UX Design Principles: How User Experience Determines Business Success
User experience or UX design is the process followed by design teams to create user interfaces (UIs) for a product, service, or system. An optimized UX design includes elements that provide efficiency, usability, and accessibility to the user.
Through user experience design, site designers determine how a visitor interacts with the platform. This includes the product design, branding, functions, and features.
Any UX designer would be familiar with the user experience concept, UX principles, and its contribution to the website’s performance. Arguably introduced as an idea in Donald Norman’s 1988 publication “The Design of Everyday Things”, UX design has now emerged as one of the most important factors to consider while building a website.
Why User Experience Matters
Technology may often seem quite objective and impersonal. Technology is available for all equally these days. It is no longer The Differentiator for businesses. Experience design, on the other hand, has the potential to give businesses the required competitive edge.
This is because, at the end of the day, it is human beings who are using the applications, not robots. Thus, the goal should be to understand the needs and preferences of the end-users.
After all, your user experience is the key factor that sets your product apart and makes it successful. This is what UX design principles iterate.
Some aspects of UX design to focus on, can be as follows.
- Putting the expectations of users over the preferences or convenience of the designer
- Addressing existing pain points of the target audience to make their browsing experience easier
- Understanding the impact of positive user experience on website traffic and ROI
- Thinking of the product’s usability from the target audience’s point of view
- Making site navigation and comprehensibility better
5 UX Design Principles for a Great User Experience
UX design has time and again proven to be a top factor in website success. Statistics say that a good user interface can increase conversion rates by up to 200% and KPIs by over 80%. Additionally, the ROI on UX investments can go up to 9,900%.
Several UX design case studies have attested to this fact. Websites like Netflix, Airbnb, QuickBooks, etc. are known for their smooth viewing and browsing experience, which attracts users and keeps them longer.
This can be possible for your website as well through the key UX design principles.
Understand Information Hierarchy
Understanding the information hierarchy helps designers create an effective product design. Hierarchy can denote both information architecture and visual hierarchy.
Image Credit: UXcollective
The information architecture is how the content is organized across the application or website. For instance, the primary navigation menu includes main categories and sections, which in turn houses secondary menus and more specific content topics, and so on.
The visual hierarchy denotes how designers make navigation easier within a web page. This can be done by highlighting important content sections, making headlines stand out, listing most visited topics, playing with fonts and colors, adding actions buttons and links, etc.
These two combine to create a smooth UX design that users can understand and navigate.
Have Context and Consistency
Every website/platform has a specific context. If you are designing an eCommerce website, you must keep its functions in mind. Alternatively, if your product is a blog, it would have different content, sections, and pages. Make sure this context is never lost.
Adding to this is the factor of consistency. Users expect products to be a certain way. While you can play around with the design a bit, it is always helpful to retain the fundamentals so that the users’ learning curve is smooth. Instead of experimenting with the entire site layout, stick to the basics for a recall value.
Focus on Usability
Usability determines how visitors would perceive the site and whether they would choose to stick around or bounce off. To increase the usability of your website:
- Add buttons at convenient and prominent places
- Keep the design simple and to-the-point
- Optimize loading speed
- Add shortcuts on all web pages, like Back and Home buttons
- Keep all essential information ready and visible
According to 88.5% of web designers, slow-loading websites are the main reason for a visitor to leave the site. Thus, improved usability means better UX design.
Conduct User Testing
The core of implementing a user-centric design is getting it tested by users during the development process. This leads to better engagement and valuable insights. Usability testing can be a continuous process to improve and troubleshoot any UX aspect.
User testing can be conducted through alpha and beta tests. Alpha testing is when the new product is tested in the early development stages by the internal staff. This is followed by beta tests, where a sample audience uses the product and can give feedback on its usability.
Accessibility refers to building products that can be used by people with disabilities. While designing a UI, you must consider users that have disabilities preventing them from perceiving content the way it is intended for most users. Building an accessible product increases the user base and builds a positive brand reputation.
- Add alternate input methods for visually challenged people.
- Build websites for computers and mobiles both.
- Add labels outside text entry fields for the benefit of screen readers.
- Use a high-contrast design between text and background colors.
Follow the above UX design principles to ensure a seamless product development that keeps users’ convenience as its priority. As you can see, all of the UX principles focus on the user, as it should be. With human beings at the center of your technology, your product will remain updated, efficient, and future-proof.
A great user experience in turn leads to higher business success, as your users determine traffic, revenue, and reviews. This is why, in addition to providing quality products or services, your goal should be to create a smooth and seamless browsing experience for your website visitors.