Uroš Petrović, a TNations UX designer, talks about the industry, best practices, mistakes, and trends in user experience design for a website.
In everyday life, we depend on goods, services, and facilities available to us. It is all thanks to the evolution of technology. All these innovations we have at our disposal are sometimes not to our liking. We decide on products and services based on our engagement with brands. User experience (UX) design is this emotional experience we as humans receive through websites and apps. It revolves around feelings while interacting with the website and finding value in what we see.
Even Google and Bing, as the most significant search engines, acknowledge the importance of user experience design. They use hundreds of different factors with varying levels to rank websites. One of them is user experience, and they serve and rank high-quality search results for their users. UX design is all about problem-solving and supporting a user-centred website.
Each website is like a digital storefront of a particular company. Without the UX factor, it is just a window in crowded Internet space. UX design creates a different story, and it matters! Each company has something to say, anything unique only to them. It may be a distinctive way of making things or an inspiring moment of starting a business.
UX helps connect the words and meaning behind the brand into easy-to-understand visual concepts. It guides the visitor while narrating the story each time they open the website Landing page. A website that tells the tale engages visitors with the company. A pleasant experience with the brand will ensure a returning customer.
UX Designer Tells a Story About Best Practices in User Experience Design
TNation provides software development and web development services. Uroš Petrović is our long-term UX designer, transforming clients’ ideas into the final product. As one of the leading team members, he tells his view on best practices in user experience design.
What is your primary focus in user experience website design?
“I think a well-organized “flow” throughout the website is essential. User navigation through the site must go smoothly and in the manner we anticipate. Each website should have a story and be able to guide the user through it.
For example, it is imperative to initially introduce the user to the topic in a couple of significant sentences. At first, we serve the user with small parts of the story on every scroll. Each of them should have a Call to Action (CTA) Button to display the rest of the text if a visitor is interested in reading more. It is commonly known as predicting the steps and directions of the user.
Next, the navigation menu should contain only the basic structure of the characters. That is to say, links to service or business information. Still, it should by no means be the only form of navigating the user through the site.
Finally, the best practice is to arrange the information meaningfully. For example, we organise titles according to their hierarchy. In this way, we maintain excellent user experience design, and we let Google know about it. Search engines support this as a best practice and help websites rank better against the competition.”
Avoid These UX Mistakes – Overstuffing, Personal Taste, and Neglected Content
Businesses revolve around website visits and conversions. Having a low conversion on the site indicates usability mistakes. Visitors wander around to find what they are looking for, which means there is confusion in website design. Analysing the website can help understand the user behaviour on the site’s pages. Heatmaps, scrolling length, cursor movement, bounce rate and session duration can give an insight into users’ journey.
What are the most common UX design mistakes people make on a website?
“One of the most significant omissions we encounter in practice is when website owners want almost all information on the first scroll. That includes links and large amounts of text. Displaying large volumes of data at first introduction with the user has a counter effect. A user gets overwhelmed with sliders and elements that are not sorted and arranged in any specific order. In other words, it quickly loses focus and leaves the website.
There is also a trend of large sliders at the beginning of the site. They are pretty popular, but they have several slides, which is often wrong. Once users access the site, they will generally not leave the mouse and keyboard and wait for all five slides to rotate. A user often neglects the information on the third or fourth slide.”
Every website has an audience, and the ability to reach them empathically is difficult while preparing content. But the most challenging stages of constructing a website is not content itself but organisation. Maybe the FAQ section is straightforward but placing it in the correct position is another story. Uroš has years of experience not only in UX but also UI. His business analyst background gives him an optimal perspective of what a website truly needs regardless of the website owner’s personal taste.
What is the challenging stage of designing a website?
“Align market trends and needs with the client’s vision, educate them, and explain why some things are not or are suitable for their site or business. Once the balance is found and defined, everything else for us designers is a child’s play.”
What advice would you give on a user-friendly website?
“First and foremost, often website owners do not understand that they should exclude themselves from the end-user position. Observing the site from a personal perspective is one of the most common mistakes. It is much better when the client defines the target group and the user person. The website designer can create the user story accordingly.
It is certainly advisable to do research and analysis with real users. Personal taste and assumptions often guide website owners. An approach like that leads to challenges that need correcting on the website. It is more challenging to develop a solution to unravel complicated things than to design a good website from the very beginning. We at the company strive to inform clients and introduce them to all potential problems and benefits.”
How Web Development Outsourcing Company Approaches Design for Client
TNation has been in the outsourcing business for almost a decade. We had clients from Denmark, England, Switzerland, Germany, Canada and the United States of America. Respecting the input and wishes of the client is a prerogative in our company. That said, we often provide them with additional solutions that will have benefits for their business. In the end, the communication ensures that we as a company deliver a final product that will fulfil the client’s requirements.
How does TNation meet the client’s needs and requirements?
“At TNation, we generally suggest that the client’s team and ours organise workshops. These meetings enable us to brainstorm and document the client’s expectations and wishes. After that, we send screenshots and a prototype of the website. If the client has suggestions, we work on changes and harmonisation of design and specification.
Such a process allows us to reduce the time required to build a final version of the website. Still, we go step by step and motivate the client to participate actively with us. After all, we are on the same side.”
How long does the design process last using the provided elements?
“At first, it seems to last longer, but putting it right at the beginning always pays off. In doing so, all future phases and changes will be minimal. In addition to Prototyping, I would like to mention the Wireframe stage or rough sketches for defining the position of elements and content on the pages. More than 70% of the work is complete when wireframes are well defined.
The time it takes to create a website significantly depends on its complexity. But for an average presentation website, two weeks are enough for the design. Of course, after that, there is the phase of development and testing.”
UX Design Trends and Technology Evolution
Trends in UX design are pretty much changing as in any other industry. As of the start of 2021, there are 1.83 billion worldwide websites on the Internet. Many are actively working, and new ones appear each day—this massive competition for users attention influences the website design.
Users visit hundreds of websites daily, and businesses need to show more creativity than in previous years to draw attention. This year, design trends revolve around pastel colours, minimalism, simple UX design, and engaging 3D visuals. While entrepreneurs focus on visual appeal, designers like Uroš are following technology progress in the background.
Which technologies are trending now in website design?
“Prototyping web development tools are pretty popular today. An interactive aspect allows designers to make quite realistic simulations of the final product (mock-up of websites and mobile applications). It means they can do it without the developer. It is quite a good practice and, in many cases, enables the client to anticipate and think about possible changes before development starts. We all know that changes during development are sometimes very stressful and can cause additional problems and extend development deadlines.”
As more immersive technology steps into the scene, it seems as if it became mainstream. There is an ever lingering prospect of new design processes in AR. And the significance of behavioural design can provide designers and market researchers with a fresh perspective on designing websites for people.
There is much to happen in the future while technology finds its place within each industry. Each innovation and immersive experience helps the designer create a straightforward solution for the user. It keeps the story alive for the future users yet to come. TNation firmly believes that a good UX design can help users understand the story and reach their goal.