The best website is one that users perceive to be usable and gives value.  When designing a website, your number one consideration should be your users and not your preferences.  Think about what runs through their minds as they interact with your products because that will greatly influence their decisions in relation to your brand.

What is User Experience (UX)?

User experience (UX) focuses on having a deep understanding of users in terms of:

  • What they need
  • What they value
  • Their abilities
  • Their limitations

It also considers the business goals and objectives of the group managing the project.  The best practices of creating a user experience website promote improving the quality of the way users interact with your product or brand, including their perceptions.

The Core of a User Experience Website Design

The main focus of creating a user experience website design is ensuring that your users find value in what you are providing to them on your website.  Peter Morville introduced how you can create a meaningful and valuable user experience for your audience.  He said that the information you place on your website should be:

  • Useful – The content of your website should be original and it should fulfill a need or the needs of your users
  • Usable – Your website must be easy to use and navigate through
  • Desirable – Include elements that evoke emotion and appreciation like your image, identity, brand, and other design elements
  • Findable – The content in your site should be easy to locate onsite and offsite
  • Accessible – The content should be accessible to people with disabilities
  • Credible – The content should allow your users to trust and believe what you tell them so they will also develop trust in your brand

Basic Steps Involved in Creating the Best User Experience Website Design

When the term “user experience” was coined by Dr. Donald Norman, he described the importance of user-centered design with the notion that website design decisions should be based on the needs and wants of users.  

This coincides with how you can be successful in creating a user experience design by incorporating the principles of human-computer interaction (HCI) and the following disciplines:

  • Project Management

Project management focuses on planning and organizing a web design project and its resources including:

  • Identifying and managing the lifecycle to be used
  • Applying the lifecycle to the user-centered design process
  • Formulating the project team
  • Efficiently guiding the team through all phases until the project is done
  • User Research

Seek to understand the behaviors, needs, and motivations of your users through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies

  • Evaluate Usability

Learn how well users can learn and use your product to achieve their goals and how satisfied they are in the process.

  • Information Architecture

Organize the information you place on your website so that it is well-structured and well-presented to your users.

  • Create an Effective User Interface Design

Make sure that your website interface has elements that are easy to access, understand, and use to facilitate what users might need to do when they get to your website.

  • Use Attractive Visual Design

Your interface should be aesthetically pleasing and in line with your brand goals.  It should reflect what your brand is willing to offer and how it will meet the needs of your users at a glance.

  • Apply Content Strategies

Write and curate useful content by planning carefully the creation, delivery, and governance of all content you will be including on your website.

  • Improve on Accessibility

Provide access for disabled individuals to your site.  Determine how they can benefit from your site, system, or application.

  • Optimize Website Performance

The best user experience website design should also include how you develop and maintain your website so that it will consistently perform at its optimum.  Here are specific points on your website that you should optimize for the best user experience:

  • Website speed or load times – optimized by optimizing your images, minifying scripts and stylesheets, using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and cache website resources and getting rid of unnecessary assets or features that slow down the speed and frustrates the browsing experience of your users.
  • Responsive and mobile-friendly design – make sure that your design looks equally great on all the screen sizes so that you can maintain your responsiveness.

Improving Your Website’s User Experience

Don’t stop if you feel your user experience website performs well.  You will never know until you get the facts by performing web analytics to collect, report, and analyze website data.  You will then learn the behavior of your users when they get to your site and determine how you can further improve to fulfill their needs and expectations.