What is UX Design? Understanding User Experience

You need a solid UI to improve the UX to help you reach your KPI.

That sentence right there is a good example of why the user experience (UX) is so important. As a business owner, you may not know the difference between UX and UI (user interface) nor are you able to hire a full-time staff to figure it out for you. However, you know your key performance indicators (KPI) are important and your website is an area that impacts conversions directly.

Content may be king–unless it’s as jargon-specific as that first sentence of course–but the user experience is what drives leads, conversions, and other trackable goals.we

What is UX Design?

UX, or User Experience, in web design, is all about making websites easy and enjoyable to use. It’s like creating a smooth road for people to navigate online. Good UX means users can find what they need without getting frustrated or lost. It’s about organizing information logically, using clear labels and buttons, and designing pages that load quickly.

Think of it as the difference between a cluttered, confusing store and a well-organized, easy-to-navigate shop. UX designers focus on understanding how people interact with websites and then improving those interactions. They consider layout, colors, fonts, and how elements respond to user actions.

Ultimately, UX is about putting the user first, ensuring that every click and swipe feels intuitive and satisfying. It’s the difference between a website that users love to visit and one they quickly click away from. And it’s why you always spell out acronyms before you start throwing them around too much.

Why is UX Design Important in Today’s Digital World?

Phones displaying a website.

UX design directly impacts how people interact with digital products and services–simply put, it’s about making technology user-friendly. Good UX means smoother experiences for users, leading to increased satisfaction and productivity. In a world where technology is everywhere, from apps to websites to smart devices, user experience can make or break a product.

Imagine trying to use a phone with buttons all over the place and menus that don’t make sense – frustrating! UX Design solves these problems by focusing on simplicity, clarity, and intuitiveness. It’s like building a bridge between humans and machines, ensuring seamless communication. Businesses that invest in UX Design see higher customer retention, better conversion rates, and happier users.

ADA Compliance and UX Design

In today’s competitive market, providing a top-notch user experience isn’t just a bonus – it’s a necessity for success. This goes beyond the traditional customer base, too. UX Design and ADA compliance are both critical for ensuring equal access to digital content. UX Design focuses on creating user-friendly experiences, making websites easy to navigate and use for everyone.

ADA compliance, on the other hand, ensures that websites are accessible to people with disabilities, such as visual or hearing impairments. Combining UX Design with ADA compliance means making websites inclusive and accessible to all users, regardless of their abilities. It’s about removing barriers and providing equal opportunities for everyone to access information and services online.

This includes SEO best practices like alt tags on images so the visually impaired can take in the entire site. Ignoring ADA compliance not only excludes a portion of the population but also opens businesses to legal risks and reputational damage. By integrating ADA compliance into UX Design, websites become more user-friendly and legally compliant, benefiting both users and businesses alike.

What is UI Design?

User Interface (UI) design is essentially the look and feel of a website or application–it’s what users see and interact with on their screens and how fast they do it. UX and UI designers (often the same person) focus on creating layouts, graphics, and elements that make digital products easy to use and visually appealing without affecting page speed.

It’s about creating a seamless experience for users as they move through the website or app without having to deal with that spinning pinwheel. For example, user experience (UX) designers might create a cool interactive piece of the site and the UI designer will make sure it doesn’t slow things down too much.

UI designers also consider responsiveness–how the interface adapts to different screen sizes and devices. In today’s world, where people access websites and apps from various devices like smartphones, tablets, and desktops, responsive design is crucial for providing a consistent experience across platforms.

What Does a UX Designer Do?

In web development, UX Design focuses on a few key components that all websites should have. This begins with research and ends with ongoing testing:

  • User Research
  • Organizing Content
  • Wireframes
  • Visual Design
  • Interactive Design
  • Testing

Conduct User Research

User research is crucial in UX design work because it tells us who will use the website and what they want from it. You wouldn’t custom-build a home for a client without at least first asking them if they like an open floor plan. Understanding users helps you make smart decisions about layout, content, and functionality. Without user research, you’re guessing what your users want, and that often leads to websites that fall flat.

By understanding how real users use the web, pain points, observing how they interact with similar sites, and analyzing the data, you gain insights that guide the entire design process. User research helps us identify problems early on, saving time and frustration in the long run. Putting in the work upfront ensures that the website you create meets the needs and expectations of the people who will use it. UX research is the foundation of successful user experience Design.

Organizing Content

Content is king again, at least when it comes to how it’s presented. Known as information architecture, it determines how content is organized and presented on a website, making it easy for users to find what they need when they need it. Without a clear structure, users can get lost and eventually find their way to competitors.

Good information architecture ensures that content is logically arranged, with navigation paths that are easy to follow and clear labels. It simplifies the user’s journey, helping them accomplish tasks and achieve goals effortlessly. Whether it’s finding product information or contacting customer support, a well-designed information architecture enhances the overall user experience.


Example of a wireframe

Wireframes are simple, basic layouts that outline where things will go and how they’ll work. Think of them as the blueprint of the website before building the physical structure of a building or home. When you are building a home, it starts with the blueprints.

Where are elements that have been considered, where does the electrical and plumbing need to go? How big is each room, how do you navigate from the entry through the entire home? What are the power needs to support the electrical needs of the home? 

Wireframes help designers plan the structure and functionality of the site without getting bogged down by colors, fonts, or images. They focus on key elements like navigation, content placement, and user interaction.

