UX Design: Just Because It’s Pretty Doesn’t Mean It Works

Posted by Randy Smith on Nov 7, 2016 11:30:00 AM

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Can websites be both pretty and functional? Answer: yes!

Are they always? Answer: not even close.

Good website design is about so much more than choosing the right colors and stock photos. In fact, well-designed websites are more than the sum of their parts; they’re an experience, considered from start to finish by various professionals with differing expertise.

UX and UI: More Than Just Letters!

Ever heard of UI or UX? (Don’t worry, we’re not about to do a tutoring session on HTML coding.) UI is actually shorthand for “User Interface” while UX stands for “User Experience.” These website elements, though linked, are totally distinct.

User Experience (UX) is actually made up of everything your user goes through while using your website. That includes the content they read, the images they see, and even how long it takes your site to load or whether or not your header menu is self-explanatory. The User Interface (UI) you create for your website is part of your UX.

What Makes a Website Useful AND Nice to Look At?

Thoughtful design! Simply put, your website should be easy to use and intuitive. Visitors should know where to click to garner which information, and if everything’s done well, they won’t even notice the specific design choices you’ve made. If they’re not seamlessly immersed in the UX you created for them, they WILL notice little details like how outdated that font looks or how hard it was to find the Contact page. Bottom line: the more hurdles you put in a user’s way, the less likely they are to keep digging, to convert, or to take you up on your call to action.

So, which elements should be considered in this “thoughtful design?” Well, all of them.

  • The framework of the site itself (i.e. how the pages are organized), known as the Sitemap
  • The aesthetics, including but not limited to font, images, logo, button shape, music, background, and more
  • The navigability of the site which includes intuitive menus, functional drop-downs, and more
  • Optimization for various devices, especially mobile
  • Keyword-rich content that answers the visitors’ questions and incentivizes your call to action
  • The search-readiness of the site itself (important for search engines) which includes on-site SEO, title tags, keyword usage, and more

Designing for Experience and Interface

Good website design is a holistic process. UI and UX designer work in tandem with the marketing team, content professionals, and graphic creators to come up with a comprehensive strategy for making your website work. If any one element of the formula is out of whack, you could be ruining your user experience.

Ask yourself: is your website pretty? Then ask yourself: does it accomplish your goal whether that’s converting customers, spurring sales, or bringing in more phone calls? If not, your UX/UI might be the problem.

Synchronicity can help. We’re your local web design pros with years of experience creating beautiful, functional websites for clients in a variety of industries. Call us.

Topics: Insider, Web Design