User Experience, or UX as it is commonly known amongst web designers, is fast becoming a sought after element in web design.
It is not surprising really, now that technology is catching up with web design it is time to put the user first, however many web designers are forgetting to put the user back into UX.
Websites are designed and built for a purpose, that purpose may change but most websites are built for an end user. The end user may be reading articles, they may be buying a product or enquiring after a service or for content.
Web Design by Geeks
Big data is big for 2014, and with this geeks such as myself are in our element, however having so much data at our fingertips means we forget to look at the user and the psychology of the end user.
We look at data, how colours and content influence decisions, we monitor above the fold banners and make decisions for best practice usability from cold hard data.
Of course this is great, we are no longer making assumptions and using data rakes our own emotions and prejudices out of decisions. However the people we are targeting are emotional so by only using data and best practices we are not putting the user into the user experience (UX). Perhaps it’s time we got emotional again?
Emotional Web Design
When designing a website we need to look at the end user from a psychological perspective, we need to analyse the emotions the target audience are experiencing at each stage of the conversion process, from gaining information, to making a purchase.
In a social world more and more people are happy to express their feelings online, we can see how our target market responds to things and we can design a website to make the process of using the site easier. Of course if you try to manipulate a user too much they become savvy very quickly so you need to find the balance between ease of use and understanding the user and stay away from any techniques that can make your overall presence seem untrustworthy.
Emotions can be expressed through colours and reviews, using trust imagery and content can help users feel secure.
Putting the User back into UX
UX is about user experience so to make sure you are getting it right, you need to ask the user.
This can be done using a combination of;
- Data testing and analytics
- Surveys sent to members of target audience
- Split testing
- Focus groups
Unless you are the target audience (and if you are just your opininon is not enough anyway) you need to get real insight into the end user. And the best way to find out what a user wants is to ask them.