

Read more about working with me for good website user experience on the website design and development page and contact me for a free estimate.

This is the third of a 6-part website design and development series. The series covers creative web design, website SEO and marketing, user experience design, quality development, stellar performance, and regular website maintenance.

About Amy Kvistad

Amy has 15 years of experience as a graphic designer and 10 years as a web designer and developer. She is a co-organizer for the Boston WordPress meetup group and WordCamp Boston.