With wireframes, designers can quickly test ideas and make changes at the start before investing time and resources into detailed designs. They’re a valuable tool for collaboration, allowing designers and stakeholders to see the website’s layout and provide feedback. Wireframes save time and effort by providing a blueprint that guides the entire UX Design process.

Visual Design

A website design for a dog groomer

This is where a web designer can start flexing their creative muscles. It’s all about making things look good to users even before they start cruising around. Visual design includes choosing complimentary colors, fonts, images, and layouts that reflect the brand and create an enticing experience. It can be as simple as not putting red letters on a green background to placing videos in the hero section of a page.

Visual design helps guide users through the website, highlighting important information and providing clear calls to action (CTA). It sets the tone and mood, creating a cohesive and seamless look that reinforces the website’s purpose and message. It’s not just about making things pretty, either–it’s about creating an enjoyable experience as the user flows into the sales funnel.

Interactive Design

If potential customers or clients want to reach out to buy something or schedule an appointment, why get in their way? Interactive design determines how users engage with a website, making it easy for them to satisfy their intent. This could be the design of the buttons, where menus are situated, and forms that are easy to fill out. Interactive design focuses on making these elements intuitive and easy to use, ensuring a smooth journey for users.

Interactive design considers how users will click, scroll, type, and navigate through the website to meet their end goals. It’s about anticipating user actions and making it easy for them to take the necessary steps to give you a lead or close a conversion. Good interactive design enhances usability, shaping the overall experience and satisfaction with the website.


Now it’s time to make sure everything works as it’s supposed to, putting the site through its paces before pushing it live. Testing involves real, human users trying out the website to identify any usability issues, glitches, or bugs. It’s about seeing how people interact with the site in real-world scenarios and gathering feedback to make improvements.

User testing helps designers understand what works well and what needs to be adjusted, ensuring that the final product is user-friendly and intuitive. Testing can uncover problems that designers may have overlooked, leading to a better overall user experience. By involving users early and often in the testing process, designers can create websites that truly resonate with the intended audience.

Key Principles of UX Design

UX design operates on fundamental principles that put user satisfaction and functionality first. It revolves around user-centered design, meaning that the needs and behaviors of users steer the design process, which in turn drives the user to take action.

Usability is key, ensuring that the website is intuitive and easy to navigate, letting users accomplish their goals seamlessly. Consistency maintains a uniform experience throughout the site and accessibility ensures that individuals with disabilities can use the website effectively.

Clarity in language and design elements helps users understand content and interactions. Simplicity is valued, but not at the cost of the overall design. UX design never ends, either: user tastes, actions, and goals change over time. Being able to gather feedback and refreshing design will give you websites that are user-friendly, engaging, and effective.

What is the Future of UX Design?

Man with virtual reality glasses on

Looking ahead, the future of UX design skills in developmental technology is shaping up to be fascinating. We’re already seeing a shift towards personalized experiences, where websites and apps adapt to users’ preferences and behaviors. Imagine a digital world where every interaction feels custom-made just for your clients.

Accessibility is also becoming a bigger priority. Designers are working hard to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, can easily access and use digital platforms. It’s all about inclusivity and making technology work for everyone. Not to mention that many states–with California leading the way–are making it a legal matter.

With voice command, augmented reality, AI, and other budding technology, how we interact with the web is changing all the time. UX designers will need to adapt to these changes in the coming years, teaming up with developers, data scientists, and other experts to create seamless experiences that blend technology and human intuition.

UX Design: Putting the Customer First

We may be contradicting ourselves here a little bit, but when it comes to your business, the customer is king. Putting the user first isn’t just a major point of UX design, it’s the only point! Websites are designed with users’ needs, preferences, and behaviors in mind. Just like in any customer-oriented business, prioritizing the user experience leads to higher engagement.

By understanding the goals and motivations of users, designers can create intuitive interfaces and seamless interactions that resonate with the target audience. When users feel valued and understood, they are more likely to return to the website, recommend it to others, and engage with its content or services. If they don’t have to think too much during their journey, they’ll thank you for it.

Prioritizing the user experience often translates into tangible benefits for your business. Websites that prioritize the user tend to see higher conversion rates, increased customer loyalty, and improved brand reputation. Neglect the user experience at your peril: it can result in frustrated users, higher bounce rates, and lost opportunities for engagement and conversion.

There’s nothing quite as depressing as setting the hook so to speak and seeing a potential client wriggle free. That’s where analyzing the data to see where customers are lost during their journey can provide valuable feedback to your UX design. Losing a bunch of people during the checkout stage? Investigate where they abandon their cart and test different ways to make it easier.

Putting the user first is not just a best practice; it’s a strategic approach that aligns business objectives with user needs, building long-term success and sustainability in your digital marketing efforts.

Need to Improve Your UX? Work With the Experts

For more than a decade, we’ve been helping clients in the Portland-Vancouver metro area create new websites with UX best practices to ensure their digital marketing efforts reach their goals. Along with branding updates, content improvements, and SEO upgrades, it all comes together to bring potential clients in, guide them where they need to be, and develop more leads.

We build strong client relationships by asking questions, finding common ground, and offering smart solutions to digital challenges. Improving user experience through precise, elegant interaction design is just one part of the creative marketing strategy we’ll create together with you and our team at Webfor.

Find out how our UX and UI Designs can help you reach your KPIs. That sentence makes a lot more sense now, doesn’t it?