5 tips for a better design
Good design can’t be achieved at the end of a project. Delivering a delightful user experience is the result of iterating the design process: prototyping, testing, analyzing and refining a product. All these steps are intended to ultimately improve the interactivity and functionality of a design. Which can be achieved by putting the user at the heart of the design process.
Today, users have choice. If they open up your website and they don’t get it, they’re done and you have just lost a user.
I have been in the web industry for years and I would love to share with you 5 tips for a better user experience.
User interface is like a joke
User interface is like a joke if you have to explain it, it’s not that good.
User interface should be self explanatory even for the most complex projects. Defining the right UI patterns and implementing them across all your project will create consistency and will help the user determine the purpose of each section.
This is easier said than done. There is a learning curve for your users and it takes time to familiarize with your interface. Be patient and focus on what’s the best way to educate them.
Years ago, I used to open Photoshop and start working on the visual aspect of the design. Once I finished the first draft, I would have realized it was a big mistake that I didn’t take enough time to think about the layout and user interaction. Then I started to draw sketches and wireframes on paper (I know.. old school) I -sometimes- still do that because it’s fun 🙂 These are a few tools I like to use that make wireframing a piece of cake:
moqups Online wireframing
Usability comes first
It’s not easy to think UX first. Designers think about creating cutting edge and ultra-modern designs. But design is not only about aesthetics. I usually embrace a user-centered design approach in order to minimize risk and maximize return on investment.
Statistics provided by analytics tools or your database about how the user interacts with your product: search queries, buttons and links clicks, time spent on page or task etc. All of these can be helpful to uncover the unexpected and probably discover issues that are not explicit in user testing.
Design for humans
Defining your target audience is a critical key to a good design. Personas help to focus decisions surrounding site components by adding a layer of real-world consideration to the conversation. I suggest that you pick your main user category and start building your design for them. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What motivates the user to log onto my site?
- What can we do to make the process simple and understandable by the user?
- What need must we satisfy before his/her task is complete?
Iterate your design process
Your first design is probably drawing a big smile on your boss’ face. But design is all about users, right? A good design is when business needs meet user needs. Keep an eye on users’ feedback and analytics data and make tweaks according to that. Publish the new design, listen to your users and enhance your design. It’s a never ending cycle. Excellence is not an act but a continuous journey.
I hope you find these tips helpful and if you would like to add anything please write it in the comments section.