User Experience Design
Websites and apps can be wonderful marketing tools, but they can also frustrate and deter users from returning if their experience with them is unpleasant or unnecessarily difficult.
Our user experience designers (UX designers) think about what a visitor is trying to accomplish when they move through a site or app, keeping in mind the brand experience. A website/app is going to determine the way visitors will perceive your brand and it’s important to make sure their experience ensures it will be a good perception.
This is why our approach to user experience design is not simply limited to website navigation and function. Websites serve the distinct purpose of providing visitors information about a company and its product. But, they also serve the purpose of brand experience. It’s important to acknowledge this and design with it in mind. At Torque, we see design in general as the process of creating something that someone will use for a specific purpose.
User experience design is an elevated level of that concept and it works to serve technology, business requirements, and visual design. It often depends on a team with expertise in multiple disciplines. It is an emerging practice and is sometimes criticized by skeptics as being too difficult to measure ROI or that it should come as part of the programming and design process.
We believe it is deserving of it’s own process because everyone’s been to a confusing website; one where content is difficult to find and dialog boxes keep popping up, trying to force you down a specific path. Those experiences are frustrating and annoying. Would you go back to a site like that? Us neither.
User experience, by definition, brings attention back to the user; not what we think they should do, but what they actually do when they’re presented with the look, content, and function of a website. This information is extremely useful in that it gives insight into the user and how to make their experiences and, equally as important, their opinions of the business better. It is our job to understand the consumer even better than they understand themselves.
Luckily, the UX design process is concerned with the sociology, psychology, and behavior of the audience stakeholder. This process shares common characteristics with social media marketing in that both look at and consider the behaviors of consumers to find ways to help and provide value along the way.
Visual design is relatively self-explanatory, but no less important as a part of the user experience. First impressions are almost always based on image. If a website/ app isn’t appealing/stimulating/engaging or professional enough, it can create a lasting and detrimental impression of the brand and company.
The way a website/ app is laid out heavily factors into a user’s experience. Complex or confusing layouts can be frustrating for users and lead to negative brand impressions. When designing a layout it’s important to keep in mind what a visitor will experience when traveling throughout it.
Ensuring the right words are chosen when labeling sections is what can make the difference in SEO.
A website/ app that doesn’t do anything isn’t engaging for a user. Ensuring that your website/ app is interactive and gets users to do something, be it engage in discussion or simply interact with entertaining content, is very important in ensuring their experience is good enough to return.
A beautiful website/ app is one thing, but it also has to serve a purpose. It needs to be functional as well. Ensuring that it is both visually stimulating and also serves a purpose to the business and the user is significant.
Every page of your web/ app should be as interesting and easy to move through as the last so making sure the content is laid out appealingly and understandably is another key part.