User experience is all about making your website both aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly for visitors. It’s about more than just a great design – it’s about functionality and how easily the user can navigate the site to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Psychology plays a big part in a user’s experience with an application. By understanding how our designs are perceived, we can make adjustments so that the apps we create are more effective in achieving the goals of the user.
To help you understand the perception of the user, I will introduce some design principles which I think are the most important, and also provide common examples of these principles in practice.
Card Sorting is a method used to help design or evaluate the Information Architecture (IA) of a system. In a card sorting session, participants organize topics into categories that make sense to them and they may also help you label these groups. To conduct a card sort, you can use actual cards, pieces of paper, or one of several online card-sorting software tools.
Brainstorming is one of the oldest known methods for generating group creativity. A group of people come together and focus on a problem or proposal. There are two phases of the activity. The first phase generates ideas, the second phase evaluates them.
Remote usability testing allows you to conduct user research with participants in their natural environment by employing screen-sharing software or online remote usability vendor services. You will be amazed how powerful a quick test with remote users is at discovering where your design needs to go.
In order to improve the user experience, you have to start by observing customers interacting with your product.
The first step to improving your own UX (and reaping the business benefits) is to conduct a usability assessment of your product, software or website. This process uncovers the most common problems. Often, usage analytics indicate UX issues with your product. Usability testing explains these issues.
A focus group is a moderated discussion that typically involves 5 to 10 participants. Through a focus group, you can learn about users’ attitudes, beliefs, desires, and reactions to concepts. Interviews accomplish the same without bias from other users.
At Situated Research, we help our clients to conduct competitive website assessments so our clients can stay ahead of their industry. A Competitive Website Assessment makes it easy to spy on your competition. You’ll be able to see things like how many indexed pages, inbound links, and social media followers they have, and how your traffic rank compares to theirs.
By combining eye tracking with other usability studies, you can determine where your users look, for how long, and why. This can help you design interfaces that are effective at directing user attention to important things in the user interface.
Last week we published an article on the first five tips on improving your website’s user experience. Today we want to continue with that same theme and provide the final five tips.
This list is a starting point to providing the user experience that you want to give your customers online. Remember, if users come to your website and have trouble finding information or ordering a product, they will often leave your website and you will lose their business.