Expert Tips to Improve Your Website’s Design, Branding & UX
Now that the Covid-19 crisis is beginning to ease, organizations are putting more and more emphasis on emerging from this crisis in the strongest position possible. Based on this guide has been created to help the best website, brand, and communications managers assess their company’s website and branding while in this pandemic.
How Strong is Your Website's User Experience (UX)
No matter how efficient your website looks or how well it performs, it will live and die by the experience it offers to your key audiences. Organizations often assume that their website’s UX is strong because it was tailored to their key audiences when the website was first built. In reality, your website’s UX should be under constant review as the company evolves and changes. It may have been a long time since your company last took a step back and defined its key audiences and user groups. If this is the case, now could be the perfect time to make some headway on this front.
Work with your teammate to clearly define who your key user groups are and how you want them to use your website. Ensure that every area of the organization is represented and, wherever possible, base these definitions on up to date demographics, analytics and data. Once you have a clear understanding of who your key audiences are, a great way to test how well your caters to them is to create a set of user person. These are individual, fictional characters with motivations and personalities, each representing one of your key user groups. By navigating your website from each person's point of view and attempting to achieve their individual goals, you can test your website’s UX from each of your key users’ perspectives and record any obstacles or issues that you encounter.
Another important step to optimising your website’s UX is to make sure that your website is set up with analytics reporting, whether through Google Analytics. This will provide you with a data-driven impression of how users are interacting with your website on a basic level. Are they mostly using desktop or mobile? Which pages receive the most traffic? Which products are selling best?
Once you have a strong understanding of who your key audiences are and how they interact with the website, you can go one step further by setting your analytics up to report on your website’s key goals by tracking conversions. Conversions are a very useful metric in assessing your website’s user experience; they can be used to track specific events and journeys, like a prospective client’s journey from your home page to your contact form or a customer’s journey from an advert on social media to a completed purchase. You can even track the use of your website’s search bar to see what content your users are trying to find on your site.
Overall, the best thing you can do to assess your website’s general UX while in this pandemic is to use it regularly. Set time aside every week to try out a few different user journeys and record the issues that you find, with screenshots and URLs, before passing these issues on to your team to resolve.
Is Your Brand up to Date and Consistent?
Much like your website’s UX, your company’s brand needs to be allowed to evolve and grow as the organisation moves forward. Your branding and its implementation – on and offline – should therefore be under constant review. Understanding your audience is as important to effective branding as it is to providing optimised UX. An excellent place to begin when reviewing your would be to follow the steps described in section one by redefining your key audiences.
With your user groups clearly defined, you will be perfectly placed to review your brand from a user’s perspective and identify its shortcomings. Here are some steps you can take to assess and improve the quality of your brand.
- Work with your design team to ensure that you have a clear, regularly updated set of brand guidelines.
- Establish an ambitious set of design principles in line with your positioning and key audiences.
- If your brand operates across multiple digital touchpoints, ensure that each area is consistent. For example, your 's look and feel should be in line with the styling of your brochures, email signatures and social media posts. Just one of these being out of touch with the rest will make your organisation look inconsistent and unprofessional.
Do You Have Effective Design System in Place
Your website design system is a combination of everything involved in your brand, from brand guidelines and design principles through to processes, accessibility best practice and style guides. An effective web design system will hold all of your brand’s key documents in a centralised and easily accessible location, constituting a unified system. The scale of your web design systems will depend on the size and nature of your company/brand.
If you do have a design system in place, it is vitally important that you regularly review and update it. If left unchecked, it will become diluted and, eventually, redundant. As a result, your website or brand’s look, feel and messaging will become inconsistent and unaligned with your positioning and values.
We're Here to Help
This is an expert guide that we will be sharing to support through this difficult period, covering everything from website upkeep to UX and marketing. If you identify any issues resulting from these guidelines that require external support to resolve, our team is ready to help. You can get in touch with us through email@example.com, or by calling +971 52 708 1010.
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