UX in Web Design: The Foundation of High-Converting Websites
User experience is the driving force behind the success of any website. Discover what UX elements can help your website stand out and how UX can help you turn your visitors into customers.
The success of a website depends on so much more than its visual appeal. While a beautifully designed website can attract visitors, you will not be able to convert them into customers if it does not function properly. To achieve all your business objectives, you need to ensure your entire site is easy to use, enjoyable to navigate and meets visitors’ needs. This is where UX in web design comes into play.
In this blog post, we explore how UX serves as the bedrock for building websites that are not only stunning but drive meaningful results. Keep reading to discover how leveraging UX in your site’s design can drive high engagement and business growth.
- By learning UX design principles, website owners can learn how to facilitate an intuitive and enjoyable browsing experience, increasing the likelihood of visitors taking desired actions on their site.
- To improve a website’s usability, a UX designer must take care of several key aspects, including user research, interaction design, wireframing, information architecture and user testing.
- UX design, UI design and web design are distinct yet interconnected disciplines that are crucial for creating a visually appealing, user-centric and high-converting website.
What is UX design?
UX design – also known as User eXperience design – refers to the process of crafting an intuitive, enjoyable and frictionless browsing experience for website visitors. UX is the foundation of a website’s design because it merges aesthetics with functionality to lead visitors on a journey that engages, delights and compels them to take action.
Since building a website that converts goes beyond making it beautiful, implementing UX design is crucial. That means understanding what users need when interacting with your website and ensuring they can get it as effortlessly as possible.
Ultimately, a UX-centered design aligns a user journey with business objectives by understanding the needs and motivations of users and creating a seamless path to guide them toward business-desired outcomes.
The main goal of UX is to make sure that users easily find what they’re looking for, understand how to navigate your site and have a pleasant experience. This is the surest way to ensure they engage and take desired actions on your landing pages.
Who takes care of UX design?
Have you ever browsed a website and remarked on its intuitive navigation and organized design? If done right, user experience design is completely seamless, and users simply do not think about it.
That said, once you come across an excellent website, it is very likely that it was built with the help of an experienced UX designer. A UX designer is an architect who creates the blueprint for a website’s user experience. Their goal is to design a digital environment that is easily navigable, functional, visually pleasing and optimally tailored to the needs of its users.
To achieve all objectives, a UX designer takes up the following responsibilities.
- User research: To build user-centered designs, UX designers must deeply understand the users’ needs, behaviors and preferences. They conduct surveys, user interviews and usability testing to gain insights into the target audience.
- Creating personas: Based on their research, UX designers craft user personas, which are fictional representations of typical users. This enables them to humanize the design process and ensure the website meets the intended visitors’ expectations.
- Information architecture: A UX designer is also responsible for categorizing and structuring website copy in a logical manner. This reduces cognitive load and allows easy access for users to explore and interact with the content on any web page.
- Wireframing: Before a website goes into development, UX designers build simplified visual representations of its layout and structure. This helps to validate the design concept and gather feedback in the early stages of the development process.
- Usability testing: As part of their role, UX designers must evaluate the website’s usability by observing real users as they interact with it. That way, they can identify usability issues, gather feedback and make informed design improvements.
UX design vs. UI design vs. web design
UX design, UI design and web design are three different but closely interrelated disciplines. When all three are used in the website creation process, the final project is visually appealing, drives user satisfaction and enables achieving business goals. But how do these disciplines differ from each other? To better understand their differences, let’s use the analogy of a well-planned party.
User experience (UX) design
A UX designer is like the perfect party host. They perfectly understand what the guests need and work to ensure they can navigate the party location effortlessly.
In short, the primary goal of UX design is the site’s usability and user satisfaction.
User interface (UI) design
A UI designer takes care of the party decor and focuses on enhancing the party’s atmosphere and function. UI designers play a similar role as graphic designers in the website creation process.
With a deep understanding of graphic design principles, such as composition, color theory, typography, visual hierarchy and other elements, user interface design experts are able to create visually compelling narratives and ensure consistent design.
A web designer is like a party planner who combines the powers of both UX and UI design, along with the technical aspects of creating and implementing the website.
Basically, web designers work to deliver a functional site with an accessible design that is responsive across different devices and loads fast.
How to leverage UX in the website design process: 6 UX best practices
What are some of the best practices for incorporating UX design into your website creation process? Let’s take a look.
