Table of Contents
What Is User Experience (UX)?
User experience (UX) basically involves all the interactions a user has with a product or service. It is the personal experience a customer gets when using a product’s interface.
For instance, in an eCommerce website, if a customer finds the buying experience to be time-consuming, complex, and complicated, her UX will be a bad one.
On the other hand, if she finds the purchasing experience smooth and easy, then the UX is considered a good one. In most cases, customers choose to purchase more from the website they have experienced a good user experience.
While it is important for a product to function, experience is also important. The better the user experience of the product you are offering, the more likely customers will choose you over your competitors.
Why Should You Care About UX Design?
UX is about improving how people utilize products, systems, and services. Below are some of the many reasons why you should care about UX Design.
1. UX has always been part of our lives.
People face challenges on a daily basis and some of the challenges are hard for them to figure out. Think of UX as the solutions which are created to solve that issue.
For instance, think of the “Save to Facebook” feature that was added in 2014. Before then you could come across an article or a video which you find interesting but maybe you can’t watch due to other pressing activities but again you can’t store it to view later.
With the introduction of the save feature, people are now getting a better experience with Facebook since they can save content and go back to it later.
2. UX teaches you about empathy.
UX teaches you to become aware of the people around you. It is about building things and designing experiences for people. It makes you think of how you can help people live better. How you can improve a product or service for people instead of what will bring more money in.
3. UX isn’t just about design, it is also about crafting experiences.
People confuse UX with UI. UI is about the interface or the look while UX is how people use a product and what they feel when using it.
Experiences are valuable because they show how people perceive, feel, react, and behave toward something.
For instance, a product whether it’s a website, an app, or a system, should have the proper structure, design, and fields for it to guide the user in understanding the product. This helps a user get a better experience with your site.
4. UX brings a lot of career opportunities.
People are now realizing the importance of UX and that’s why UX is now becoming popular in different industries all over the world. There are so many career opportunities that a UX designer can go into. Some of these jobs range from general UX designers to UX specialists like user researchers, product designers, or interaction designers.
5. UX will put you on lifelong learning.
UX deals with people and due to that it demands constant change. People’s needs keep changing meaning that they will also change. UX allows you to learn about various aspects since user experience cuts across many different fields such as computer science, psychology, graphic design, and marketing among others.
1. Understand user needs & conduct user research
When you understand user needs, it becomes much easy to develop a user-friendly design. For you to understand user needs you need to conduct user research.
Conducting user research, helps you avoid basing your designs on assumptions. If you are not engaging with real users it is virtually impossible to know what needs and pain points your design should address.
User research will help you to design better products, and save time and money. Your end goal should be to create products and services that people want to use.
Therefore conducting user research prevents you from spending time and money developing a product that has loads of usability issues and design flaws or developing a product that does not meet a real user need.
2. Identify user experience objectives & goals
User experience focuses on having a deep understanding of users’ needs, what they value, their abilities, and even their limitations. User experience is important to the success of your business or brand.
For it to be successful you will need to identify its objectives and goals. To identify user experience objectives & goals, first, you have to think of the bigger picture. UX goals do not exist in a silo and therefore they must complement, support, and further your larger strategic goals.
Consider the W’s: who(your target users), what(the product you are building), when(you are bringing the product to the market), why(people want to use your product)
3. Understand user behavior & patterns
When designing a WordPress site, it is essential to ensure that it is designed the way users like, and this can be understood through their behavior and patterns. User behavior is the key to finding out how they interact with your site. This can be the amount of time they spend on it, what they click on the most, at what point they decide to bounce etc.
Understanding user behavior gives you a competitive edge. User behavior focuses on metrics such as signups, activation rates, feature usage, and impact and retention rates.
Understanding these patterns helps you to design a user-friendly WordPress site.
1. Create a site structure & navigation
Your site needs to have a defined structure since without it you will have just a random collection of pages and blog posts. Your users will need a site structure to navigate on your site and click from one page to another.
Google also uses your website’s structure to determine what content is important and what is less relevant.
A well-organized site structure should have a homepage at the top, then some sections or category pages under it. You can file all your content under those categories.
In case you have a larger site, you can further divide those sections or categories into subcategories. Under those subcategories, you can have individual pages and posts.
Your homepage should act as a navigation hub for your site visitors. Ensure you have a clear navigation path on your site. Site-wide navigation consists of two main elements which are the menu and the breadcrumbs.
A WordPress menu will help your users easily find your content and navigate your site. In WordPress, menus are an inherent element and many themes come with predefined menus and locations.
However, it is also important to understand the best way to incorporate menus on your site. It is advisable to create a sitemap or a navigation strategy before you start adding menus to your site.
Steps for Creating a WordPress Menu
a). Create a New Menu in WordPress
After creating a sitemap or a navigational plan, it’s time to create a WordPress menu. Inside WordPress, navigate to Appearance then to Customize, and click on Menus. If you don’t have a menu you can select Create New Menu to get started.
This will ask you to name your menu and choose where to appear. Note that the locations for your menu will vary depending on your theme. Once you are done click on Next and select the Add items button.
b). Add Your Navigation items
For every new menu on your WordPress, you will be able to include any of your pages, posts, and other content. Your site’s elements are separated into various sections and they are all selectable. Click on an item to add it to the menu.
After selecting, the item will appear in the left-hand column. In case of a mistake select the red X icon to undo. You can also create new content here and add it to your menu.
While adding items you will see them appear on your site in the preview panel. This feature allows you to see what your menu looks like while you are still building it.
After selecting everything you want to include in your menu, start organizing it.
c). Organize Your Menu’s Structure
This is the easiest part of setting up WordPress menus. To get started, just hover over any menu item you added and your cursor will turn into a crosshair then simply drag and drop the item where you want it.
