We have another great WP-Tonic round-table show where we discuss the best of WordPress news stories and one main topic. The topic this week was “User Experience Design.” We had a great discussion about WordPress security and our main topic, UX design and WordPress.
WordPress News Stories This Week
1 – Matt Mullenweg Responds to Security Rant: Digital Signatures for WordPress Updates Are Important but Not a Priority
2 – How Many WordPress Plugins is Too Many? The Answer Might Surprise You
3 – WordPress REST API Vulnerability Exploits Continue
This Week’s WordPress Panel
Krissie VandeNoord: from krissievandenoord.com
Sallie Goetsch: from WP Fangirl
Jackie D’Elia: from Jackie D’Elia Design
Kim Shivler: from White Glove Web Training
John Locke: from Lockedown SEO
Jonathan Denwood: from WP-Tonic.com
Main Topic: What is User Experience Design?
User experience designer re lies a lot on user research. You have to know who your audience is, and what they need, and what they’re looking for. Once you know these things you can design a site to lead them down a specific path.
At the very least, user experience design should remove any barriers from the site visitor getting what they want.
One of the biggest barriers in the web design industry is a failure to recognize that mobile is the predominant platform. Most websites are still designed on the desktop first, and the mobile design is usually a secondary concern.
Designing for mobile forces us to think about what the most important page elements actually are. It’s not enough to just shove the sidebar down to the bottom. Users might not even realize there is a sidebar below the main content on mobile.
Interaction and Engagement
Interaction engagement are also large parts of user experience design. Kim says if there is no interaction, you don’t have a class. (She works primarily with learning management systems).
UX is currently a hot button subject because if no one can use your site or your app, you won’t have customers.
The Difference Between UX and UI
John asked Krissie what the difference between UX and UI design is. Chrissy said UX is relates mostly to strategy and making sure users can reach their goals. UI or user interaction design is about making it very clear what each page element is and what you can do with it.
UX in the Design Process
The user experience designer has a seat early in the design process. They are there when the design agency and clients are defining who the target customers are. Once personas your put together, user research begins with real data.
This user research may consist of surveys, interviews, analytics, user testing or anything else that will give insight to the design team.
Design conventions like the hamburger icon become a visual shorthand for people. Icons have meaning, and conventions that are used on other websites provide a shortcut to understanding. Deviating from patterns that are already known through the Internet make it difficult for users to understand how to use a site.
Software as a service products may require a lot of online training, on page tooltips, or resources for learning more about the product. These are all part of user experience and support customers using websites easily.
Resources for Learning More About User Experience Design
Below we list some resources for tracking use your data on existing websites. Add tools such as these can give information about where people are clicking, where they are scrolling, or where they are abandoning a page. This information will show what changes need to be made on the site.
Links mentioned during the show:
Rethink.fm Episode #8: Designing User Experiences
Foundations of UX: Content Strategy
Foundations of UX: Logic and Content
Human Factors Intl
Design of Everday things
Just Enough Research
Designing for Emotion
Don’t Make Me Think