A Beginners Guide to Mastering UX
There’s nothing more annoying than visiting a website with broken links, no visible contact details, or messy text. Don’t be that guy (or gal)! You can create the most stunning website with the content of Shakespeare himself but without good user experience you’ve got nada. What’s referred to as UX (user experience) by the Pros is design that answers to your users needs when engaging with your online brand. This ranges from color to navigation and everything in between.
We’re breaking down the must-know info to guarantee satisfied customers that keep coming back.
Sketch the flow
Before you lay one finger on the keyboard make sure to sketch out what you want to include in your website. We recommend mapping your site navigation on sticky notes and color coordinating which elements will repeat on each page. You can then choose a template based on its features rather than get distracted by the beautiful images. Remember – it’s all customizable!
Double Check Readability
As you add your text, make sure it is not only well written but that it is legible. Checking in with a few friends (aka user testing) is always great since you’re likely so used to your own content that you could recite it by heart. We even have a built in feature for that! A few rules:
Use 12-14 size font and be careful not to use more than 13 words in a row
Keep fonts consistent
If the background is light, the text should be dark and vise versa
Make sure clickable things look clickable (ie: underlined)
Keep It Above the fold
You’ll hear pro designers talk about “the fold”. This refers to the place on your website where if site visitors want to continue viewing you must begin to scroll. While nowadays many people are more inclined to read on, or skim at least, you want the most important information to remain above the fold. What should always be above the fold:
Your site must make sense as one cohesive brand. The best way to do this is to choose a color palette and stick to it. This will set the tone and feel of your website for users and show a level of professionalism. You can think about the same consistency when writing headers, titles, and your menu. Ask yourself – Does it connect to my brand? Would a viewer immediately know what to do? These answers should be a resounding Y.E.S.
Don’t Trap Me!
Many websites unknowingly use elements that lead visitors to a dead end. That’s a UX no no. How to give an out:
Set links to “open in a new tab”
If you have any sort of sign up page or pop up – add a way out such as “Return to Homepage” or “Sign-up Later
Make It Mobile
As we learned recently from Mobilegeddon, the world has largely moved to searching on handheld devices. This is a friendly reminder to always check your mobile flow. Some great edits to make are moving contact info to the top and shortening your text.
Give Your Site Added Value
Your web presence is more than just your website. It includes your social channels, marketing emails and any additional applications. Don’t forget how important these elements are in customer satisfaction.