To create a menu hierarchy using submenus just drag an item to the right and it will automatically become a sub-element of the menu item above it.
Once you are done click on the publish button at the top of the page to preserve your chances. Alternatively, you can just select Save Draft or Schedule.
2. Design the look & feel of the site
The look and feel of your site give the visitor a clear indication of what your company is about, what they should expect in terms of culture, and your site’s service quality and ethos.
Creating a user-friendly design makes your visitors feel empowered to navigate the site. Your design should be attractive and should make your visitors explore more on your site. This can be achieved by considering the following:
- Text and color
The text and color on your website can make a visitor view your site as either fancy or boring.
- Interactive elements
A more interactive website makes visitors feel engaged and want to spend more time on the site.
- Create value
This is done by providing valuable information about the site, empowering the visitors to find the information, a product, or the service they are looking for and act upon it. The information should be also easily accessible.
The information should be laid out in a manner that allows them to easily navigate to and discover.
- Page load speed
This allows users across all devices to experience text and media that loads efficiently and leaves a good impression of your website to its visitors.
- Links to External Sites
Although ads and external links are important to your website, they should be used sparingly so as to avoid removing visitors from your website with the possibility of them not returning.
3. Design the site content & layout
Your site content is the magnet of your website and one of the most important tools in helping achieve your company’s marketing goals. You can deliver quality content by:
- Identifying your unique value proposition
- Contacting website content audit
- Targeting each of your personas
- Mapping content to the client lifecycle.
- Include the essential content
- Writing compelling web copy
- Use the right language
- Develop a content schedule and optimize for SEO
- Measure and track performance
A site layout that works well is better than having a pretty easy-to-use layout. Most visitors will decide whether they like your site or not in less than a second. If they don’t like the look of your website, they are more likely to click away.
There are billions of websites on the internet and only about 500 million are active which means that the online world is saturated and this means that customers have very many options to choose from. This is where the layout of your site will come to your rescue.
4. Design interactions & feedback
Interaction design is an important component of user experience (UX) design. Interaction design is simply the design of the interaction between users and products. In most cases when people talk of interaction design they refer to software products like apps or websites.
The goal of interaction design is to create a product that enables the user to achieve their objectives in the best way possible.
Getting good feedback makes you better since you learn from your experiences. It also helps in identifying pitfalls of a design solution and gives you a more focused sense of direction.
1. Set up the WordPress platform
a). Choose a domain name
A domain name is your identity on the internet and it is how your audience finds you and identifies your brand. Choose a domain name that is easy for people to type into their browser and find you.
b). Choose a Web Hosting Provider and Register a Domain Name for Free
It will be more convenient to choose a company that offers you both services. Truehost offers both services and it is reliable, beginner-friendly, and cheap.
You can read more through this link on how to register a domain name and hosting for WordPress Site on truehost.
2. Develop the design elements in WordPress
- WordPress Themes
Themes are interchangeable designs that allow you as a website owner to change how your WordPress website looks at the touch of a button.
There are over 30,000 themes to choose from and this can be overwhelming. To avoid confusion, you can start by looking at the official theme directory at WordPress.org.
If you go for a theme from the official directory at WordPress.org just hit Install and you will be done. After installing, click on Activate to enable it on your website.
WordPress has several free themes and premium themes too. However, the premium themes vary in price with some starting at $10 and some going up to $200.
Go for a theme that fits both your preferences and budget.
- WordPress Plugins
Installing plugins helps boost the functionality of your website. They are like applications for your mobile phone. However, be careful when choosing plugins to avoid the possibility of coding errors from the plugin developer which can make your site vulnerable to hackers.
Before installing a plugin, do some research on it to see how safe it is. Do regular checks for patches that will fix any plugin vulnerabilities. Some plugins operate in conflict with others. This means the more plugins you install, the greater the chances of creating an incompatibility.
Also, keep in mind that too many plugins will end up slowing down your website which can lead to traffic loss.
3. Test the usability of the site
Most people come to your website for specific needs and if your website fails to fulfill those needs easily and fast, potential customers will move to another website.
When it comes to business websites, a frustrating user experience can make nearly 90% of online shoppers never return to your site again. To ensure your site visitors have an effective and satisfying experience, you have to conduct tests to evaluate the site’s usability.
Website testing helps check a site’s user-friendliness, efficiency, and user satisfaction and detect if any errors might have been missed.
1. Monitor & analyze user data
This involves tracking, reviewing, and reporting data to measure web activity, including the use of a website and its components, such as webpages, images, and videos.
Monitoring and analyzing user data help in optimizing your website performance by highlighting how users are interacting with your data.
The user data you get from the analysis can help in future marketing decisions.
2. Make improvements & updates
Ensuring your website content is up to date helps build trust between you and your customers. An outdated or hard-to-navigate website can turn clients off before they even get to what you offer.
Website updates and improvements should be done in areas such as website security, website design, newest technology, boosting SEO, updating site content, and improving loading speed.
3. Monitor user feedback & satisfaction
User feedback and satisfaction help in making informed management decisions regarding product and service enhancements, sales activities, and diversification and differentiation.
When you understand user needs and expectations, how they behave, and what influences their decision making you will be in a position to know where to improve your services and products and how to gain a competitive advantage.
Monitoring user feedback will help retain customers and when your customers are satisfied they become your advocates.
You can monitor user satisfaction and feedback through the following:
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Post-delivery questionnaires
- Phones calls or meetings
- Social media
The above information will help you understand better how to design a user-friendly WordPress Site. As a website owner, you should first understand that you build a website for your users and not for you.
That will be the first step in ensuring you come up with a user-friendly WordPress Site.