4 UX Design Principles to Guide Your Next Website Project
UX design basics to get your next project started on the right foot
User experience is all around you. It is something that, when done right, you are not even aware of. When it is not done right, it has the potential to become a pain point for both you and your users. When the importance of UX was first being realized in the early years of web design, it was viewed as a novel concept but as time passed it has become an essential part of every designers' strategy that can give a leg up over your competitors.
Over the last 20 years of operation, our team at Bluehouse Group has seen the good, bad, and ugly of user design principles. This experience has allowed us to compile a list of the most common UX design basics to share with you. Before the kick-off of your next website project take these four basics into consideration:
Your users are people
When taking a look at how users are interacting with your site, you must first take a step back and remember that these are not only users but real-life people. Stop and think about WHO are the users you are speaking to and identify WHAT problems they have that need to be solved. This can be done by establishing specific personas around the types of people that engage with your site. These personas will be what guides all of your UX decisions moving forward.
If you are looking for a place to start, HubSpot has a free buyer persona template that will set you off in the right direction.
Find the right problem
If you are able to observe how people are navigating around your site, you will be able to uncover UX problems that weren't obvious from your vantage point. A tool that we use is HotJar, it does a great job of helping you quantitatively and qualitatively view how users are interacting with your site with heatmaps and recordings. Then you can decide where an update is going to make the largest impact for your users. Your solution should be something that will significantly reduce user's pain points and allow the exploration of your site unencumbered.
Do your homework
It is ok to not know what the best solution is right off the bat. It's almost a guarantee that you are not the first to have any specific challenge. Starting off a design project with research is the best way to find solutions that you may never have thought of before. This is an important step that allows you to see your options and decide which one will work best for you.
Websites are like a garden, they require constant tending to. Did your implemented solution have the intended consequences that you were expecting? Are your users providing feedback directly or indirectly (drop-in key metrics or HotJar indicators)? This is the time to observe and respond to feedback in a nimble manner. Respect it and learn from it.
No matter how great at UX design you become user preferences will always be changing. Keep making updates, documenting interactions, and start the process over again.