What is the main purpose of a website?
There are websites for everything, from hobbies and personal journals to discussions and stores—but at the end of the day, the main reason for most websites’ existence is to drum up business leads or generate money. It can be direct, like selling products through ecommerce, or indirect, like keeping attention long enough to make ad revenue, or making someone interested enough to fill in a lead form.
If that’s the goal, then what makes for a good user experience (UX)?
A good user experience design is one that prioritizes how users get from their starting point to the point of conversion and revenue generation. That means it needs to make that user journey easy. Frictionless. Obvious. And it has to work for the kinds of people who visit that site. The right-brained audience needs an emotional connection with the content, a pleasing aesthetic, clear visual cues to lead them where you want them to go. The left-brained audience needs clear, logical layouts, and data-driven resources that provide value, and make them want to stay and click.
If this is so clear, where do some web design agencies go wrong?
Many web designers are too focused on the “design” part of their title. They’re obsessed with the latest trends and pushing their portfolio from a visual perspective only. You show them some sites you like and want to model off of, and they get to work on mockups. These designers see so many websites with standard features in navigation and organization that they want to be more artful and subtle—so subtle that the majority of users have no idea how to use the site and bounce. This is what we call “backwards web design.”
Instead of starting with the visuals, a good web design agency should start with the strategy first, then content, and lastly web design services which conforms to the previous two steps. You have to consider the user’s needs, challenges, motivations and behaviors, not just make a snazzy design that might win awards. It’s a waste of time, energy, and money to go the other way, and you’ll be shopping for your next web design agency after a few months of watching traffic and revenue slope downward.
The 22 UX web design principles and best practices in this article will help you not only build a more effective website, but also delight, connect, and build a memorable experience that stands out from the pack.
User Experience Web Design Principles:
- Website Content
- User Journey & Navigation
- Layout & Web Design