The Reality of Trying to Apply Good UX Practices on a Web Design Gig
UX is all about understanding users and providing them with what they need
User experience is also about giving users something that’s useful, meaningful and valuable in order to entice them to interact with particular products or services and to keep them coming back for more. For most companies, this begins with their website and there are plenty of steps that companies need to take in order to improve their website and attract a wide audience.
It comes down to making their content unique, useful, credible and easily accessible, making their site aesthetically pleasing and easy to use, and making sure that all web design elements evoke emotion.
However, when you are working on an average web design gig there are some issues that may arise when trying to apply good UX practices. In this article we’ll take a look at what they are in order to know what to look out for, ensuring that all your projects turn out to be as effective as possible.
One of the biggest challenges that UX professionals face today is lack of management support. Lots of companies don’t actually realize how important UX is and how big of an impact it can have on their organizations. They don’t make it a priority, either because they think that UX is not actually effective or because they feel that they don’t have enough resources for proper user research.
This creates a big problem for UX teams as they cannot do their job effectively. This is why you need to make sure that the management team you are working with understands the importance of UX and that they provide you with full support, so that you can achieve the highest possible UX effectiveness.
Feature creep is an issue that has to do with constantly adding new features in a particular product, such as computer software, for instance. You feel the need for adding more and more stuff, but you don’t really stop and think about your user’s limitations and needs.
When it comes to UX and web design, less is always more. Simplifying and prioritizing is precisely what will create outstanding UX, because not only will the website you are working on be more visually appealing and easier to use, but it will also be faster and more functional.
You need to focus on both the users’ needs and their limitations, so that you can help them easily navigate through the website and quickly find what they are looking for.
Academic vs Practical
Your clients should understand the difference between theoretical discussions and putting their ideas to practice. Perhaps lots of ideas come to the table, but not all of them can actually solve their users’ needs and provide them with real value. Other ideas may be groundbreaking, but the timing might not be right.
This is why you need to always be completely honest and ensure that your clients fully understand the reality of things. If some ideas are not so fruitful or it is better for them to be postponed, make sure that you carefully explain this, as not only will it cause less damage, but it will also earn you more trust and credibility.
Research Material Issues
When it comes to conducting UX research, you need to make sure that you and your clients are not blinded by abstract ideas. Both you and the client must have a clear insight into the real issues, their solutions, and the overall value of the project.
That is why conducting proper user research is paramount, so make sure your research material is not defective or incomplete and always take into account user feedback. After all, the end users are your best source for improvement.
Design Feasibility Issues
With simple projects it’s easy to face up to the feasibility issues and create excellent user journeys. However, in order to make complex projects feasible, you should create wireframes for the most challenging problems first.
Not only will tackling the complex aspects of the UI first speed up your design process, but it will also enable you to effectively apply good UX practices later on and make your every project truly feasible.
Sometimes, you and your clients won’t exactly see eye to eye and they may completely ignore your ideas and advice. In such cases, it’s crucial that you try and see things from their perspective and meet them halfway.
Good communication is absolute key to accomplishing that but, in the end, remember that they are the ones who hired you and ultimately you are there to meet their needs and help them achieve their goals.
These are the most common issues that may arise when you are tackling an average web design project and they can seriously hurt the UX. Therefore, make sure you always handle them properly and you will make a website with outstanding user experience every single time.
Ines Pljakic — Inbound Marketing Specialist at FirstSiteGuide
Ines can help you with the process of coming up with creative ideas for your inbound strategy, as well as distributing it to your targeted audience! Learn more at FirstSiteGuide.