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The Role of User Experience in the Design Process

Offering web design in Australia, our team of highly skilled designers have a lot of strings to their bow. Our guys and girls need to have a variety of traits that benefit in every step of the design process: planning (people skills), site architecture and wireframes (detail-oriented), visual design (creativity) and testing (analytical mindset).

However, when looking at the process, the question you need to ask is, where does user experience come into it? User experience (or UX) is essentially about optimising the website for maximum usability (we’ve written about this before). There’s no benefit to having a gorgeous website if people hate to use it. At the end of the day, there needs to be inherent usefulness in the website for it to be truly user-friendly.

However, the concept of optimising for user experience is a difficult one. It’s not as simple as a single step in the process; rather, it impacts on each and every step. Let’s see how exactly…

Planning and User Experience

We’ve already outlined how critical planning is in the design process, but it takes on even more significance when looking at user experience. Simply put, you must use this time to fully grapple with the user and their behaviour (or at least, the client’s expectation of who the user is and how they act).

Planning and user experience not only relies on an understanding what the client wants out of their new design but also what their users are looking for as well. By considering both sides of the same coin, you’ll be able to set out with clear intentions for the new design

Site Architecture, Wireframes and User Experience

Let’s say that the new website is all about building engagement through emails. It’s all well and good to want to build engagement, but if users don’t typically contact the business via email (preferring telephone) then the build needs to be constructed in a different way.

It is perfectly acceptable to want to change the way users interact (building a brand new e-commerce website is one typical example), but you still need to understand current behaviour in order to build the best possible website for now and the future.

Site architecture and wireframing is all about putting ideas on paper to get a good estimation of how the website will ultimately look. Recognising how users behave is critical to creating the best possible design for the client.

Visual Design and User Experience

Again, understanding how users want to interact is critical to influencing your visual design. If users aren’t typically expecting bold colours, large abstract imagery and constantly active elements moving all over the page, you’d want to avoid that in your visual design.

But there is always a place for that cutting-edge design and identity. If you’re a digital agency, then great, bold and bright is best. But if you’re a small service-based business, keep it professional. That doesn’t mean it can’t be incredibly well-done, but bold, zippy design probably isn’t appropriate.

Testing and User Experience

Of course, it’s hard not to include user experience in testing. Typically, this is all about the way users interact with your new design. The important part is to ensure that you are able to test the website in a similar way to how the typical users would use the website.

By constantly keeping the user’s intention in the back of your mind, you’re able to fully test the website. This way, you have an ability to really know if the design has worked or not.

User Experience is One Side Of The Same Coin

Web design in Australia is all about understanding user experience along with client expectation. The most important part of all this is recognising that users are just as heavily invested in the process as the client is. There’s a sweet-spot of understanding how the user is likely to interact as well as what the new website is there to accomplish.

If this is about building a brand new website with no existing user base, then having designers with experience is critical, as they can make assumptions about the expected users’ expected behaviour.

Our team of highly skilled designers can help with anything from brand new websites to redesigns to simply landing page reviews, all the while ensuring a consideration to user experience. To find out more, visit our web design services page or contact us.