UX design – more than just graphic design
At Integrity, our design team takes a user-centered approach to each web application development project. It’s more than making something pretty – it’s creating something functional and aesthetically pleasing. But, what does that mean, exactly?
Defining the user experience
Graphic design is the piece of the puzzle that creates something beautiful. It’s the process of combining typography, photography, and illustration to communicate a specific message. User experience design, or UX design, builds on that concept to create an experience based on user needs. The goal of good user experience design is to improve the usability, accessibility, ease and enjoyment of interacting with the website or application. Our team accomplishes this by customizing each site for the client’s specific target market.
Customizing and defining the user experience starts long before the design phase. We begin each project with a discovery phase, a research-heavy exploration of:
- the client’s needs
- the needs of their users
- the goals of the project
By keeping those three things in mind as we design, we ensure each decision is made to enhance the user’s experience and meet the goals. This means our designs are focused not only on visuals and aesthetics, but also how information is presented and how users can interact with that information.
Why UX design is important
UX design is so important for many reasons. For starters, a good user experience supports:
- Increased productivity
- Increased sales
- Decreased training and support costs
- Reduced development time and costs
- Reduced maintenance costs
- Increased customer satisfaction
And that’s just the start. Eighty-six percent of users believe it’s worth paying extra for an exceptional customer experience according to the blog UX Passion. Yes, that means you can charge more for a better product and experience. Just ask Apple, Adobe and Dropbox.
While your user experience design should incorporate elements of your visual identity, it also needs to create a connection with your users. When designing a website or application, we use design elements to create simple user paths and identify key pieces of information. This is especially true of complex applications and e-commerce sites, since these cues help users navigate our websites and feel comfortable finding the information or products they need. Creating positive experiences leads to repeat visitors and repeat customers.
A good user experience often goes unnoticed, your users expect it. But a bad user experience leads to customer frustration and lost profits. Additional research by the blog UX Passions revealed 40% of users will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load, and 79% will search for another site to complete their task. If customers are leaving your site with a bad taste in their mouths, there’s a good chance they’ll go to your competitor next time.
Integrating UX design into your process
If you want your site to stand out among the competition, integrating UX design into your process is essential. At Integrity, we use a collaborative process for each project from start to finish to make sure we’re creating a complete and engaging experience for the target user. We spend time researching and understanding our users to create and tell a story that builds trust and an emotional connection.
Throughout the process, we avoid assumptions by continually collaborating, researching and testing our designs. Testing is a key method of ensuring our designs work for the target audience. These three questions help keep us on track:
- Does the experience work as it was intended?
- How does it compare to the competition?
- Are we telling the right story?
Taking a user-centered approach to your website design requires thoughtfulness, consideration and collaboration. Creating a simple experience isn’t easy, but it’s worth it, and your customers agree.
If you need a team to create an excellent user experience for your digital project, we’re ready to help. Contact us today.
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