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7 essentials for UX design

By Naomi Worden 2nd December 2019

User Experience (UX) testing determines how well your website performs in terms of usability, accessibility, and efficiency.

When re-designing or building a new website, it’s advisable to undergo UX testing to highlight who your users are and what they want from your website or mobile app, but most importantly to identify how easy you’re making it for users to achieve their goals. Once you have this information, you can implement these learnings to produce a website that converts. 

At SimpleClick we’ve been applying the best user experience principles in our work and always apply UX best practices and technologies, such as eye-tracking when building websites. Below are our top seven tips for UX design.

1. Make sure your website flows.

A website needs to take your users on a clear and engaging journey. Using technology such as eye-tracking can show you the areas on a webpage your users interact with and can highlight any stumbling blocks where users fail to find the information they require. With this in mind your website should: 

  • Have the most important and appealing items near the top to entice users to learn more and convert.
  • Ensure webpages are not too long and your users are being served relevant information beyond the fold.
  • Use common web patterns and interfaces that are familiar and easy-to-use to help users move effortlessly through the website. 
  • Load quickly. If a user needs to wait longer than several seconds for a web page to load they may leave. 
  • Make sure text loads before images so users can continue to read your information. If the load time takes a little longer than desired, ensure to communicate the layout when it’s loading to give the perception of a fast website. 

2. Ensure your website is easy to navigate.

If your website hierarchy is greater than 3-4 levels deep, it's time to redesign. Ensure that there is always an obvious way to access the navigation menu, it is consistent throughout and your navigation labels are specific; you shouldn’t need to use more than two to three words. 

You may also want to consider sticky menus, especially on longer webpages or when quick access is needed. 

3. Use website colours that can be seen by all.

When designing a website you should design for any and every user. If users are colour blind we’d advise that your design is converted to grayscale to ensure your content is accessible to all. 

You should also consider using different colours and size contrast on your website to differentiate primary information from supporting details.

4. Increase your content’s readability.

The most important thing about the term ‘readability’ is that it isn’t necessarily about how well users can read something (by removing jargon etc.), but if they want to read it. For instance you should focus on:

  • Using a variety of meaningful visuals to make scanning easier. It’s also important that the purpose of each webpage is obvious.
  • Spacing between lists, lines and paragraphs.
  • Font weights and styles. Always make sure the fonts you use are legible – they shouldn’t be too small or italicised. 
  • Headlines are responsive and are not heavily capitalised.
  • Concise help and instructions that are visually different from other interface elements.

5. Design for mobile.

It goes without saying that it’s vital to have a responsive website or mobile app. Users are constantly on the go and require access to information, products and services anywhere, any time and on any device. When designing a responsive website or app, there are key elements that need special attention:

  • Spacing and sizing. If interface elements (e.g. boxes) are too close together or too small, the user won’t be able to tap on them - a touch target should be 1cm x 1cm with proper padding.
  • When holding a tablet, the sides and bottom of the screen should be easily reached with the thumb. It’s also important to determine whether users will use devices with one hand or two when designing mobile layouts. 
  • Mobile users often prefer the option to collapse or expand lengthy content.
  • Make sure mobile users can interact with your content using a single tap.
  • Navigation on mobiles should show the most frequently used items and hide the others.

6. Use clear and easy-to-use forms.

Businesses often ask users to fill in a form for data collection purposes, such as contact details or feedback. If this is something you’d like to do, make sure the form is clear and easy-to-use. It’s also important that all forms which collect personal data adhere to GDPR. Below is a small list of design elements that you should bear in mind when building web forms:

  • Align form labels and fields in a single vertical line and ensure field labels are outside the text field.
  • Long web forms should be split into sections.
  • Show form errors immediately and highlight them next to the fields where an error has occurred.
  • Error messages should be helpful, usable, concise and easy to understand. 

7. Make sure people can easily search.

A search field is one of the most important features of a website as it allows users to find the content they want quickly. It should always be easy to locate on a page, always look like a text box and should be wide enough to see the entire search query.

If you’re interested in providing your website users with an unforgettable user journey, or would like to see what eye-tracking can do for you, please get in touch. From UX testing to design, we can provide you with the assistance you need to meet your business goals.  Call us on 0844 736 2747 or email us.