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Website UX explained

A website's user experience is determined by a number of overlapping factors. It's too confusing for a Venn diagram.

website-ux-explained
Blue Pixel Top Left
Rob E
Posted by Rob E
6 November 2017
    

The elements that determine user experience, and how they're all connected

What defines the experience someone has on your website? It's a whole bunch of different things, and they're all connected, and it makes it all quite complicated to explain.

A good user experience starts with content strategy, and that can be one of the most important parts of making sure a website is useable and easy to digest.

But the user interface (UI) is also completely essential – and it's often what forms that make-or-break first impression.

But none of that's worth anything if a site isn't built properly, or can't be found by its target audience.

So which should you focus on? Which is more important?

Well, as you might expect, they're all equally important – and they're all very closely connected. Content strategy and UI cross over extensively, for example, which means your designers and copywriters need to be talking to each other from the very beginning. And content also has a massive impact on search engine optimisation (SEO) – but there's more to SEO than just keywords, too.

So, it all gets a bit confusing – and a failure to grasp who's responsible for what, and who they need to collaborate with to get it done effectively, is the cause of many a poor user experience.

 

How everything fits together

The Venn diagram of how the different elements of a great UX come together doesn't quite work with your typical circles – it needs a different combination of shapes and overlaps to really do it properly...

Website user experience (ux) explained

So much of what makes a website work is the shared responsibility, and occasionally a delicate balancing act, between two or three different disciplines. In order to break it down, let's start at the top, with the branding – but we'll be all over the place after that.

There are so many things that make a brand a brand, but for the sake of a website user experience, we'll simplify the branding to just a few core elements:

  • Colours
  • Fonts
  • Logos
  • Tone of voice
  • Social media

All of these things make up core elements of a brand – the first three will have a big impact on the UI, and the fourth will play a role in the content strategy. Social media, meanwhile, doesn't necessarily impact an experience on a website, but it will impact the experience of finding a website for many people.

A good user interface needs to find the best way to use the colours, fonts and logos determined by the brand and, along with imagery, these will determine page layouts.

UX and UI Text CTA

However, layouts shouldn't be left entirely to aesthetics – there needs to be a consideration of how these actually display copy. So page layouts, and how these encourage users to move around a site, need to consider the overall content strategy.

These considerations, along with the tone of voice from the brand, and the keywords determined by search engine marketing (SEM) needs will then influence the site's copy.

Going back to the UI, it needs to be responsive for different devices, accessible to people with different needs, and interactive enough to keep people engaged – which determines how the site is built.

Developers also have to create a page structure and assign metadata that will be determined by a combination of content strategy and SEM needs – and SEM will also determine the URLs and HTML elements used in the build.

Complicated, right? Hence the diagram!

 

UX all comes down to careful planning and good communication

To avoid this whole scenario becoming a complete mess, any website project needs careful planning and project management to make sure everyone's aware of their roles, and that everyone's communicating.

Otherwise, unconnected elements at either end of the prism can start to cause problems for the factor in the middle. The battle between keywords with the best search value with the preferred terms defined by a brand's tone of voice, for example, can be a tough balance to meet if brand and search teams aren't talking to each other, even if they don't necessarily have to work together on a particular element.

That's why it's best not to rush a new website, or take any element for granted – neglect one thing, and it can impact everything else.

To find out more about how we create user experiences that work, you can download our ebook on UX and UI by clicking below – or you can get in touch with us for a chat about your new website.

UX and UI Image CTA 

    

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