One More Time, With Feeling

Apr 28th, 2020 Design

The importance of creating enjoyable user experiences 

Oblige me for a moment, would you? 

Let’s close our eyes and take a mental walk to one of your favorite coffee shops (because that’s really the only way we can get there right now). It’s your favorite for a reason; perhaps you're greeted with a color palette that makes you feel immediately at ease, or energized, or creative. The tables are made of wood, which reminds you of being in a cabin somewhere deep in the woods, and there’s an intricate and unique lighting scheme that sets the room up perfectly. Maybe the checkout counter is deep emerald green, or there’s particular wallpaper that makes you feel like you’re in the Art Deco era. Whatever it is about this place, the way it makes you feel is why you’re willing to pay five dollars for a cup of coffee.

The feeling our favorite places give us contributes to our experience in them, and that experience is what keeps us coming back for more—no matter the cost. This sentiment can be translated into digital experiences, which is why everything from the way your website looks and reads to the social ads you generate should be crafted with care. In real life, we call it emotional responses. In the digital world, we call it UX.

Give ‘em something to look forward to

Just as we look forward to walking into our favorite stores, your customers look forward to visiting your website—if you put them first when creating it. Before throwing together images and messaging and stitching it all up into a Frankenstein-esque layout, think about what you want your customers to feel once they’re on your site. A sense of urgency? Curiosity? Comfort? Excitement? Everything from the colors you choose to the navigation you thread together contributes to how visitors will feel, so be intentional. Don’t just splatter red all over because you like red. Don’t just flatly state what you offer. Figure out what color works with the feeling you’re trying to draw out and tailor messaging and language to reinforce it. 

Don’t lead them astray 

No one likes to feel lost, but chances are your customers will if your website has no rhyme or reason to its navigation, story, or purpose. The end goal is to lead them into action, whether it’s buying something, contacting you, submitting a form, or scheduling an appointment—but that won’t happen if your site is like the maze from The Shining. To keep things crystal clear, and more importantly, enjoyable for your visitors, map out your website in a manner that makes sense, guiding users throughout and leading them toward the solution you provide. Everyone enjoys a walk in the park. No one likes to get stuck in the weeds.

Make design and content work together 

Have you ever worked somewhere where two people just didn’t get along? Or tested out the old adage, oil and water don’t mix? Have you ever tried to wear dark brown with black? (A debate for another day...) They just don’t work. When you try to pair content and design that don’t mesh, it can feel like all those interactions, but with much more on the line. You can’t build real excitement if your site looks like an office painted entirely in beige, just like you can’t get anyone to pay attention if you have mesmerizing yellows and blues but content that puts people to sleep, or worse, doesn’t effectively explain who you are and what you do. Design and content should go together like peas and carrots, or Jenny and Forest. 

No one wants to be the odd man out 

When building your site, you’re probably thinking about customers you work with everyday. The ones you’ve come to know and understand. However, there is a vast pool of untapped potential customers out there, and they’re all different, which means you have to find a way for your website to cater to diverse demographics. 

For example, don’t assume your product or service only appeals to men—you’ll seem exclusive at the very least. Don’t forget to be accessible to those with disabilities and build your digital presence accordingly. Not sure how? Check out Google’s web store to browse accessibility extensions. By creating an experience that is enjoyable and beneficial for all, you’re not only giving yourself the opportunity to increase your customer base, but you’re just being a good person. Because there’s really no eloquent way to put it: being left out sucks. 

Remember, if someone doesn’t like your website, they can leave in less than a second. It’s just that easy, which is why it’s just that important to craft an exceptional UX experience—and we can help. If your website is in need of a refresh or a full-on facelift, we can design, write, and execute an experience that gives your favorite coffee shop a run for its five-dollar cup of coffee. Give us a call to learn how we can help. Want to try before you buy? Check out our work.

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