User Experience (UX) is one of the key aspects of website design. Designers put a great deal of thought into the interfaces that they build, bringing years of experience and expertise in the principles of web design to craft the ideal UX that will meet the needs of a site’s users. But what happens after they’ve completed their work and handed it off to the client?
One of the great frustrations that designers experience is finding that a site they have designed no longer conforms to the UX principles that it was built on. This often occurs because during a website redesign project, the designers’ work is completed before any content has been added to the site.
However, if a site’s content fails to follow UX best practices, that doesn’t mean that it’s the fault of its content editors; they usually aren’t experts in web design, so they shouldn’t be expected to follow standards that they don’t know about. Instead, it’s a failure of communication.
Since designers primarily work with a project’s stakeholders rather than the people who will be actually managing the site’s content, there can be a gap between the purpose of the tools and features created during the redesign and the way they are actually used once the site has been launched.
Ideally, UX design is part of the job of everyone involved in a website, from designers and developers to client stakeholders and content editors. Design isn’t done when the website redesign project is finished; it needs to be a concern for everyone going forward. With that in mind, we’ve put together some advice on how to make sure a site follows the UX principles it was built on, no matter who is working on it:
Most designers don’t like to create documentation, especially when it seems like it’s just for the sake of doing so. However, it’s incredibly important to communicate to the site’s content editors the best practices for creating content and using the tools that have been created during the redesign process.
After the redesign project is finished, it should be easy for content editors to understand why different templates, page types, modules, and functionalities were created and how they should be used. Creating documentation for this purpose is ultimately as important as creating the website design itself, and it is essential for the continuing success of the site.
For Content Editors
For website owners looking to ensure that their site continues to follow UX best practices after it is launched, the best solution is to maintain a partnership with their digital agency. This ongoing partnership can ensure that the site is meeting UX standards, and the site’s designers can offer ongoing recommendations on how to make the most out of the available tools for connecting with your audience online.
Content editors will also want to be sure they are meeting the standards specified in the documentation provided in the website redesign. It is essential to understand how to use the tools and features built in the redesign to create content that provides your site’s visitors with the information that they are looking for.
It’s also a good idea to perform some basic usability testing, not just during the website redesign process, but when creating content for the site following its launch. Having coworkers, friends, or other people you know take a look at the content you create and provide some feedback about how well they are able to understand it and make use of the site’s features is a great way to gain some understanding of how well you are meeting UX standards.
As you can see, ensuring that your site provides a quality experience for its users is one of the key aspects that will determine the success of your digital strategy. If you’re looking to get started improving your site’s usability, our Mini UX Review can help you understand some of the basic issues that you can address right away. If you have any other questions, please contact us, or feel free to leave a comment below.