We were all meeting up for dinner. As we went in, my friend pushed on the door – but it was a pull, not a push. He got pretty embarrassed about it. And, as far as I know, he’s never gone back to that restaurant.
But here’s the thing – I have been back. And, yep, I’ve tried to push my way through that darn pull door. I’ve seen others do it too.
Fact is, it’s just a badly designed door.
Or, in other words, it’s a door with bad UX.
What is UX?
Boiled down, UX (or user experience) is all about making things easy and enjoyable to use.
A good UX designer thinks carefully about how something works, how it looks, how it feels to use – and plans everything down to the last detail to craft the best possible interaction between the user and the product.
Whether it’s a website, an app, or a piece of software, a positive user experience can make all the difference in whether people decide to use it again.
And this is why UX has grown so popular – more businesses are realizing that people are looking for more than just information, or to take care of online errands.
We want to be engaged by what we’re doing.
More and more companies are realizing that the experience of a website is at least as important as the content. People can be drawn in by powerful UX, and come back again and again – like a bar with a good door, UX makes it easier to return again and again, and spend some money.
Creating a captivating and immersive experience is all about applying some key principles in UX design.
The Power of Empathy
Empathy is a powerful tool in UX design.
The designer’s ability to understand their users’ needs and desires is key to creating a product that is fast, efficient, and fun to use.
Empathic design puts people’s needs at the heart of the creative process. This means designers take the time to understand not only what their visitors do, but also how they feel about the product. What they need from it.
In other words, practicing empathic design means putting yourself in your customer’s shoes.
The Beauty of Simplicity
The simpler the website’s design, the easier it is for people to interact with it.
By reducing all the visual clutter and emphasizing what’s important, designers are able to craft a website that’s so intuitive, people won’t even realize they’re navigating a website – it’ll just feels natural.
This is also known as usability.
One of the biggest benefits of UX design is the creation of products and services that people can use easily and intuitively, regardless of age or ability. And, as technology continues to evolve (and become more complex), usability will become even more important in making it accessible to everyone.
The Balance of Hierarchies
While simplicity cuts down on all the unnecessary details, it brings up a fair question.
What do you actually include?
UX design breaks its most important elements into two groups: Visual Hierarchy and Information Hierarchy.
Visual Hierarchy refers to the careful placement of design elements (pictures, text, layout, etc.) in a way that captures the viewer’s attention and guides them through the website in a smooth, easy way.
This involves drawing attention to certain elements to highlight their importance.
- The bigger picture is more important than the smaller one.
- The brighter words are more important than the dimmer ones.
- A lot of white space surrounding an object makes the object feel more important.
Information Hierarchy, meanwhile, is concerned with the way in which content is presented within a design, and the order in which it is presented.
This could include placing the most important material prominently at the top of a page, using headings and subheadings to break up content, or grouping related information together.
When they’re used together, the Visual and Information Hierarchies can guide you through a lot of info in an easy, and exciting, way.
At the Cutting Edge of Design
UX has already transformed the way we interact with websites. And as we move into the future, it’s going to change even more. Especially as we continue to demand better experiences.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your online experience, Smart Link Solutions is here.
Visit Smart Link Solutions to learn more about how we can help your business thrive in the digital age.