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What is UX design and do I need it for my website?

Can someone explain what UX design is and do you think all SME businesses need to implement it in their web design nowadays?

Top voted answer
Keith Rowley

Keith Rowley, Joint Owner and Customer Strategist at

Thanks Hattie. Absolutely - asking if your website needs Ux is like asking if your roof needs to be waterproof. Sometimes, whole new industries spring up around nothing! I'm going to guess that one day, some student or professor somewhere decided to to analyse the contents of a good website and categorize various characteristics and bits into Ux and Ui. Prior to that and after that, website design proceeded just fine. If they had just turned out a list of things a good website needs, fair enough but what we have 20 years later is a pile of bloody mumbo jumbo. 

I used to often find when reading academic (in my engineering career) papers that going stratight to the conclusions gave me more information than the rest of the paper - Ux is exactly like that. 

Hatty Bell

Hatty Bell, Community Manager at

How funny! Really interesting to hear when it's broken down like that.

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Keith Rowley

Keith Rowley, Joint Owner and Customer Strategist at

I love this question! Over the past few years, use of the terms Ux and UI have blossomed like evil mushrooms, adding to the glossary of the damned that developers use to confuse customers and to sound uber-intelligent. 
So let's start from the to down:
If your website:
1) Allows customers to find what they want quickly and easily with minimum clicks
2) looks great and loads fast
3) Doesn't lead customers to dead ends
4) Is interesting , absorbing, original in conteent and clean in presentation - 

- then it has pretty good User Experience (Ux) built in.

Before the pseuds descended on us with their great wisdom. this was commonly understood, but I guess we all have to make a living. 

I've seen this before in other fields, where commonly understood common sense is turned into academic sounding  rules, and the need to buy expensive courses. 

I may as well mention the evil doppelgänger of Ux here - UI, or User Interface.
This is the functional tools used to interact with the user/visitor - 'buy' buttons. touchscreen interaction, font sizes (you could put that in Ux IMO). etc.

So there you have it - codified common sense and experience. Finally consider these options:
'the font is too small - make it bigger' - common sense.
'the font is too small - you have a Ux fault and need a special design consultant to revamp your whole site' - Ux consultant.

Hope this helps.
keith
 

Hatty Bell

Hatty Bell, Community Manager at

Such a great answer @Keith Rowley ! It's so interesting that this has become something which 'needs' to be taught rather than just something that comes naturally. The point of a website is to have good UX right?!

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Hatty Bell

Hatty Bell, Community Manager at

Would love to get your thoughts on this @Keith Rowley !

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