User experience design, or UX, UXD or UED, is a web design and development principal that places full importance on design practices that are centred around the user. This involves using specific techniques that aim to result in a design that adheres to the common behavioral practices of the intended target audience of the website. Good user experience web design should meet both the goals and desires of the users, as well as the goals of the company or entity behind the website.

The user is the central concern when it comes to UX. It greatly assists designers and clients in working together when it comes to making changes and new developments to a website. When both parties agree that the design should focus on the user, personal preferences can be put aside in favor of a more common sense and logical approach.

Rather than coming up with a web design that simply looks pretty, as can so often happen when a new site is designed either with or without input from the client, a UX design approach means that the design comes together based on the problems that have been identified in the planning and research process. This means that the overall purpose of every aspect of the site should be considered and thought about in detail before any aspect of the design is undertaken.

Conducting research on the user is therefore the very first step of user experience web design; well before Photoshop or any other design program is even looked at, and before aspects like logos and color schemes and other items are considered. The real goal is to research who will be using the website, why, and how they will use it to achieve a particular goal or goals.

Undertaking research on the intended targeted audience of the site is the very first step in a user experience web design process. Aspects to consider about the users include:

– Who the ideal users of the website will be
– What the user demographics are (for example, their age, location, interests and so on)
– How technical the users are when it comes to navigating and using specific website features (for example, shopping carts and search functions)

Remember, the term user experience refers to, at its most basic, the way a user feels about their experience; in this case, when they are using a website. The goal then of user experience web design is to make that feeling a happy, fulfilling, satisfying and stress-free one. E-commerce websites are particularly suited to being designed with a heavy user experience focus, since it is the actions of the user, from the moment they land on the website until they reach the checkout process in the shopping cart, that will determine whether that user finally hits the payment button.


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Including mobile access in your web design and development plan is not just an option these days: it is a necessity, and hence the need for mobile web design tips. Millions of people are browsing the web, shopping and spending money, via their mobile devices so not carefully considering this as you design or redevelop your site means that money is being left on the table.

1. Know What Devices Are Being Used

Unless you know how your users are browsing your site, it is difficult to target them. Are they mostly using larger mobile devices like iPads, or are they predominately smartphone users (which involve much smaller screens and a more thoughtful design solution to cater to it). Using analytics and research you can build quite a detailed profile of the operating systems and potential devices that your website visitors are using.

2. Maintain The Same Message In Your Content

A mobile version of a website should not provide a completely different feel and experience just because someone is not browsing on their computer. The overall feel and purpose of the site should remain the same, along with the core content which people should feel is not wildly different based on how they are accessing your website. In many cases, you may have to eliminate some content or features on the mobile design to cater to the capability or aesthetics of the device. However, your core content, branding and website purpose should absolutely remain the same throughout.

3. Always Think Forward

Technology is moving very fast in the mobile arena and new devices often make use of the latest technologies that websites can struggle to keep up with. Keeping on top of developments allows developers to make rapid changes, however small, that can take advantage of the latest hardware capabilities in smartphones and other mobile devices. Ultimately this adds more capability and more functionality to websites which can make it easier to convert your visitors to customers, and enhance their overall user experience.

These simple yet hugely important mobile web design tips will help you to get off on the right foot when it comes to considering your growing base of mobile website visitors. Mobile technology has reached the point where people can perform virtually every task from their smartphones as they could traditionally on a computer. It is the job of the web designer and developer to simply make it easy, accessible and functional for these eager web surfers, and they can do this easily by looking out for relevant mobile web design tips.

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More and more web users are browsing online from the mobile devices, hence the need for responsive web design. More than ever before, websites are being viewed from devices with screens as small as eight centimetres in width, resulting in frustrating experiences for many users when a website will simply not display as a functional document. Smartphones in particular have gained in popularity in the past few years, and these small screened but highly capable devices are now the central internet browsing choice for millions of users. In fact, many people no longer use a computer to go online, but complete all of their business and pleasure activities solely on their smartphones.

The challenge then for web designers and website developers is to create a website that caters to both traditional computer users as well as those who are browsing from mobile devices like smartphones and iPads. When mobile devices first started attracting the attention of developers, many selected to simply create two versions of a website: one for computer users, another for mobile users. However, this resulted in duplicate content, of which more than ever before is now frowned upon excessively by the search engines. Additionally, running what is essentially two separate websites is simply not feasible or logical, particularly for larger sites, which is why responsive web design makes sense.

Nowadays, when it comes to responsive web design the goal is to create a single website that functions perfectly on all devices and screen sizes. And most importantly, a website that is smart enough to be able to detect which type of device it is being accessed from, and then calling on the right files and scripts accordingly. Responsive web design is more important than ever and basically states that a website should be usable from just one set of files so that no complex programming is required. This allows web developers to create mobile friendly websites with minimal server side processing being required.

