In the digital world, tasks that were once cumbersome and time-consuming have become painless. And 21st century websites do most of our work for us. Right? Everything should be easier, but it’s not. Instead, we get overwhelmed by long-winded copy and frustrating user interfaces.

Instant and painless — that’s the definition of a user experience. Successful brands know that good web development focuses on the needs of the visitor. That speed, inclusivity, and clarity are intrinsic to superior website functionality. And that sites designed to be accessible, mobile, and simple create the optimal user experience.

Going forward, functionality must drive design, not the other way around.

Positive Begins with Inclusion

We advise brands to take a leadership role by making web accessibility a priority. Both businesses and the culture-at-large now expect brands to be inclusive. Following accessibility guidelines for web design is a great start.

Labor, home and shopping markets aren’t available to the disabled when a brand’s website is inaccessible. But being inaccessible doesn’t just hurt the consumer who is excluded. It hurts the brand, because it means missed business opportunities and can increase liability issues.

Accessible design creates positive UX for all users. Accessible design guidelines for improving the speed of your website, for example, help everyone access your website more quickly. Guidelines like high color contrast promote faster comprehension for everyone. Design considerations that work for the disabled tend to make websites work better for all users. If you’d like an in-depth look at trends in web accessibility, read The Current Status of Web Accessibility here.

Positive UX for Mobile is Imperative

Positive UX on mobile means reaching your market no matter where they are. The latest Digital Future in Focus report from comScore linked here covers mobile usage habits in nine global markets. It tells us —

  • 80% of internet users own a smartphone.
  • Users spend on average 69% of their media time on smartphones.
  • 33% of consumers start mobile research with a branded website.

Mobile UX is so important, Google now demotes you if your website is not mobile ready. Starting in July 2018, page speed is a ranking factor for mobile searches. That’s right, mobile load speeds now directly affect SEO. You can read more about Google’s Speed Update in this link.

The most impactful UX design trend for mobile is intuitive clarity for the user. Creating a natural flow from start to finish regardless of screen size is the ideal and the expectation.

Keep It Simple for UX Success

Simplicity is what you want for your brand’s message. When your audience understands what you mean, and where to go next, your message is reaching them. Reaching them, and staying with them.

Simple website designs have faster download times. People get in, get what they want and move on — so there’s no confusion associated with your brand.

Simple design is inclusive. Sites designed for quick comprehension make your content more accessible. Disabled users, foreign language speakers and CEOs in a hurry all save time. Every user group develops a positive affinity for your brand when you keep it simple.

We wrote an article on how simple design makes a lasting impact on your brand’s audience. Click here to read The Best User Experience Design: Simplicity.

Positive user experience begins and ends with eliminating friction for the user. Website design should be simple, accessible, and clear to meet user expectations. When your audience can easily find what they are looking for, they just like your brand more.

Originally published on LinkedIn.

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