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What Is UX And How Does It Play Into Web Development?

by Spandas Lui | May 31, 2019

Looking at UX web design

UX is a term that has been thrown around a lot in recent years but many people would have trouble describing what it is.

UX stands for User eXperience and generally refers to everything that affects a user's experience with a product; it's the difference between a customer purchasing your product and abandoning their cart during a transaction.

UX plays an important role in web design because so many modern businesses connect with their customers and potential clients through their websites and apps. But UX in web development isn't just about having a beautiful website or a web app with newfangled functionality.

UX is curating the online experience to make it pleasant for users and to help them easily achieve what they want.

Still having trouble putting a finger on what UX is? Take a microwave as an example. You can buy a microwave with a chassis made from the finest metal, soft silicone buttons that are pleasant to touch, and crisp, brig─ąt display. But if the letters on the buttons are hard to read or if you can only heat up food at odd time increments that makes it frustrating to use, then the microwave has great industrial design and terrible UX.

The same principles apply to web development. You can have a website with breath-taking graphics and top-quality content, but if users can't easily get to the information they want, then all the stellar aesthetics will be for naught.

bad website meme

In a time when more consumers interact with businesses online than ever before, business owners can't afford to ignore the UX of their website.

According to Design Your Way:

"UX seems to be something which is wholly necessary for the creation of a top-quality website, but also something which very few users understand. Yet, every internet user has had at least one bad encounter online, so they do know what it feels like."

Think about the fact that when it comes to a business, the first thing that potential customers often interact with is the website; it's the first point of contact and first impressions matter. You want visitors to enjoy their time on your website, not to throw up their hands in frustration and leave because they found the online experience so unpleasant.

In the words of UX Passion:

"Give your users a positive experience and they will reward you with their trust and their business."

UX in website design is about stepping into the shoes of the target audience. As a starting point, you should ask the following questions and attempt to answer or address them:

  • Who is the target audience?
  • What are they trying to achieve when they visit the website?
  • What steps are required for my users to achieve this?
  • What would they want to see on the website?
  • What platform will they be using the website on, eg mobile?
  • How do you want them to feel when they interact with your website?
  • How can I capture their attention within the website?
  • What will make them engage with the site?
  • Where would their potential gripes be found?

This isn't an extensive list of questions but it gives you an idea of what kind of mindset you need to have when it comes to considering UX for your website.

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