7 Steps To Create A User Experience Design That Facilitates Business Growth
6 November , 2014 , By
After investing heavily on your website, you are hoping your website will gain traction and your business will grow. If your website doesn’t have a positive user experience design, you may be losing customers and business despite burning a hole in your pocket. User experience design of a website is the quality of experience, a user gets when interacting with the website. A positive user experience design results when the goals of the user and the organization that owns the website are met. In a nutshell user experience design deals with designing the website or web application’s interface, content, action items, task etc in such a way that the user gets a good quality experience while interacting with the web application.
The importance of user experience design can be very well understood in the words of Jef Raskin, “As far as customer is concerned, the interface is the product”. Jef Raskin was a human-computer interface expert who played a crucial role in starting Macintosh project for Apple.
Business goals + User goals + User Interface + Technology = User Experience Design
Based on user experience research the following steps should be taken while creating your website’s user experience design
1. Preparing A Strategy
Before creating a user experience design you must clearly define the purpose of the website or web application. It should be explicitly defined what the users would want from the website and what the business wants from it. E.g. A user wants to buy a book from an online book store and the business wants to sell books to the users. The best practice is to create a fictional user with the characteristics of an ideal user of the web application in mind. This way you can keep all the features and action items keeping in mind the user with his preferences and requirements on priority. Then you should clearly create a profile of the nature of your business. You should keep all the dynamic attributes of your business in mind.
2. Defining The Scope
The details about user’s profile and their requirements must be collected with precision. Develop the tasks that the user would be able to accomplish on the site which will help the user to reach their goals. E.g. A user can search a product, read the reviews of the product, save the product to wish list, get shipping estimate and purchase using card. The better you define the profile and requirements of your ideal user, the better you will be able to serve them. The idea behind defining the scope is not only facilitating user requirements but also giving a unique experience to the user.
3. Building The Structure
Develop the structure of the website keeping in mind your business logic. The user experience designer should design the flow of actions and interactions through the site. The design must be intuitive which means the user should naturally find what they are looking for without much effort. The structure includes mind map and user flow map. Mind map is a diagram which is used to visually organize information of your website where as user flow diagram provides the navigation path which the user will have to follow. A site with better navigation strategy will gain more traction over a website with complex navigation. The structure of the website should simplify things for the user without affecting the functionality of the website.
4. Constructing The Skeleton
Wireframes for the pages and information that needs to be displayed should be prepared. The wire frames need to be developed depicting the item placement and elements of the page. This step is important for having a positive user experience design. The users should be able to reach the information they wants in shortest possible time. All related items should be kept together. All unnecessary items should be dumped from the wire-frame itself.
5. Launching The User Interface
At the end a visual interface need to be prepared which acts as a layer that ties all components together. The content, colors, type face and imagery buttons should be depicted. The brand and personality that you wish to create through your website should be depicted in the user interface. The user interface should be visually appealing without overshadowing the purpose of the site. The users with different demographics perceive the user interface differently. So the user interface should be developed keeping the demographics of the users in mind.
6. Evaluating User Adoption
To evaluate the quality of experience of your web app, you must show your website to a focus group. The focus group will consist of users similar to your potential users. Ask for their feedback as well as check whether the focus group users are taking the action you want them to take. E.g. If there is a download button which leads to conversion, are the users of focus group using that button? If your web application is not doing well at this step, you need to evaluate the above steps to identify the problem. User adoption will give a preview of the success or failure of your web application. There are various services which are available for user interface testing and evaluation.There are various parameters which are checked for usability of the website.
7. Refining Based On Evaluation
After receiving the feedback from the focus group and evaluating the action items, make the suitable changes and fine tune your user experience design. The more the web application is sensitive towards its users, the more users it will draw. A web application must be developed keeping in mind the users it wish to draw towards itself. A good design is simple yet powerful and visually appealing yet professional.