UX and UI design are crucial when it comes to website design – interfaces determine the user’s first impression after visiting the page, and user experience practices are directly connected to whether or not a visitor will be able to navigate pages comfortably and convert into a buyer.
Having said that, most business owners have an intuitive approach to UX and UI design, often choosing the layout they like instead of taking time to evaluate the website’s current design and relying on established design practices.
Whether you are looking forward to redesigning the website on your own or with a team, it’s important to know the rules professionals use when handling design projects. In this post, you’ll find out what the term “good design” means and how to ensure the UI and UX of your website leaves a visitor with a positive and long-lasting impression.
What Is a UI/UX Agency?
When it comes to designing user interfaces, the process and the impact of designers’ actions are quite straightforward. User experience design, on the other hand, is a term that often confuses business managers. When you contact a user experience design agency, what services and benefits can you expect?
A UI/UX design agency is a team of professional designers who are capable of mapping out the version of your website that’s going to be the easiest to navigate and brings forth a higher conversion rate. Business owners usually reach out to a UI/UX design company because professional designers are well-versed in the latest trends and practices, can build and test their solutions, and provide business owners with the confidence that the website is straightforward and easy-to-use.
The benefits of working with a UX design studio are:
- Higher customer retention – A design that meets visitors’ expectations helps keep visitors on the website and increases the number of leads. A poor design, on the other hand, increases the risk of high bounce rates and reputational losses for the business.
- Design comes with performance – A UI agency or a UX design team usually take an end-to-end approach, ensuring the design doesn’t slow the website down and caters to visitors’ needs.
- Emphasis on accessibility – A UI/UX company creates user experience solutions that can be adapted both to desktop and mobile website versions. For business owners, this means being able to attract clients among mobile users and retain existing customers.
Hiring a UX design agency is not the only way to improve user experience on your website; however, it’s among the safest and most reliable practices business owners use.
What Is the UX Process?
User experience design is a multi-layered process. It takes a lot of time and effort to create the best user experience. Teams must determine which solutions will be the most beneficial ones for a given audience, design a wireframe as well as the final version, and test the design until it’s ready for deployment.
Here are the stages of UX/UI design:
- Data gathering – analyzing users’ interactions with the current version of the website
- Market research – getting to know what website design practices industry leaders follow and analyzing them
- Sketching – drafting out a layout of a future design
- Design – developing the final, aesthetically pleasing version of the interface
- Testing – giving different styles a try and watching how a focus group interacts with different versions of the interface
- Deployment – connecting the website design with the code base so that it is fully functional
Keep in mind that website design relies on the back-end code heavily. Find out more about website development practices to make sure the code will bring the best out of UX and UI.
What Is UI Design?
UI (or user interface) focuses mainly on the aesthetics of the website. Every page, button, and animation needs to be designed in a particular style and color scheme. The UI team is responsible for choosing the right shape, color, and font for a website.
High-quality website interface gives business owners numerous benefits, such as:
- Connecting with the audience on a deeper level – A well-designed interface is a relatable one. By looking at the page, a visitor understands how a business can help solve his or her issue and realizes that the company is experienced in the field.
- Improving the corporate image – A sleek, stylish design is proof of the company’s long-lasting reputation and financial security. By investing in a classy look and feel for the website, business owners can appeal to premium clients and scale efficiently.
- Improving the website’s performance – Avoiding redundant features and using modern design practices increase the loading speed of each page. This improves overall usability and increases visitor retention, as well as conversion of new users into customers.
What Is UX Design?
A UX design team, on the other hand, is concerned with usability. It’s a goal of a UX designer to ensure that users can easily navigate between pages and the experience abides by common sense and universal logic.
Here are the benefits of investing in UX design:
- More money and more customers – Reducing the number of steps a visitor needs to take to become a lead increases revenue and conversion.
- Fewer phone calls with questions about the service that leads nowhere – Since the UX allows users to access all relevant information, a business owner only has to deal with leads who are committed to choosing a service.
- Improved customer retention – By being able to personalize the interactions of repeated visitors with the website, a business owner ensures there’s a constant connection between the brand and recurring customers.
Why Is UI/UX Design Important?