1. Consider all UX elements and create a plan
When designing a website, it is important to consider the most important elements affecting the user experience, including usability, web accessibility, design and content placement.
- Usability: The site should be easy to use and navigate. Users should be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
- Accessibility: The site should be accessible to people with disabilities. This may require implementing high-contrast colors, large fonts and keyboard navigation.
- Design: The site should be visually appealing and consistent with your brand guidelines. This means fonts, color palettes and graphical elements must be cohesive.
- Content: The content on the site should not only be relevant, informative and engaging but should also be presented in a clear, easy-to-read way that does not overwhelm the site’s visitor.
Once you have considered all the key elements, you can create a well-defined plan that will help incorporate these elements into your site design.
2. Perform audience research and define user personas
Gather insights into your target audience’s preferences, behaviors and needs by conducting UX research via interviews, surveys and usability testing.
Use the intelligence to develop user personas – fictional representations of your typical users. This will help you better understand the users’ motivations, pain points and expectations when interacting with your site. And you will be able to tailor your site experience to meet their needs.
3. Build Information architecture and wireframes
Once you understand your users’ needs, it’s time to work on the information architecture. This involves organizing, structuring and labeling your website’s content to help users find what they need efficiently.
Additionally, create a wireframe representing your site’s layout and functionality visually. It acts as a blueprint for the final design to help you validate your design assumptions, gather feedback and refine the user experience before moving to the visual design phase.
4. Develop the visual design and map your user’s journey
How your website looks matters as you want to leave a good lasting impression that encourages visitors or users to continue exploring the site and coming back. Here are a few tips to improve your site’s aesthetics.
- Color: Choose a harmonious color palette that aligns with your brand identity and conveys the desired emotions.
- White space: Utilize white space across your site, especially on text-heavy pages, and opt for clear and legible fonts to make your site reader-friendly.
- Images: High-resolution images and visual content is often the focal point of any site. Use images that evoke desired emotions and support your site’s overall message.
- Visual experience: Establish a clear visual hierarchy using different font sizes, weights and colors to prioritize content elements.
- Responsiveness: Utilize a responsive design approach to create a mobile site that fosters a seamless experience for users accessing your site via mobile devices.
Note that effective use of menu navigation, buttons, forms, search bar and other interactive website elements can help optimize the user experience further.
5. Stay consistent and focus on accessibility
Consistency is another key aspect of a user-centered site design. Your design elements should be cohesive to create familiar and intuitive user experiences.
Additionally, you must ensure your site is inclusive and usable for all users, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. This requires you to implement accessibility principles set by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), such as providing alternative text for images, ensuring proper color contrast and incorporating keyboard navigation.
6. Test the website
To understand how well your site is doing, you need to conduct usability tests. By watching people use your site, you can learn about their experience and see if any issues or challenges prevent them from engaging with your content. For example, if your site speed is subpar on mobile devices, people will not stick around. So, testing your site’s performance is crucial.
Of course, it is not enough to test your site. You also need to be able to analyze data and apply it to enhance your website. If you are able to process the information and feedback you gather, you can help your designer make changes that significantly improve the user’s experience.
WAcademy free web design services: A UX-forward approach
Building a user-friendly website that captivates the audience and drives conversions requires skill and expertise. Many small business owners usually can’t achieve this on their own. Unfortunately, the price of working with an experienced website designer can be very steep.
At WAcademy, we believe every business deserves a stunning website without sacrificing large portions of their budgets. Therefore, we partner with SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and support them with free website design services. What’s in it for us?
The WAcademy internship program could not offer high-quality training to web and UX designers without providing them with the opportunity to work on real-life projects and apply their new skills and knowledge. So, this is a mutually-beneficial relationship between our talented interns and small business owners like you.
Our talented interns learn about website design best practices and the latest design trends. Every intern works with our experts while designing websites to ensure they build a strong portfolio that can help kickstart their future career. With a focus on quality, we can design a site that is perfect for you, whether you need a personal portfolio, an ecommerce website or something completely unique.
Please note that while we commit to designing your site for free, hosting and domain name registration are out of our scope. Fortunately, our partner Getspace is able to offer an amazing hosting package for all our clients.
So, are you looking for a custom-made, fully-functional, mobile device-friendly website that’s UX optimized and built using design best practices? Register your project, and we will contact you with more details soon. You are one step closer to a brand new website and business growth!