Posts Tagged ‘UX’

Website Navigation Tips for Businesses – Seattle Web Development

Your website navigation is one of the most important aspects of your site, because it controls how people get from one place to another, and can make or break sales, creating leads, and even reading more on your site. While it can be tempting to simply cram everything into your menus so that people can find it, they often find nothing at all. If you’re working with a Seattle web developer, or planning to hire one, these following tips will help you with making the right decisions regarding your menus and other website navigation.

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Use a Recognizable Style

It may be tempting to use a unique menu or navigation system because it makes you stand out, but the important thing to remember is that people will have to learn it. When helping people through your site, especially to making a purchase, the last thing you want them to have to do is take a moment to learn. Studies and real world reactions show that people hate things they aren’t familiar with. Use existing menu systems and layouts that people already know, understand, and can use without a second thought.

Ditch Drop Down and Sub Menus

Drop down menus and sub menus may seem like a good idea because they allow you to clean up your home page, but they aren’t usually a good idea. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to see where they have to go, which means using a menu that they can see. Hamburger menus are popular, but not always a good idea because they make finding the menu difficult, especially on small screens.

Optimize Your Navigation Order

If your navigation order is completely randomized, then you are doing it wrong. You want to figure out which pages people are most likely to visit, and in what order, and organize based on priority. You don’t really want an irrelevant page on the top of the menu, because it completely throws the menu off and makes it that much harder to use. If you’re upgrading an existing website, you can usually go about upgrading your menu by prioritizing the pages that get the most traffic, or using the path that most people take through your website. If you’re building a new website, you can ask your Seattle web developers to create a natural path through the website for users to follow, and organize navigation accordingly.

Use Links Not Buttons

Links are better for menus than buttons because they’re smaller, simpler, less likely to malfunction, and are better for search optimization.

Keep it Simple

Simplicity is the key to a good menu. Don’t make it hard to find the right things, don’t add too many items, and certainly don’t have more than 10 items. Sub-menus may seem like a good idea but they are most often messy, difficult to use, and can fail completely on mobile devices.
Good navigation makes for a good user experience, which boosts your SEO, your website’s usability, and your conversion. Discuss it with your local Seattle web development team during site development, and make sure that it’s easy to use before you launch.

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How Important Is User Testing? Seattle Web Development

If you’re hiring a Seattle web development team to build your website, then you should be considering user testing. If you’re only planning on having a one or two page website for your marketing, then it isn’t as important, otherwise user testing can affect your website and it’s impact in a variety of ways. If you have a good web development team, they should actually ask you about it and include it in the fee, and the following reasons include why.

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UX – UX is the buzzword in development and design right now and for good reason. User experience is incredibly important, if the customer isn’t happy, you don’t make sales, or at least not as many sales. Getting user testing allows you to ensure that the website is fully functional, easy to use, and that it makes sense to the customer before you put it in front of actual customers.

Bug Check – Developers can check for bugs all day, but nothing is quite as good at finding issues like a fresh pair of eyes. This is the same reason that many game developers now host open betas. Not only do end users have an easier time finding bugs because they aren’t familiar with the website, they’re also using it like a customer would, which is something that you most likely won’t be able to do.

User Based Recommendations – You might think your website is perfect, your developer might think it is perfect, but without the end user thinking it is perfect, it isn’t. User testing ensures that the website makes sense, works, and looks good to people who will actually be working with it, so it is important if you want it to be user friendly. This applies to design, graphics, written content, and development decisions like menus. It also helps you with getting out of the box of your own creativity to see how it looks from someone else’s point of view.

Comprehension Check – Many website users might not have the same education, life views, or language level as the people creating your website. Having normal people use your website to test it out ensures that the website makes sense, on a design and development level, as well as a language and graphic level. Ensuring that they fully understand the website is very important because comprehension does affect your sales

User testing can be a hassle, especially if you have a large and complicated website, but the more you expect people to be on your website, the more important it is. If you have a store, you should have 4-6 or more people testing your website. If you have a very large store, you should aim for more. If it’s a smaller website, such as a restaurant page, you can usually get away with a smaller test group.

If you want to know more about how user testing works at local Seattle web development companies, contact Rory Martin for more information, or for a consultation.

Seattle Web Design Teams Now Focusing On UX for Marketing & Usability

While UI or user interface has always been the most important part of a website, UX is becoming increasingly important for websites and more Seattle web design teams are focusing on user experience. Today’s service culture demands not only service, but good service. And while the web has always been an amalgam of various talents and services, it is maturing rapidly, and consumers are quickly coming to expect that maturity in the websites and their services. If you don’t know what UX is or what it can do for your business, then you might be missing out.

What is UX

UX is quite simply user experience, and in terms of web development, it means a carefully thought out and designed experience. While UI is the interface with which consumers interact with your website, UX is the ideas and thoughts behind it that ensure that the consumer has a good experience. But it goes deeper than that. UX also creates an easy to use and even interesting experience with minimal clutter to increase attention, guiding users down the page to a call to action. The result is that UX is also a branding and marketing tool as well as a website tool.

In fact, many businesses are already beginning to integrate UX into their digital marketing, through the use of customer feedback, consumer prompts, and actually listening to their customers. One example of a company using UX is Delta Airlines, who offer customer service through both their website and their mobile site by proactively fixing issues. For example, when a customer’s flight is cancelled, the website automatically sends an email with a list of next available flights that the customer can choose from. The result is not only a happier customer but also a lower cost for Delta, because that customer doesn’t have to call through to customer service. This sort of proactive user experience is what can and should be the future.

Working UX into Your Design

If you already have a website then you might have UX, especially if you hired the right design team. Some teams are even good enough that they can create a UX without doing so intentionally, but this is rare. However, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to work UX into your design, or to have a new website designed around user experience. In fact, because UX is mostly just a well thought out web design, you may only need a few tweaks to increase usability and improve your information architecture for maximum efficiency.

UX really is becoming a huge buzzword right now, but it is an important one because it encompasses something that greatly affects your website and your consumer perceptions. A great UX ensures that your customers have the best experience on your website, and if not, that they have easy solutions. Want to learn more about UX? Talk to some of our specialized Seattle web developers today to find out what we can do for you and your user web experience.

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