it’s not about you, it’s about the user

user interface in web designOne of the biggest mistakes we see as marketing professionals is a client who gets caught up in telling their story without regard for what the customer is looking for. Your website and all communications should be user-centric and user-friendly. The needs, wants and desires of your user/consumer/customer should be the first thing a website delivers. How you guide your customer through your site and deliver the appropriate information comes from content strategy and planning.

User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) overlap because a bad interface makes for a bad experience. The interface is how the information is presented and the experience is how it feels to use. If the user experience is positive, you will keep them on your site longer and more likely close the deal or sell the product.

Here are some examples that can make for a bad user experience — popups that are poorly timed that users find intrusive and annoying, overly long forms that ask too much of the user, not finding the product they want to buy in one or two clicks.

User interface should be as predictable as possible. Menus and searches are always at the top and should behave in a expected way. Calls to action are bold and easy to find so you can guide your user to the information they are looking for. Contact information, directions, maps, and phone numbers should be easy to find and be front and center on mobile, especially for retail. This is a great post — 7 unbreakable laws of user interface design.

Positive user experience comes from websites that are well designed and developed. The first impression is visual, if the website doesn’t look good, is busy and hard to read, you could lose your visitor immediately. If your site doesn’t function well and they can’t find what they are looking for, they will search for it elsewhere. Here is a more in-depth article about mobile user experience and mobile design from Smashing Magazine.