We’re a big fan of online courses. In fact, we’re making our own right now! In this day and age, it’s important to keep your skill set fresh and current. This week I discovered a thorough list of UX courses. Well known sites like Udemy and Lynda.com offer some useful courses; from how to use Adobe Photoshop CS6 for web designers to Foundations of UX.
I’ve learnt plenty from online courses. If you can stick with them, they can considerably boost your skill set. I recommend viewing reviews from previous participants before committing to a particular course as you want to make sure the course is high quality, and you’ll get the value for your money.
You website’s homepage is the face of your company. When anyone here’s about a new company, they usually google it and will click the through to your website homepage. Within moments, they’ll decide whether or not to explore your website, or go back to Google and to move onto other things. Your homepage is the shop window to your business, and you need to display your marketing message, your offer (products/services) in such a way that site visitors will want to stay on your website to learn more.
Optimising your homepage is imperative if you want to keep attracting potential customers and clients. It can be tough to do and requires plenty of planning and research. You need to be adopting the latest developments in web design in you want to build a more-than-average website.
We believe this is a good article/resource to get started.
Clearly Express Brand’s Feel
They recommend focussing on the emotional connection with the site visitor. Achieving this is done through the logo, tagline, text and overall design of the homepage. Every aspect has to be considered. A great quote they use is from Peter Drucker, “People buy with their hearts, not their minds.” This is why it’s worth investing money in marketing and graphic design experts. These experts will be able to help you express how you want site visitors to see your business.
Streamline User Navigation
The author offers useful tips on how to streamline user navigation on your website. I’ve recently completely removed certain features and navigational tabs on my website because there’s a danger of having too much information, particularly on your home page. If you go back and review what necessary information needs to be there, you’ll discover that many features can be removed. For example, I removed the ‘Contact Us’ button that was in the top right navigational bar and placed it in the footer. If people really want to contact you, they’ll search for that page. I don’t want the first thing a site visitor to view to be a cluttered homepage that may give a poor representation of my brand.
Keep Content Concise
An interesting fact I picked up here was about a study that found out that a 58% increase in homepage usability can be achieved by simply keeping the content on your homepage as concise as possible. Most readers like to skim read content to find the information they need. Therefore, it would be wise to remove unnecessarily long paragraphs and sentences. You can also break up the text with relevant images and videos.
Highlighting your credibility on your homepage will build trust with site visitors. Even by improving your “About Us” page with up to date company information and leaving accurate contact details will be beneficial.
This article is extremely relevant to the Digital Heart tea right now as we’re building an email course around this topic (stay tuned for that!). The author here has compiled a comprehensive guide to hiring a top UX designer by following the steps below:
- Create Your Job Description
- Seek Out Good Candidates
- Ask the Right Interview Questions
- Check for Common Mistakes
They nailed this process on the head by remembering to watch out for these common mistakes. So often there is confusion between the small business and the developer on who should do what tasks and even before hiring a UX developer, a lot of time needs to go into creating a very thorough design brief.
Check for Common Mistakes
- Lack of focus.
- No clear value proposition.
- Forms from hell.
- No story or personality.
- Launching at the wrong time.
When it comes to building a new website, the relationship between the User Experience team and the Engineering team is a vital factor in creating a successful website. The author of this article mentions how UX professionals and engineers don’t communicate well, and when they do they usually speak different languages (regarding technical jargon and from different perspectives). He believes by encouraging UX/Engineering teams to talk frequently, meet in person regularly and review each other’s work results in a bigger scope for innovation. Long time periods between communication is a sure way for this type of relationship to fail.
Nix the language barrier
Improving the communication and language barrier happen by using concepts that make sense to everyone. The author suggests using these terms:
Instead of technical jargon, all team members understand these concepts and can give feedback to UX issues with no training at all.
A common issue between UX and Engineering is when a UX designer creates a stunning, interactive design but never consulted the engineer before doing so. The design may be too expensive or take too long to complete the project schedule. The best way to solve this is to communicate well from the very beginning. It significantly reduces the chances of things like this happening.
Share. Inspire. Compromise
The point reiterated here is “The more often your engineering colleagues see what you’re working on and collaborate with you, the more rewards you’ll reap as your relationship strengthens.”
UX designers always want the most efficient solution for the user, but those solutions have a cost. Although, this isn’t a bad thing. Conversations about designs that are tough/ not feasible to implement can lead to a point where an engineer will say “that’s not possible, but this is …” and this is fine as you’re still innovating.