Since the inception of the very first website to now, there have been many advances in not only technology but also people’s preferences and most notably website design techniques. A perfect amalgamation of science, technology and art, web design incorporates everything from human psychology in the form of buying habits & colour schemes to more recently the use of functioning artificial intelligence (AI). All of this brings you as a web user the ultimate experience, ever changing and evolving to capture your attention just that little bit more each time.
Because of the fast paced environment of website design, especially ecommerce web design, companies are constantly reassessing their digital platforms to ensure they are working as hard as they possibly can for their customers.
Fundamentally, most modern website designs fall broadly into being either user centric or from a design thinking perspective. Some may argue that these are the same or at least very similar however their divergence comes from how and when these methods of web design are used.
What Is Design Thinking?
Design Thinking refers to the approach of web design in which creative solutions are used to solve problems or pain points a customer may face. Using creative and innovative processes & ideas and applying them to certain issues that a user might meet.
Typically, always following a fluid process, the method of design looks to not just solve a problem but understand it’s origins and what effect that has on a customer.
It is the foundation of the Design Thinking approach to empathise with your customer base. When designing a website it’s best to understand the challenges your current business processes have. If you’re a business owner you will likely already know what these are. For example; a bar may struggle to take orders fast enough & therefore they have integrated online ordering systems right from the customer’s table.
Speaking to your customers is one thing but defining the specific pain points can be more difficult, however, no less important. Defining the specific issue will help create more innovative solutions.
As with the example of the bar above, finding creative solutions to the issues your business is facing by using digital channels can drastically improve your company’s sales conversions.
Once the issue is defined and you know how to improve the customer experience using your website then it’s time to create that experience. Design your brand new & creative web design solution.
As expert web designers we have a good idea of which creative methods are more effective then others however testing them for your specific client base and demographic is vital to successful website design.
What Is User Centred Website Design?
Just like with Design Thinking, in that it focuses on solving pin points. User centred website design concentrates much more on the whole user experience (UX). Really putting the customer before anything else, customer centric web design really champions the user and the way in which they engage with your brand & content.
Every element of your website is designed meticulously to satisfy the needs, wants and requirements of your customer base. It doesn’t stop there though, professional web designers using this approach must understand the end user fully as well as the the context of them using your brand. An example of this would be an e-commerce shop that sells emergency replacement parts. If it doesn’t have easy to use navigation & clear BUY IT NOW calls to actions on the products then the likelihood of the customer leaving for a website that is faster to navigate will be high.
Really knowing your products/ services and the type of customer that uses them is important for a user centred website design. Without knowing exactly how your customers interact with your brand then you may start to notice larger bounce rates on your website. As with Design Thinking, satisfying the pain points of your customer journey will greatly increase the level of engagement users have with your website, leading to improved conversion rates.
What Do The Two Web Design Approaches Have In Common?
Both approaches work to resolve issues with the user experience. Minimising pain points will significantly improve the overall experience customers have on your website and depending on the context of that website, this will be different for every industry.
Along with trying to creatively solve pain points, your web design should relate to your customers on a more personal level. This refers to your brand image and how your website’s design reflects that. This may change over time and each generation of customer will have different tastes and opinions which is why your web design must remain semi-dynamic and be changed when you start to notice the industry changing. Adapting your website regularly is important for remaining relevant to both users and search engine crawl bots.
What Is The Difference Between Design Thinking & User Centred Web Design?
Whilst knowledge of the users is important, the goals of the business take more priority within this design approach. It’s all about improving acquisition & conversion rates. This will be through the process of creatively innovating solutions to pain points in a customer journey map through your website. However, this will be for the sole purpose of improving business metrics.
Design Thinking also puts much more emphasis on the technological feasibility and appropriateness of solving some of the issues customers face. It’s a much more systematic and scientific approach to designing a professional website.
Requiring a much deeper understanding of your targeted customer base, this approach to web design does use science to dictate it’s final result but there is much less emphasis on meeting business goals and much more on engaging with customers on a deeper level.
Matching the personality of your users and invoking an emotion from them can lead to better analytics and higher sales conversions, which is why customer centric web design is becoming much more popular currently.
Using AI chatbots and designing web pages that match the user and the context of their search perfectly can reinforce the long term brand loyalty & return business.
Contact Us For More Information On Professional Web Design Plymouth
Here at Search4Local, part of our website design process is a thorough consultation with our clients to ensure that we capture the true essence of your business whilst ensuring the design of their website whether it has e-commerce capabilities or not works perfectly in conjunction with the offline channels of their business. Call us on 01752 936265 or contact us to enquire about website design in Plymouth and the surrounding area.