Users interact with websites differently from their smartphones compared with their computers; for example, tapping the screen rather than clicking a mouse. To this end, focusing on small but highly important aspects like larger buttons and larger textboxes for typing will only enhance the experience of those web browsers who are accessing your website from their mobile phone.

Improving the mobile user experience, and consequently responsive web design is a process that needs to be planned well from the beginning. As the planning stage will allow developers to identify which aspects of a website are the most critical for mobile users, thereby allowing the enhancement of these important features to allow the very best experience for mobile web users.


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User experience when it comes to websites revolves around how a visitor to a website behaves and interacts with the functionality of the website, according to a natural flow and their natural instincts. If a website visitor has to take more than a few seconds to figure out how to complete an action, or how to navigate to where they wish within the site, there’s a high chance that they may give up altogether and leave the site. This results in a bounce rate (or short visit) that can become alarming to search engines and this is believed to be one of the many factors taken into consideration when a website is ranked in the organic search results.

So how can you improve the entire user experience of your website? If you are building a new website or redeveloping your old one to be more modern and functional, user experience research and testing should be a prime focus in the planning stages, throughout the website build and before the big launch. Below are some of the most important points concerning the critical aspects of creating and improving a good website user experience.

1. Visual Aspects
The look and feel of a website is what initially grabs your visitor’s attention. The colours, design ideas, fonts and all the other visual aspects of the website will create an initial emotion in your visitors; even if they don’t realize it. Whilst many businesses will want to keep their overall colour scheme in line with their branding and logo, much testing and research has been done over the years to determine which colours elicit which emotions in people, and these findings are well worth considering when coming up with your website’s colour palette.

2. Interactivity and Flow
Is the website easy to interact with, and importantly, are the actions you wish the user to take intuitive and obvious to them? What may initially seem like logical design and flow in the design process may not be the same way that a real user sees the website. This is why user experience testing is such a vital step in the pre-launch process.

3. User Flow
Is the flow of the user’s experience a smooth and seamless one? Having any obstacles or delays during the processes that you’d like the user to carry out results in opportunities for hesitation and creates opportunities for users to leave before they have completed the actions you’d like them to. Making the user flow a smooth one pays dividends.


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It’s kind of strange to realize it, but online shopping still doesn’t seem to feel as accessible as real-world shopping, especially when a friendly ecommerce checkout page is conspicuously lacking or inadequate. There’s the obvious barriers that are unavoidable: customers can’t touch, run, or try on a product virtually; slinging your personal details about online always carries a small risk, and so on.

The thing you have to remember about your target market is that they want to feel comfortable with the experience. You should have everything be visible and easy to manage. Don’t throw a bunch of confusing popups in the customer’s face or make them wonder how to go through the steps correctly.

1. Show what currency you take up front. Whatever credit cards, PayPal, or Bitcoins you accept, have all the little icons there together so the customer knows ahead of time that their money’s good here.

2. Make your instructions clear. And being “clear” doesn’t always mean going along with whatever the interface gurus dictate as the fashion this week. Simple steps, simple instructions, and tooltips along with each field the customer has to enter. Keep things minimal – trying to sell more things to the user while they’re trying to buy something already is just obnoxious. In terms of simplicity, a friendly ecommerce checkout page should look as close to the Google search home page as practical.

3. Breadcrumbs. Show the steps in a timeline somewhere at the top of the page. Then have the page track which step they’re at and show it visibly. Keep in mind that the real world has distractions – phones ring, text messages come in, and the user might get distracted in mid-process and then forget where they were.

4. Focus on security. Have everything verified, have a secure log-in page, and be up-front about what security measures your site uses. Use a third-party verification service to help in this regard. Remember, all it takes is one complaint about a stolen credit card number and your site’s reputation is toast.

5. Support more than one browser. Users of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox now outnumber Internet Explorer users. Mac users also have Safari, and then there’s mobile browsers, tablets, iPads, and all manner of gizmos to think about. If you make your site comply with W3C standards as much as possible, you’ll ensure that everybody has an equal opportunity to do business with you and will also be many steps ahead in having a friendly ecommerce checkout page.

6. Make the process simple and unobtrusive. If you must require the user to register, make it as simple as possible. When designing a friendly ecommerce checkout page, avoid making customers feel like they have to give you their life history just to buy something.

7. Close with a ‘thank you’ page and a confirming email that their order is shipping. Don’t just suddenly go mute as soon as you have their money.


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Ecommerce entrepreneurs have this great resource, the Internet and social media marketing, native to their business, and then 95% of them fail to harness its full potential. You have to face the facts: If you do business online, then you are a marketer first and foremost, regardless if you’re selling hand-crocheted rugby jerseys or splash-guards for dog-bathers. Marketing online is a full-time job all by itself. Here’s some fresh inspiration when you get burnt out on it:

1. Link fluidly between social media accounts. Your Twitter should mention your business web address, and either your company’s Facebook or Google+ page. Your Tumblr blog should link to your Pinterest blog. Your website should have links out to all of the above for the best social media marketing strategy.

