These days, everything is online. If you don’t have a website, you don’t have a business. And it can’t be just any old website – it has to be a great looking website that works with all internet-enabled devices. Today I wanted to use our knowledge as app designers to talk about user experience and aesthetics, as well as how and why you should design around your customer, whether that is for apps, a website or digital content.
A great UX is about making it simple
User experience or UX is how well something – usually digital technology – does the job it’s intended to do. So, if an app is reviewed as having a seamless user experience that basically means it is easily navigable, intuitive in its use and layout and effortlessly functional. There’s no pain on the user’s part in getting the app to perform as intended. Though aesthetics do have a major part to play in ensuring a seamless UX, beauty doesn’t guarantee a good user experience (though research suggests it may take people a little longer to realize that the experience is bad).
Think 'The Big Orange Button'... 'Err what?' I hear you say. Well think of someone using a photo copier, most people just want to make a copy of a piece of paper and they use that big orange button. Yes, the copier can also collate, print double sided and may even staple for you. But! For the people who just want to make a copy, make that experience as easy as possible for them and point them in the right direction.
To complicate is simple, to simplify is complicated... Everybody is able to complicate. Only a few can simplify.
Keep UI consistent and beautifully sleek
UI stands for User Interface, which refers to everything about the technology with which a user can interact. UI is more to do with the look of the thing than the actual framework – therefore good UI doesn’t mean you get a good UX. However, due to the relationship between form and function, it may be that a good-looking app that performs poorly will initially rate almost as highly with a user as an ugly app that performs well. People are often guided (or misguided) by appearance. So looks aren't everything, but having sleek design makes people feel comfortable and more susceptible, if it looks professional you will build confidence in your product.
You have hopefully already created a strong brand identity and while doing that you would have looked at your target audience - colours, logo, imagery, everything will have been considered. This brand message needs to be continued throughout everything including, your website, social media, website, apps and content. A different design for each digital platform is just confusing and dilutes your brand.
Form and function
Clearly the ideal is to have a beautiful UI with a well thought-out UX – a great-looking product that also does the job for which it was created. Through the construction of a website there are many questions to ask such as, Which Web design tool should I use? Though the construction of a website or app is predominantly the remit of technical engineers, and the look comes down to the design team, there is a lot of marketing insight going on here in terms of the brand message, structure and content that also makes it a marketing department responsibility. Your company is a group effort and your website, content or app should be too.
Here are a few simple digital design tips you can apply to most digital formats:
- People don’t mind scrolling, so don’t feel you need a new page or tab for everything. Mobile users are used to scrolling through their social media feed. In fact, scrolling is easier on a PC, laptop or mobile device than navigating through pages.
- When it comes to clicks it’s not so much a question of the number as it is the ease. People would rather perform 5 easy clicks than 3 difficult ones. Focus your site design around your customers and their experience, rather than any mythical guiding principles. You know your user-base best.
- On a small screen, white space is more important than ever. Take advantage of the long scroll and spread things out. Bear in mind, using fewer layers and images often means the screen will load more quickly.
- You aren't limited to the constrains of print so make the most of animation and video, they are eye catching and create a dynamic experience for the user.
- Clarity will win you more friends than wit. Menus littered with inside jokes will be difficult for new customers to navigate so it’s always best to be clear and descriptive when you’re aiming for that seamless user experience.
We designed our app to offer a very intuitive user experience and a sleek, professional layout that all our clients can be proud to show their customers. The whole point of a Sales Enablement app is to make it easier for salespeople to find and share the latest sales collateral marketing has provided for them.