It’s no secret that we love Paul Boag and pattern ourselves after his UK company, Headscape. They are down-to-earth, passionate, and compassionate experts. Who (like AndiSites), believe in making the web world a better place and providing the best possible experience for clients.
In a recent article, Paul expands on the concept of “user experience,” known in lingo-land as “UX”. He notes that plenty of folks calling themselves “user experience designers” are actually “user interface designers.” They focus on how the website looks and works, but generally stopping there:
“The person who designs the rides at Disney is not a user experience designer. The experience at Disney extends from the rides all the way down to the person who cleans the toilets. The same is true for a web designer. Designing a website is only part of the user experience.” — Paul Boag
So What IS User Experience?
Great user experience (the way we think about it, anyway) absolutely has everything to do with your website design. Keeping clutter to a minimum; making calls-to-action like buttons and links prominent and easy-to-use; streamlining navigation, etc. But it also has to do with what happens after folks use your website. This includes customer support, brand consistency, person-centered policies, etc.
- If you’re using forms on your website, is everyone (you and the form user) properly notified that the information has been submitted? Is it easy to keep track of form submissions so that they can be acted on quickly?
- If users look at your printed materials after visiting your website, will they look similar enough so that folks know they’re from the same organization? Is your brand represented consistently throughout your entire online and offline presence? If you have “sites-within-sites,” are they all designed similarly so that users won’t feel jarred as they navigate through?
- Do descriptions of policies and procedures on your website match up to how people will use and experience them in the “real world”?
- Is the information provided on your website 100% accurate? Can potential clients trust what you have to say when you’re working together?
You’ve probably heard that “marketing is everything.” Same goes for user experience. Proper UX design will take your users’ time, skills, personalities, goals, preferences, and even age (hello, larger fonts and buttons) into consideration on your website, then extend that into their offline experience as well.
From the first time they visit your website and throughout your offline relationship, giving users a great experience will set you apart and have them coming back for more.