Nobody wants a website that doesn’t look great. Even if you don’t want to spend a lot of time and money with a designer you should at least have some sketches and ideas of what you are trying to achieve. Visual Design is about improving the users experience with the use of effects, illustrations, imagery, typography, space, layouts and colours. The aesthetic appearance of your website.
The design of interface elements in a way which facilitates the user’s movement through the information. You don’t want a users experience of your website to be frustrating so make sure they can get the information they need as easily as possible. Designing your navigation early on helps you map out the content and assets you will need for your new website.
The design of the presentation of information to facilitate understanding. I.e. making sure that paragraphs are nicely formatted, that your content has clear sections and headers. Don’t just put images in for the sake of it, make them informative or emotive.
Choosing the best structure for your content and assets to make something understandable or easy to achieve is probably one of the hardest aspects of UX. You want everything to be there for the user but you have different types of users wanting to achieve different things. Don’t make the mistake of trying to stuff everything in ‘above the fold’ or in the header… but don’t make a user scroll forever to find it either!
It is likely that you will have some content already or be writing new content for your website pages, it is good to have a strategy in place to know what content is required and for what pages. One of our favourite tools is Answer the Public which allows you to enter keywords and then see the types of searches people are actually making on the web. You can then cater your content to be as informative as possible to the user. A good content strategy will help your SEO too.
What are your users trying to achieve on your website? Is your UX allowing them to achieve their needs? If the user needs to get in touch with you, give them the best way of doing so. If they want to buy a product, make the process as frictionless as possible. It is difficult to understand the users needs sometimes so you may have to do more research, questionnaires, surveys, heat maps, screen recordings, focus groups and UX testing are useful for this and can help you not only understand a users needs but gain valuable insight into how users interact with your website and how you can improve it.
Site objectives are slightly different to users needs, these objectives are more about getting users to convert or complete an action, whether that be to make a purchase or an enquiry. Making your UX as good as possible is one thing but you still want to ensure you are getting those conversions. UX testing can help you understand how to get more users to achieve your goals for your website.