Six steps to creating a great UX on your website
Now that we know a great user experience (UX) is the key to increasing a website's value and conversion rate, how do we create a good UX for our prospective students, current students and the campus community?
There are lots of tools and methodologies that can help you determine how to deliver a good UX, but no matter what resource you use, here are six rules you can always consider when working on the Web:
1. Make your website user oriented
Always study user's needs first when starting a Web project. Our first priority is making sure we meet their needs.
2. Let users recognize rather than recall
Follow the "don't make me think" principle. Always inform users of where they are, what their task is and what steps they can take next.
3. Provide a flexible, efficient way for users to interact
User behavior on a website is much more variable than on other media. Always give them the flexibility to take different actions or give them the opportunity to use the “back” button if they make mistakes.
4. Keep the aesthetic but minimize the design
The way your website looks is also a function of UX. It's important to keep the site visually appealing, but not to the point that it prevents users from completing their tasks.
5. Follow the visual and content standards
Keep the consistency throughout the entire website. Consistent style gives users a smooth experience.
6. Make all the content and call-to-action areas helpful
Educate your users (especially on pages targeting new ones) about how to interact with your website. When you present new information to users, always offer meaningful aids to help them understand their tasks.
True UX goes far beyond giving customers what they say they want or simply providing checklist features. In order to achieve high-quality UX, all parts need to work together, including content strategy, site architecture and visual interface design.
Understanding the value of UX and how it creates a better online experience for the students is key to helping the university reach its enrollment goals. Want to learn more? Look for the monthly training opportunities Web Services offers to help you get the most out of your website.
Erica Zhang is the Web/UX designer for Texas Wesleyan. She has an MFA from the University of Michigan and can be reached at email@example.com.