UX / Usability
UX stands for "User Experience" (yeah, the Americans have knocked the "E" off) and we think it's a crucial element in good web design and development. UX, usability, site navigation and information architecture are all part of the same package to us - we'll make sure your message is conveyed, your audience find what they're looking for, and everything is easy to use - both for your visitors, and for you in the admin of your site.
Depending on the nature of your project, we can help you arrange your content into the best user journey, wireframe any complex interfaces to make sure the process is easy, and make sure that your website performs as best as it can.
We're not only concerned with your visitors though - if your site contains admin functions; if it lets you manage subscribers or clients, or handles your invoicing, or even just lets you update content then we want that to be as useful as possible. If there's a task your team spend a long time on each day, let us see if we can make it quicker. Web systems and apps can really help efficiency within companies and give great ROI.
In terms of the actual visual interface, we've worked with and are big fans of Bootstrap (from the people behind Twitter), which provides a great "HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web". We also love the Material Design Lite "library of components & templates in vanilla CSS, HTML and JS" from Google which provides a great toolkit of UI components that can easily be incorporated into your web projects to give a consistent, professional look and feel.
What about Mobile?
Ever since the Google mobile friendly update, back on the 21st of April, 2015, there has been a big move to responsive web design. This means your site is customised to look and work better on screens of all sizes. Typically this might involve stacking or hiding elements on a small screen to make the user experience better and avoid the need to zoom in to read certain elements. The great thing about responsive design, is that whilst it's generally better to build things with mobile in mind, it's not impossible to retro-fit an old site with media queries to make it responsive.
If you'd like help making your website responsive, and avoid being hit in the SERPs as a result of having a non-compliant site, then contact us for details. It might not be as big a deal as you expect, and it could be the most important thing you do today, ensuring your site continues to rank well in the future.
The Importance of Page Load Speed
Another important consideration when it comes to user experience is page load speed. In such a fast moving world, we're very aware of the need for websites to load quickly, especially when your visitors are increasing using mobile devices.
To keep things snappy on mobile, we take care to only load the resources absolutely necessary, so if the desktop version of your page requires a large hero image, we only load a smaller / mobile friendly version for mobile users.
We use Google PageSpeed Insights to fine tune your website page load speed. Their reports provide a handy reference of things to improve, including:
- Optimize images
- Enable compression
- Leverage browser caching and CDNs such as Cloudfront
- Minify CSS and JS
If you need help with any of the above, then please do drop us a line to discuss your project and how we can help.
Real World Examples
Below are a few examples of how we've put UX / Usability into practise in the real world. Click on any project to read more about it in our portfolio section.