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The world of web design can be a confusing place.

It’s a lot of pressure to not only get people to stay on your site but keep them engaged, informed and interested so they purchase your product or service. 

You may have heard the terms UX, UI and User Journey thrown around but what do these actually mean and how do you achieve good UX and UI design on your site?

But what do we mean by UX and UI?

User Experience (UX)

Put simply, it’s the experience you want people to have on your site. UX is an understanding of how people will interact with your site, what they want to see, how they behave, how they navigate, accessibility and what they want to achieve. Good UX design will result in improved bounce rates and more conversions: people staying on your site for longer and more sales. 

User Interface (UI)

UI is essentially the look and feel of your site. People behave in a very similar way online and expect to see certain things or for things to look a certain way. For example, a button needs to look like a button does on every other site, if it doesn’t they might mistake it for something else and not navigate through your site in the way you want them to. However, you shouldn’t sacrifice your brand in favour of a boring look that resembles every other website. Good UI design is a happy balance between clear, simple content and easy navigation, and a bespoke and dynamic design. 

UX and UI are the keys to unlocking a good user journey on your site.

Ensuring that users on your site visit multiple pages, answer any questions they might have and ultimately purchase your product or service. It can be a challenge but here at Pillory Barn, we are experts in UX and UI design and will consult on your website to ensure it’s the best version of itself it can be! 

Should I stay or should I go? 

It takes seconds for someone to make a decision to stay on your site. You need to make a great first impression in the first nine seconds of someone being on your site in order to keep them engaged and interested. So, what do they want to see in those nine seconds? What is the top level information they need, a line about who you are and what you do. Ensuring that those things are ticked when people first navigate to your site is key. It could be within the content using clear headings explaining your service or product and a clear and uncluttered navigation or it could be in the user interface using impactful and relevant imagery, fast loading speed, dynamic animations and clear call to action buttons. Whatever it is, keep it clear, keep it simple and keep it FAST.

That’s what I’m here for

There are 4 types of people who might find your site:

  1. Those who know your company and want to make a purchase immediately.
  2. Those who know your company and have a query.
  3. Those who are researching you and your competitors to compare with the intention of purchasing.
  4. Those who know nothing about your company or what you do and stumble across it by accident.

Your site needs to function for each one of those audiences. To do this you need to establish who your people are and pick the key users you want to target. Who are they? What do they need? What information do they need to see in order to decide to purchase your product or service?

What makes you special?

They know what you do but why should they choose you? What sets you apart from your competitors? What benefits do you offer them? Why should they bother at all? These are all questions that might go through your users minds, and it is important that you answer them! Your USP, values, expertise and capabilities can have their own page on your site but in order to really draw attention to them they should be scattered in the content throughout.

It’s also vital that your site looks professional and up to date. Sites that look clunky and old-fashioned might give your users the wrong impression. It needs to reflect your brand and who you are – it’s your digital shop window. Think about the flow of your pages, they need to tell a story with key information at the top, more detail in the middle and the end goal at the bottom. You can add interest and dynamism with text, colour and animations, and relevant, inspiring imagery. Finally, keep it simple and clear: cluttered web pages lose people easily so make sure you make use of negative space and grid formats.

Call to action

You’ve got their attention, you’ve told them about yourself and you’ve convinced them that you’re the best around – what’s next? Does your site have clear CTA’s that meet all user’s requirements? Get in touch, Shop Now, Add to Basket, Register an account – what is their end goal? These call to actions need to be clearly displayed in your navigation but also scattered around your site in relevant places. A good tip is to always have a big call to action block at the bottom of every page to catch those who scrolled all the way down, read everything and have made a decision! 

What’s next?

Once you have answered these questions, build a clear and simple sitemap that those users will be able to navigate through quickly to find the information they want to find. Test this sitemap by creating User Journey flows, which creates question prompts your audience might have and checks that there is a clear page on the site where they will likely navigate to in order to answer this question. If you did all the above correctly you should have a well flowing user journey that follows through from start to finish, a user experience that ensures all their questions are answered and an interface that inspires them to purchase your product or service.

Feeling a bit lost? 

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