How to Plan for UX in Vogue Terms
by Chelsea Caplan
In the words of Coco Chanel, “Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.” So why should your website be any different?
Just as your style represents your personal brand and what you stand for, a website represents the quality of your company’s brand and how it fits your customer’s needs. It’s time to rummage through the “drawers” of your website and uncover how to dress your site for success.
The first thing to consider is what you want your website to say about your company and how you want people to react. Do you want your website to be welcoming and friendly, or clean and sophisticated? Do you want your user to pick up the phone to call your sales team, or do you want them to fill out a form to learn more information?
Here are some top style tips to consider for your site:
Know Your Audience
Just as you wouldn’t wear workout clothes to a business meeting, it’s important to understand your audience and what they expect from you.
The most important insights on how to design a good interface should be gleaned from your users. One way to go about this is looking at the competition to see which websites are at the top in your field and if they are using similar layouts advertisement colors.
You have to have a clear picture of the needs that are bringing people to your site and how the design will draw them in further. For example, using specific design patterns can help ease users into your site and navigate where they want to go.
Once you have identified your audience, you can test how your design plays out among them and then consider their feedback.
Sometimes Simpler is Better
Wearing too many colors can clash with the eye, so in the same manner, a simple and consistent approach to your website (and wardrobe) is often more powerful.
Make your website easy to understand and interact with. It is your job to subtly lead your audience from where they are to where they need to go. In order to do this, you can make use of various design elements such as colors, typography, visual hierarchies and feedback messages.
Consistency is also important–reinforcing specific design aspects of your website (CTA buttons, form fills, etc.) will help the user understand your site and where to go.
Create a Hierarchy of What You Want Your Audience to See
When dressing for success, you typically have in mind what you want people to focus on (a sophisticated jacket, a polished tie, etc.). Similarly, the most important elements of your website should be highlighted to ensure the user focuses on them.
An example of this would be to make specific elements bigger, such as a CTA button, and turn it into a focal point. Another way would be to use white space to draw the eye to crucial parts of your site.
You can even introduce an unexpected element into your site to ensure it captures attention. But as we mentioned before, consistency and simplicity is important so that it does not break the visual pattern of your site.
Typography and Color Are In Style
Think about your favorite graphic tee and what it says about you. These designs are not just about the words, but the way the words are written on the shirt—no one wants “Keep Pounding” to be in a barely legible font or color.
For your website, make sure headers are highlighted and make the text stand out. You can do this by contrasting backgrounds so that the text will pop. Also, be sure to pay attention to how color combinations will look in reverse type, as some might not translate well.
Colors can be used to convey visual hierarchy, elevate your designs, and create relationship between specific elements. And, of course, size of the font is a key component when considering design.
Make Your Forms Fashionable
Most of the time you’re willing to pay a little more for a specific product or brand because you know you can expect great quality. This also goes for offers and forms on a website, as the customer is willing to exchange more information in a form to receive a valuable offer.
With that said, it’s OK to ask users for more information about their needs as long as your questions correlate with what the user will receive in return.
As a rule of thumb, making your forms as simple as possible makes it more appealing to the user. Check out Hubspot’s The 5 Critical Components of Fantastic Lead-Capture Forms for more great tips.
One thing to note is that while UX design is very important, the highest priority is functionality to ensure the customer can easily navigate the site.
UX design does directly correlate with functionality,drawing the eye to where you want the user to go, but if your site is functioning on the backend, then your users will not hesitate to bounce out of your site. For this reason function must always be the priority.
Now that that’s settled, you have some tips to accessorize your site and catch the eye of your customer.