2. Sponsor a simple contest involving social media. For instance, drawing your logo or company mascot on DeviantArt, composing the funniest meme image related to your business to post on Tumblr, or run an online scavenger hunt. Simple little exercises with a free product as a prize (and why not your company Tshirt?) will be fun and get customers involved, at the same time, easy social media marketing and getting some publicity for your business.

3. Think visual! Images and video are creaming plain text as a social media marketing and general marketing method. A cat photo with a funny caption will garner thousands of visits, while your thoughtful, in-depth article goes unread. And videos on YouTube are hotter than dynamite, if you haven’t heard. Even if you don’t have much to show, posting a video or getting one produced for you will get you masses of attention you didn’t know was out there.

4. Let your customer base interview you. A lot of marketers have found success posting what is called an “AMA” on social news sites like Digg and Reddit. “AMA” stands for “ask me anything” and can be a nice little Q-and-A session with your audience, always revolving around your related product. Even politicians campaigning do this now. Along with getting your audience to know more about your field, if you’re observant, you’ll learn something from the questions people ask as well.

5. Post early and post often. Studies show that the peak times to post are during office hours on workdays and in the evening hours on weekends. This generally applies whether it’s tweets, blog posts, social media posts, or email newsletters. But the time varies depending on your format and chosen social media marketing demographic.

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The year is 2013, the competition is tough, the number of web design competitors is high, and you only have 3-10 seconds to make the most recent visitor to stay on your website. If they stay, chances are that they can be converted, and to make them stay, web design plays a critical role.

Don’t get us wrong, we still believe that content is king. However, the web design can highlight and present the content effectively and efficiently, or it can overpower it thus reducing the effectiveness and clarity of the message. When it comes to conversions, web design and the UI play an equally important role along with the content of the website.

Persuasion vs. Clarity

Persuasive web designs, and web designs with clarity, are often considered as two opposite ends of the spectrum. When one thinks of persuasive web design; flash animations, bright eye catching colours, banners, and similar features come to mind. The main aim of a persuasive web design is to capture the user’s attention within the first few seconds of their arrivals.

However, persuasive designs may not always equal conversions. Once the users stay, they start to browse and try to find what they are looking for, and if they can’t find what they are looking for, they move onto another website.

That’s where clarity comes in. If your UI is easy to use, if your text consists of headings and subheadings that deliver the message, and if every page has a clear call to action, your conversion rate will rise. You either go for a persuasive design or a design with clarity, but we recommend you shoot for the stars and try to get the best of both worlds by combining design elements of persuasion and clarity.

How to Improve Clarity

Clarity does not exclusively mean large images and fonts, it means the average user should be able to understand who you are and what you do within the first glance. If you are selling pet products, your headline should clearly say so. The users should be able to identify the call to action, and should be able to find the buttons you want them to click.

They should not have to look too hard for the ‘place your order’, ‘contact us’, ‘buy’ and similar buttons, or they will simply move on to other websites. The hyperlinks should be prominently displayed, and the banners and flash animations should not take their attention away from the text you want them to read or from the images you want them to see.

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Alright, let’s get this HTML5 tutorials guff sorted out. If you website slingers haven’t gotten your mitts dirty on the new generation of browser code, here’s some video tutorials we dug up that are sure to teach a new trick or two:

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Oh, is it the end of 2012 already? Here we go, then. The Top 5 Website UX Trends of 2012, which promises to be the least surprising list you’ll see all year. Because we’ve been seeing these five aspects for a few years now. Single-page sites are back after a long disco-like hiatus, and typography never went away. If anything, maybe we’re seeing the end of web design evolution. This is actually a good thing; we don’t have to change everything every year just because we can, and it would be nice to make a website that doesn’t have the shelf life of a banana for a change.

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We had to wrinkle our nose at this post on 6 famous web design atrocities. It may be more about which re-designs caused the most backlash – draw your own conclusions – but the overall sites seem to be doing fine regardless.

  • Gawker – Wait, what changed? We barely noticed.
  • TechCrunch – Look, any guru worshiped by his own personal cult can’t be said to fail at anything.
  • StumbleUpon – Guilty as charged, but Stumble has been concentrated on shooting themselves in the foot since they grew beyond being a Firefox plugin. Whatever they do to their site doesn’t matter now.
  • Netflix – Again, people still flock there.
  • YouTube – Ditto. And again, we barely detect any change since Google bought it.
  • Target – Hey, they’re a brick-and-mortar store. Do they even care about web traffic?

Still, it’s a good guide to what your user base might backlash about. Our take-away: Prioritize function over style.

Some of the people we have worked with

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