According to Forrester Research, the return on investment for every dollar invested in UI/UX design is as high as $100. Why is designing a smooth user experience and a beautiful interface so essential? Take a look at the main benefits of investing in UX/UI design:
- Efficient customer acquisition – When a website is well-designed, loads quickly, and is intuitive, a visitor needs less time to figure out the next step and will come up against fewer obstacles that will discourage him or her from making a purchase decision. When generating leads, it’s essential to move fast – ensuring a quick and seamless customer journey is among the key components of UI/UX design.
- Improved customer retention – Statistically, 38% of people don’t come back to a website if they don’t like the interface or the layout. UX development is important to make sure users enjoy staying on the website, as they are then more likely to be back for another order.
- Facilitated maintenance – A minimalistic interface with no redundant features is easy to keep up and run. The development team will not have to deal with system downtimes, and marketing managers will not need to face design-related performance issues.
- Improves the image of the company – Visitors are more inclined to trust a company that invests in website design. Investors will also see high-quality design as proof of high adaptability and commitment. Thus, investing in the look and feel of the webpage is crucial to make a statement of an industry leader and an ambitious company.
- Facilitates scalability – UX design helps simplify the architecture of the website, removing rarely used elements and redundant features. By decluttering the website, a business owner makes it easier to migrate the page to a different server or CMS. A well-designed website is thus more adaptable to the company’s growing demands and will scale much faster.
Recently, John Doe, the owner of a consulting firm, shared how redesigning user experience helped him triple his yearly revenue – you can take a look at his journey.
What Is a Good UI Design?
If you are looking forward to improving the look and feel of the website, modernizing the interface is the way to go. To make sure you make the right design decisions, take a look at the rules of UI design for building stunning user interfaces:
1. Less is more
Great interfaces are seamless. You don’t want the interface to distract a user from placing an order or filling in the contact form. Make sure every element has a functional, rather than only an aesthetic, value and contributes to improving user experience.
2. Design with readability in mind
Think of the page layout as a whole. Instead of focusing on individual elements, make sure all the content is scannable; a visitor shouldn’t have to pay a lot of attention to content or visuals to get to know the company. Thus, don’t cram too many elements inside the page. Be concise and to-the-point.
Taking care of readability is one of the most important SEO practices, as it is capable of improving your website’s Google rankings. Learn more about how SEO and design are related and how to make the most out of both.
3. Use the design hierarchy
User interface is a tool for prioritizing content and ensuring the business’s main offer is clear. Use different font sizes and colors, add icons to emphasize selling points, and make special deals stand out by putting dedicated images into sliders. This way, a visitor will be able to separate top-priority information from second-tier news or blog posts.
4. Use common UI elements
Icons, buttons, hyperlinks, and sidebars are the elements users have come to expect when visiting any page. Even if you want to create an original interface, refusing to adopt them is not the practice you should follow. Add a couple of common interface elements to create a feeling of familiarity and help users make themselves at home when visiting the page.
5. Think about accessibility
Now that smartphone users comprise a higher share of website visitors than desktop ones, a business owner has to “think mobile” when building designs. That means ensuring few-to-no actions on the page require typing and avoiding drop-down menus, as well as the actions that require clicking or hovering over a block with a mouse. Increasing font and hyperlink sizes is also a go-to practice for user interface design.
Here’s how these interface design practices helped Emily spread the word of her law firm.
Where Can I Find a Good Digital Design Agency?
If you want to reach out to a professional team for UX/UI design services, finding a good digital design agency can seem challenging. The good news is, there are plenty of trusted websites that rate agencies from all over the world and help you make the right choice. Here are the platforms business owners can check out when looking for someone to build growth-driven design:
- Take a look at top lists of designers all over the world – such posts usually rank the most influential agencies in the field.
- Look for companies in your area – this list, for instance, reviews the best design agencies in NYC.
- Awwards – this platform ranks web design companies, helping you connect with a web design agency.
Other than that, you can find a decent design company from a Google query as well, such as “UI & UX Design Agency USA”. Keep in mind, however, that large agencies mostly cater to large-scale projects with high-traffic websites and extensive budgets. As an SME owner, you might want to opt for a medium-size company with 150-250 employees.
Failing to invest in UI/UX design is a factor that can tank the success of your company. Recognizing the importance of using UI and UX design brings a high return on investment and ensures you are making the most out of the traffic SEO and marketing teams attract to the website.
Before you hire a design studio, it wouldn’t hurt to assess your website and find out what are the good and the bad practices of its current design. Get a free website design assessment here and find out how to make the most out of your website design in 24 hours.