Three projects that have benefited from our thoughtful approach to UX design
The user experience is considered carefully in every site we design and build – it influences the colours and fonts we use, the way we structure pages and direct people to certain points with calls to action, and the interactive features we include.
Sometimes it's meant the design aesthetic coming in second place to a specific need of a user – but only slightly, as we always make things look nice, too.
Although it's a big part of every project, at times there are some special considerations to be made. Here are three examples of recent projects where our approach to the user experience took some different twists and turns to the usual.
Demystifying technical services and generating quality leads with WYGS Ltd
User experience design should actually be user-focused. What do we mean by that? Well, a good experience isn't necessarily the one that leads to a user making an enquiry every single time. You might think that if someone's made an enquiry it's because they've had a great experience on the website, but in truth they might be enquiring because the website isn't actually clear enough to tell them what they need.
This leads to a whole lot of noise in the enquiry inbox, with questions that should be answered by the website drowning out the actual enquiries.
When developing a new website for WYGS Ltd, we put a great deal of thought into ways in which we could make services as straightforward as possible, explaining everything to website visitors and giving them the tools they needed to make the right decision, rather than using the contact form or picking up the phone to ask questions about what each service actually meant.
This meant simple, straightforward content pages with clear subheadings, and CTAs pointing people towards more information. Rather than hiding information in sliders or expandable sections for a more dynamic and interactive interface, it was important to keep things simple.
But that's not to say the user interface lacks interactive elements or creative flair. We built a boiler quote tool to take people through a simple quote process, generating instant leads for WYGS that contained all of the information they needed to follow up effectively.
Rather than your standard form, users are taken through a more interactive tool step-by-step, with options changing depending on what you choose. This helps WYGS tailor their quote more effectively, and provides a really straightforward user journey.
Advice-led content we've added to the blog also helps users more effectively reach decisions, covering topics such as how much customers should expect to pay plumbers, or how to choose the right boiler. This content provides a wider context than product pages, rather than taking a salesy tone – but still allows for plenty of subtle CTAs to learn more about WYGS specifically.
Mobile-first design with Edge Student Living
Our websites are always responsive, and will scale down to work on various devices perfectly – it's becoming more and more essential for web design as people move towards mobile.
However, a lot of our clients are B2B businesses, whose sites are mostly viewed on desktop, so providing a great experience on PC usually comes first. Not so for our website redesign for accommodation provider Edge Student Living – a massive section of their user base were young people using phones and tablets.
Gone are the days of everyone gathering round the desktop to search for a new place – everyone whips out their phone and has a look at the same time. This meant we had to consider the mobile experience from the very beginning, rather than creating a great desktop experience that was then optimised for portable devices.
This means the homepage is very light on copy, and instead focuses on large blocks of more visual content that can be swiped and tapped through more easily on mobile, rather than relying on a menu system, which can be more difficult to use on a phone or tablet.
Providing an equal user experience across all devices is important for more than just users – Google in particular gives more weight to domains that can provide a good mobile experience now.
Designing for disability and accessibility needs with Unique Ways
Different user journeys mean that different people, with different goals, and on different devices, have different experiences of a website. But even when people take the same user journey on the same device, they may not have the same experience of that journey because of their own personal needs.
Designing websites with accessibility for all firmly in mind is really important – and our work with Unique Ways is case in point for this.
Unique Ways is a charity for parents and carers of disabled children. We took them through a rebrand and website redesign, and made sure the build met AAA accessibility standards. This meant, among many other features, including a very simple function to increase text size – which had the knock-on effect of having to make sure the site's layouts could handle the increased size.
There's also the option to change between four different colour schemes, which meant making sure image assets worked with all four schemes, and making icons transparent to avoid any white outlines.
When designing page and content structure for Unique Ways, we had to carefully consider the needs of the users. Clear and straightforward signposting – perhaps clearer than we'd make it on other sites – was an essential part of the site's experience. It might look a bit simplistic in places compared to the sites we've looked at above, but the aesthetics and design flair came in second to giving Unique Ways' service users the info they need, in a format in which they can use it.
Want to find out more about how we design user experiences? Take a little look at our ebook on separating the experience from the interface – you can download it for free by clicking the icon below.