What is UX? UX is techie jargon for “User Experience” — how an internet user (and potential customer) navigates your site.
UX goes beyond sites and can describe any way in which a user experiences a product. Whether an app, social media platform, or cooking utensil, UX is all about the experience using it and the feelings derived during and after its use.
UX goes beyond just “usability,” which is more about function. UX includes the aesthetic of it all, aesthetic being blatantly: is your website pretty?
Think of yourself as an internet user; you’re likely reading this article on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Now, think of your emotions surrounding your experience. Are the colors of our titles appealing? Is the font streamlined and readable? Do the graphics spark emotions for you or create more clarity?
Let’s look at a case study.
ATAQ UX Case Study
Check out ATAQ Fuel, a plant-based sports nutrition company. When you open their website, there is a video of athletes biking, running, climbing, and swimming. This gives the user emotions they associate with working out and the endorphins that come with it.
Now check outthe text. It makes sense, aesthetically. Using clean, black and white text and a simple font pairs well with their clean, simple ingredients. Also, their use of all-caps text — which to a reader is powerful and bold - evokes the same emotions you get from a hard workout.
Looking at their use of colors, the neon yellow against black gives a powerful sports theme and reminds us of other sports and exercise companies like Nike and SoulCycle.
The aesthetics of the website match the aesthetics of the branding. Wouldn’t it be confusing if a plant-based sports nutrition site focused on being cutting-edge but used comic sans or bland hotel room colors?
When it comes to UX, matching your usability with your visual presentation, is how you become a memorable player and establish your brand in the eye of your consumer.
UX and Gen Z
According to TIME, the average user spends 15 seconds reading a website. Even scarier, 55% of readers spend less than 15 seconds reading before they exit a site. If your site is not pleasing to look at, you‘re likely guaranteeing that visitors won’t make it to the 15 second mark.
According to Forbes, in a world where influencers rule, 76% of Gen-Z follow an influencer on social media. Aesthetics are everything. Influencers’ entire careers are built on their aesthetic, so if a single person is doing it, why shouldn't your brand do it?
Aesthetic definition: Concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty
“Beauty” may intimidate many, but it's shown that Gen Z cares about aesthetics. Pinterest ran a study and found over 37 million aesthetic related boards on Pinterest, with Gen Z’ers searching for “aesthetic” 447% more than Millennials.
All in all, make sure your website looks nice. If not, Gen Z is going to exit faster than you can pronounce “aesthetic.”
Let’s go through our top suggestions for an aesthetically pleasing webpage.
Websites and UX
Coloring should be deliberate and tell the reader further what elements should demand their attention. Practice hierarchy using warm colors to demand attention — like red, orange, or neon — and cool colors to place in the background — like blue, green, and purple.
Images are great on a text-heavy web page and can draw the reader in. Photos must be chosen carefully, though, because an ill-placed image can distract from your well-written content.
Infographics are another useful tool when it comes to images. When well placed, infographics help clarify your text as well as break up paragraphs.
Navigation and UX
Make your content easy to find! A user may not land directly on your homepage first if redirected from another website or guided by Google search results, so the menu should be straightforward on every webpage. You want the reader to stay on as long as possible, so allowing them to flip through web pages quickly should be the goal.
White Space and UX
If we can emphasize just one thing, it’s white space. Give your reader time to breathe! Too much text, like a lengthy scholarly article, can be intimidating and increase your bounce rate. White space is your friend and can be used to strengthen your page when chosen strategically.
Consistency and UX
Surprise should not be the goal here. Consistency in colors, design, images, and other elements helps solidify your branding and make your website seem whole.
The navigation should be in the same place and format across the entire site. Clear navigation bars make your content easy to find and let’s visitors continue to browse around pages. The experience should be aspersonal and usable as possible.
Organization and UX
The webpage should be visually balanced with paragraphs logically placed in the middle and titles appropriately sized. Having too many varying fonts, pop-ups, or wild images can be distracting and discomforting.
Keep your page aligned with clean visuals and CTAs appropriately placed.
How Site Structure Impacts UX: A Summary
Your website structure can make or break your site’s user experience. By following these three simple tenets, you’ll be well on your way to crafting an unforgettable user experience:
- Implement easily understood layouts
- Ensure navigation & navigational flows are easy to understand.
- Create content & information that is easily found and consumed.
In summary, make sure your user experience puts ease of use at the forefront of everything!