User experience puts the user at the centre of a design. It considers how, how they act, what they experience, what they connect to, how they feel. We believe it is crucial. Our user experience testing process uses in-depth research, analytics and face-to-face interactions to get to the root of what people want and why. These results strongly influence our design work.
Through our user experience process, we ensure that any website design we produce is designed to be highly effective for the target audience. It is vitally important to us that the decisions we make have the users’ interests at heart. We will even prioritise them over the aesthetics. Think about it- what use is a beautiful site if users simply can’t get to grips with it? Frustration and annoyance are not emotions we want the audience to feel. By conducting research and continuously testing, we aim to produce sites that are truly relevant to their target audience.
As an agency, every website design project we undertake has some UX element in mind. Not every research technique or piece of testing is suitable for every project however, so we take a considered, well-thought out approach. We can provide a UX offering that is as detailed or as simple as you need it to be. Our end goal is just to generate good outcomes online for you and the user.
At Ultimate, our user experience testing process has been carefully designed to ensure that your project objectives are met. ‘Good’ user experience looks different in every situation. We employ a wide range of quantitative and qualitative research methods to help define what works for you. All our creative designs are influenced by these insights with user testing conducted both before and after their introduction. Outlined below is the standard process we follow for any user experience project.
As with all our projects, we begin any user experience testing with a client kick-off workshop. The primary purpose of this meeting is to establish the objectives of the client for the upcoming project. For example, what are we looking to achieve from the project? We want there to be a good user experience but what do we think ‘good’ looks like? Identifying limiting factors at this early stage of the project is also enormously helpful and will shape the UX research methods we use. All of this information then needs to be summarised and we can begin to draw conclusions about what we are looking to achieve from the UX project.
The purpose of this stage is to gather data and insight from both users and the existing site itself. We want to learn as much as possible from previous user behaviour. There are numerous user experience testing methods that we deploy to gather this insight, which then heavily inform design decisions. These include:
Once we have firmly established what the website or system needs to achieve from a business requirements perspective, we start to map out the user’s journey. With the logic confirmed, it becomes one of the most important planning tools available to us by providing a greater understanding of the individual actions and processes involved.
At this stage, we create simple wireframes for every single step of the user’s journey through the new website or system. Wireframes have the unique ability to focus attention to basic page structure and website function, which are the most crucial elements for effective UX web design. They allow us to remove the more subjective colour, imagery and design style and instead focus on the functionality of each elements on a page, placing a strong emphasis on achieving the best user experience.
One of the most important processes of any user experience testing project, prototype development involves creating a simulation of the website using the wireframes. This allows key user journeys to be mapped out, such as their movement through an online booking system or checkout process. By using a prototype, we are able to test the wireframe directly with users and refine them as needed. Prototyping saves valuable time and money as it quickly allows us to establish what works effectively and what doesn’t. This early user experience testing allows us to quickly identify problems that may otherwise go unnoticed until the more costly build stage.
Using the feedback generated by the prototype testing, we group common trends and observations together in an affinity diagram. From this, we can draw conclusions and re-examine any highlighted problem areas. If necessary, we will return to stage 4 and develop new wireframes. This process is repeated until we achieve a positive outcome in line with the original project objectives.
Taking everything we have learned from the user experience research and testing, we start to apply the brand style to the finalised wireframes. At this point, the project really starts to come to life. Every creative design decision is rooted in the evidence we’ve just collected
Once the final UI designs have been agreed, we then begin further user experience testing. The focus is on ensuring that the new user journey hasn’t been over-complicated or confused during the design stage and is still on track.
Following the development and subsequent launch of the project, we would recommend a period of ongoing evaluation and testing of the website. By using website analytics and user feedback to gather this insight, we can make further refinements to improve the user experience and boost conversion.
Ultimate used usability testing to improve the donation process on the Air ambulance service’s website, making donating as easy as possible for users. The results were truly fantastic as both their website witnessed a significant increase in traffic and donations.
At Ultimate we believe new projects should be undertaken with great amount of consideration and vigilant planning and research. You can be assured everything we do, will be the best for you and your brand and not what is best for us!