Tag: research

Website Redesign, the First Steps

Website_Redesign_01

Weak interface solutions is one of the modern Internet’s current problems. Users that see imperfections regularly may not notice them, but then they encounter another website that has a better design and realize that the first one was not that good. It is this fact that pushes major organizations to experiment with the design of their website interface and make a complete redesign. Does my website need a redesign? And what tools are used to create an intuitive and user-friendly interface?

The reasons why companies may consider redesigning their website:

1. Absence of targeted traffic

Your site neither attracts targeted traffic nor attracts enough traffic. The lack of targeted traffic is one of the first reasons to change the current website interface.

2. Changing the principles or business objectives of a company

Structural changes in the company’s business goals lead to interface redesign. Such changes are especially relevant in a situation where a non-commercial site has to occupy a niche in commercial sites field.

3. The desire to accentuate the content

Websites are often created without the properly structuralized content. For this reason, a huge number of sites are not adapted for users and search engines. The search for the necessary content turns into a test. Content accentuation makes the necessary information easily accessible.

Evaluate your site by these criteria and determine the need for redesign. The process of redesigning is complex, multi-level work that requires a responsible approach at every stage. In the process of developing the first version of the site, you probably did not study the target audience, and the design was not excellent. Redesign is a correction of mistakes and its distinctive features are:

– the research of target audience and development of the user path based on the data provided by research

– the development of target audience-oriented content

– the development of content-oriented interface

The process of website redesign has nothing to do with rebranding. The redesign implies changes to the structure based on the data provided by UX researches.

Where to Start?

You should start the process of redesign by conducting a research of your target audience. Here is the list of some powerful UX tools used to make a full-scale research:

User Interviews

Website Redesign

If you have planned to redesign your website, you should focus your attention on the customers that use the site on a regular basis and know the flaws of your interface. The UX designer should conduct user interviews, which sometimes can be of a challenge. The thing is that it is often hard for user to answer the questions about the specifics of interface interaction. This happens because users get used to the interactions with your website and it becomes like a routine for them – no specifics to describe, just the usual automatic actions When conducting an interview, it is important to receive the most detailed information from the user. One way is to conduct a contextual interview.
Contextual interview allows you to combine user observation and a classic interview form. During the user observation, you have to ask him to comment on the actions performed when using the website interface. During the contextual interview, it is necessary to questions, clarify them if needed, and record the answers. Help users to formulate their thoughts in order to get the most accurate information.

Finding Out the Users Personas

Website Redesign

An important part of user-oriented interface creation is to work out the user “Persona”. It is a generalized representation of one part of the target audience, the users of which have similar views on your product. When creating a “Persona”, the UX designer should include the characteristics that are common to one group of your clients, according to the researches conducted before.
The Personas let you see the possible ways your project can go and may influence the decisions about the website interface. A “Persona” may also simplify third-party interactions that you deal with throughout the project. A detailed “Persona” describes the target audience in a quick and understandable way.

You should conduct a research of users personas in a team, because you can get to know your target audience and use that experience in further interface updates. A creation of “Persona” begins with defining users characteristics that should be obtained in the course of researches (e.g. user interviews, analysis of user reviews). Group the characteristics of “Persona” into clusters and analyze them. Then, exclude the characteristics that are useless for the business and group clusters that include common characteristics together. The clusters should be further personalized, made memorable and realistic. Specify the information:

– Name, age, gender and a photo

– Description of activities

– The experience of using your product and your competitor’s

– Their goals and problems your website solves

it is important to remember that it is necessary to create a realistic image – this will help the team to memorize the person they are developing interface for.

Content Development

Website Redesign

You should develop the target audience-oriented content in accordance with the research data obtained.
Content-oriented approach is one of the most popular methodology for website design and redesign development. In this approach, the content is the essence of your website. The design should provide the user with an intuitive and comfortable path to the desired content. Instead of developing a nice-looking UI that has poor layout logic, start developing content that is needed by users. This approach saves you the time spent on iterations, if you have started the redesign with the development of UI. Target audience-oriented content is one of criteria that lets you build the information structure that is intuitively understandable to users. In its turn, the information structure will become a good basis of further UI development that will be aesthetic, authentic and intuitive for the target audience.

General Recommendations

Before you start redesigning your website you should consider the project’s budget in order not to use the excessive amount of methods. If the designer knows the budget, he can distribute it among different UX methods in a correct way. Some project may require more “contextual user interviews” with “user observation”, some may require a “usability testing”. In any event, it should be remembered that you should use empathy in order to understand the users to whom you develop the interface for. This is possible only if you research the target audience with UX methodologies and SEO data regularly.

Conclusion

In the course of this article, we have reviewed some simple actions and methods that may be implemented by an UX designer to redesign the website in a quick and efficient way. It should be understood that target audience research is not limited to user interviews and “Persona” creation. The amount of “UX research” methods is full of elegant elements that help designers to make their projects better and better. The main purpose of this article was to unveil some user-research methodologies in UX design and to understand some core principles of developing a well-structured website. The next articles will focus on powerful tools that an UX designer may use to develop an intuitive interface, and what tools should be implemented to keep the constantly changing user needs under control.

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Flowchart in UX Research

UX Research

Development of empathic interface is a serious task that requires deliberate decisions from a Product Designer, which is why every stage of UX Research has great importance. In this article, we will analyze a tool that can help you at one of the first stages – Ideate.

Usually, when a designer develops an idea, it determines the development vector of an estimated product. A User Flow Tool can be a good helper at this stage. Origins of User Flow can be found in technical block diagrams describing algorithms and technical processes.

user flow example

At the moment, User Flow combines block diagrams and visual interface elements. These diagrams enable a designer to set a goal in advance, and test suggested user flows, defining key moments and determining issues at the Define Stage. An important advantage of User Flow Diagrams is its opportunity to reduce costs of a project, excluding a large number of UX mistakes even before prototyping of a tool, and simplicity of reading patterns allows to clearly demonstrate a Client or a Manager the importance of any solution.

To better understand the need for User Flow in your projects, click on the link to see a diagram.

When reading or creating such diagrams, don’t forget to follow basic principles which designers use in their User Flows:

  1. Limitations and Naming. A User Flow Name is a set goal of user flow; when creating a diagram, it’s important to set a user goal as accurately as possible to use it as a name of your diagram. It’s also important to plan the naming of each element of your User Flow. Deliberate and laconic names are one of the fundamental rules for creating a diagram that allows easily following the pattern making it convenient and logical.
  2. Standards. Even though current User Flows are not regulated, and there’s no a specific form for developing them, we followed a fundamental principle of standardized block diagrams while developing this diagram:

Each fan-out can only come from “diamonds.” A user can change the flow only by making its choice.

This diagram demonstrates User Flow in an application where a user can book an apartment directly from a property owner, a final goal of  which is to “Execute a booking request.”

UX Research

This small example allows us to measure the flexibility of the diagram. We reflected user flow to a specified objective and some flows that bring it back to the main route in situations when a user can’t respond positively.

Flexibility is a key element of User Flow. User Flow is not the system documentation and/or Use Case. All these factors provide such a broad diagram profile.

User Flow is an amazing tool, allowing to plan a variety of options for achieving a set goal of user flow that might help a designer and a team to prevent the possibility of costly mistakes at early stages of product development and make a well-considered and convenient project for an end user.

You can try to create a free User Flow Diagram at our platform. FlowMapp is an end-to-end solution for a designer, enabling a team to have full control of a project at each UX Research Stage.

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