The cornerstone of success for any website design is how satisfying the user experience is. It requires a thorough understanding of the target audience, knowing how to optimize the site to meet the way they interact with it, designing the site to reflect both your personal taste and your audience’s sensibilities, and ensuring that everything is fully operational before telling the digital universe about it.
A good website design is more than just pretty pictures and great color combinations. The real measure of a website design’s success is how great the experience is for the user. This is the intersection between aesthetics and functionality, and in this article, we’ll explore four important website design tips that will help you bring your website at that critical juncture.
1st Element: A Deep Understanding of all Your Users
It only makes sense to know whom you are designing for in order to make that design work for them. Therefore, it is important to do some research about your target audience to know not just what they want in websites, but essentially who they are as a people. Identify your target demographic and zero in on the particulars of their kind: what they do, where they go, what they buy, what they are interested in, and how factors surrounding these (and more) affect them. Some other important things to consider would be how old most of your users are, which gender they identify, their location (for cultural factors may also come into play), the kind of OS (operating system) they use, and their household income (to know how much purchasing power they have).
2nd Element: Mapping Out User Flow
Now that you know a lot of details about your target audience, the next thing you should look into is the actions they take when they visit websites – or your current website. User flow mapping is pretty much like a heat map, but this time applied to a website. The “hot” areas the ones they spend more time on. This can be which side (left or right) of the page they are drawn to, what particular elements easily capture and hold their attention, etc. The way to measure it is to find out what elements a user will click on first as he visits a site. The “flow” or actions of a user are then recorded as he navigates around the site. Once you understand the design tips and particulars of how users interact with some websites, then you can rearrange yours accordingly in order to meet these patterns in an optimal manner.
3rd Element: A Rockin’ Design
When you’ve satisfied and fully applied the first two elements, you can get ready to enjoy the fun that comes with adding your personal creative touch to the design. Make your design speak volumes about yourself or your brand, while at the same time resonating with your target audience. While the aesthetic appeal should make sense for your followers, you also have leeway in handpicking elements such as the color motif, layout, etc.
4th Element: A Thorough Testing Stage
Hold on a minute before you go live, because you need to make sure that everything looks great and works smoothly for anyone who pays a visit. For your confidence in this area to be one hundred percent, thorough testing on your part should be done. Recruit a handful of seasoned beta testers (as well as your own friends and family) to try the site out. Think of it as being on “soft opening” – you testing out the waters and your friends and followers pitch in by offering some much-needed feedback as well as suggestions on how it can be better for them. Many followers are very eager to help out and have real and lasting suggestions to make; it would also make them feel valued because you consider their opinion, which makes them respond to you more positively. Once you make the necessary adjustments, you can then finally go live and be officially online!
These four important website design elements will surely make your website optimized for the best user experience around!