Once upon a time website were only text-based pages that focused on giving users information. The internet was mainly used for information related to science, government bodies, etc. However, today thanks to the improvements that have taken place with respect to speed of the internet, technologies and telecommunications, the internet has become the go to place for any kind of information that people may need. People today use the internet for getting information, socializing and for online shopping as well. Because of this sudden growth of the web, the internet has a lot of choices for the user and there is a lot of competition between websites to do well. While the products and services provided by the users continue to be the most important thing that determines the site’s success, the experience that the user has on the site also plays an important role.
User experience design is also called UXD or UED. It refers to all the different aspects of a users experience on a website. Some of the aspects that come under user experience design are user interface, graphics that are used on the site, interactivity and interaction with the user.
User experience design not only concentrates on the aesthetic aspects of a site but also on other aspects that go into improving a user’s experience on the site.
Web design begins with the information architecture on the website. There are very few people who know the importance of information architecture for user experience web design. It is important to design the information architecture of a website based on how potential users will like to navigate through it and use its content. This is what user experience design helps to accomplish. It will keep the personal ideas and choices of stake holders aside and take a data-based approach in creating the site.
The next aspect of user experience design is the visual elements involved in designing the site. It is also referred to as visual design or user interface design. Some of the things that the visual elements include are site aesthetics, arrangement of different elements on a page, colors used on the site, typography, etc. When designing a site with user experience design, the creators will pay more attention to the preferences of the target user instead of the site owners personal choice of elements.
Interaction design is another important element of user experience design. It includes creating opportunities for visitors interact with the site. This does not necessarily mean a transaction or submission of an inquiry form. It could be submission of a newsletter, downloading a file, getting a membership, creating a profile, liking the sites social media page, sharing content that is there on the site, etc. One should be able to strike a balance between the different interaction elements that are being used on the site. It may not be wise to use all the types of interaction elements on the site. This can end up confusing the visitor. The different elements that may be used to help a user interact with the site should also be presented in such a way that they complement each other, try and anticipate what a user may do on a particular page and maximize the users engagement.
Though usability design may be similar to interaction design in some aspects, one should not confuse the two of them. Usability is not just interaction, it is more than interaction. Use of content on the page, navigation from one page to another, deciding the format of presenting the content on the page and determining how this content will co-exist with each other all comes under usability. The main function of usability design is a little different from interaction design. Interaction designs main aim is to maximize a user’s interaction with the site. On the other hand, usability design recognizes the fact that all users may not want to interact with the site. Usability design tries to maximize the use of the site for such visitors by encouraging them to use more of the content on the page in a creative manner.
User experience design is more than just creating a good-looking website for the user. The entire purpose of creating a website may be lost if your user does not have a good experience on the site. Also, with the kind of competition that is there today, you cannot ignore user experience. This can have a bad impact on the performance and popularity of your site. That is why, it is important to hire a professional web design company that has worked in creating user experience designs before and gives it as much importance as any other aspect of custom website design.