The most important element to consider before creating web designs is the user experience.
The goals of user experience design, research, and testing are to have a complete understanding of your website audiences (internal stakeholders and external users) and their common purpose and motivation for visiting your website. Site users need to be able to find information easily, logically, and intuitively. The layout and organization of the site should make sense to users. In order to create a meaningful and valuable user experience, content must be:
- Useful: Your content should be original and fulfill a need
- Usable: Site must be easy to use
- Desirable: Image, brand, and other design elements should evoke emotion/appreciation
- Findable: Content needs to be navigable and locatable onsite and offsite
- Credible: Users must trust and believe what you tell them
Observing users trying to carry out tasks and hear them verbalize their experiences allows us to gain the deepest understanding of their relationship to the website. For example, based on tasks defined by user groups, we conduct UX interviews to identify:
- What are the most important tasks to perform on the website for each user group?
- Where do they get stuck?
- Where do they have success?
- Do analytics support the most important tasks?
- Where does each user group begin (what is their first click) to begin their most important task
- What does that path look like?
- What is the difference between the mobile experience and the desktop experience?
- Can users accomplish their most important tasks using their most-used device?
We conduct online interactive discovery sessions with users to gain a better understanding of the wants and needs they have and their website business requirements. Participants for these sessions would be selected by you to ensure they are a good representation of your target market. Tactics we utilize may include online card sorting, tree testing, and metadata development exercises to help identify weaknesses in a current site structure and provide insights on how users access data on your website.
During these sessions, software will take users through a series of exercises to uncover and clarify user requirements, as well as content needs and priorities. We conduct these interactive workshops online with multiple groups that represent your target audiences. The results from these sessions are evaluated to differentiate true vs. perceived needs. Then user requirements are derived to reflect the most common needs identified.