We recently wrote a blog covering the fundamental principles of excellent website design. One of the aspects of website design that we get asked more often than not is the need to have white space when it comes to website design.
For this we wanted to delve deeper into our network and bring you insight from a professional UX designer who truly knows their HEX from their Pantone Colours.
Heather Hulbert from Heather Hulbert Designs (based in Waterlooville) works with busy female entrepreneurs to show up consistently with branding that truly reflects themselves & resonates with their ideal clients.
Heather, tell us a bit more about your experience as a UX Designer?
Thanks Ali. I’ve been working as a UX designer for the past 10 years, and previous to that I was a graphic designer for 10 years, so I’ve got a variety of skills under my belt.
The reason I love working as a UX designer in the digital age we are in now, is being able to easily refine and adjust your designs as your product and services grow. The key to User Experience (UX) is being able to get under the skin of website design, making sure that it’s fit for purpose for the user and how they navigate the website, not just how it looks for the business themselves. I’ve worked with a wide variety of clients, from insurance companies, wedding planners and builders to coaches and holistic therapists, and UX plays a major role in all of these companies’ online identities, no matter how big or small they are.
Why is UX Design important when it comes to website design?
User experience should be at the very heart of all website and branding design – if you create a product that doesn’t meet the user’s needs, you’re not going to drive leads and revenue to your business, and more likely to turn them away if it’s clunky and awkward to use. When you think about your customer journey from the very foundations of your website design process, you end up with a much better product at the end of it. It’s also a key factor for SEO and how Google ranks your website – if your website has poor usability, it won’t be ranked as highly as competitors with a more concentrated focus on UX.
Where do businesses get it wrong when it comes to UX Design?
It can be tempting to throw everything including the kitchen sink at a website, but more often than not, the simpler the design and user interface is, the better the outcomes will be for your business. If you give the users too much choice, and don’t make it clear which path they should be taking to get to their desired destination quickest, you’ll only cause frustration. For example, having clear calls-to-action on buttons that describe what the result of the action they take will give a much more satisfying experience than a bunch of buttons all saying ‘click here’.
Why is white space critical to your website?
White space is one of the best ways to give a good impression to your prospective clients – by making your content readable and scannable. People are very time-poor and want to get to their desired result as quickly as possible. Making sure your content can be scanned quickly and still provide the information to the reader that they are looking for is very important. White space allows your content to ‘breathe’ and gives the user a chance to absorb the information you’re presenting to them in a much better way. If you cram in as much content as possible into your website design, you risk confusing the user and not guiding them through your funnels effectively. It can be overwhelming for them to read and as such, they are more likely to bounce off and find somewhere else. It also helps to show the user which information is important and related to each other, such as images and text, and is much more aesthetically pleasing as well.
Are there any tips you suggest businesses follow when thinking of using UX Design in their next website?
Do your research before you dive straight into the design phase. See what your competitors are doing, both good and bad, and make notes on what you would do differently. You can present your ideas as variations to a group of testers, or family and friends who would actually use your website, to see what they would prefer, what’s more usable to them, what isn’t clear, and then refine your designs from their feedback. A/B testing your content once it’s live is also a great way to see what’s working for you and how you can improve. A website is never ‘done’, you can always make refinements to improve your conversion rates.
Ensure Your Website Use’s Enough White Space
After investing so much into your website, the last thing you want is for users to quickly switch off if there is not enough white space. For those customers who do stay, having no white space on your website could make it difficult for your clients to read.
If you’re worried that your website doesn’t have enough white space contact us at McGinn & Dolphin. We can conduct a thorough website audit and deliver a detailed report going through the contrast and accessibility of both the colours used in your website and fonts.
So why not book a free, no-obligation discovery call today to discuss your white space issues today?