How to start making better UX decisions when updating your website

If your website is outdated, it’s time to reevaluate the overall user experience (UX). Making decisions with the user experience in mind can be challenging – so how should you get started?

Illustration of people making website decisions and moving components around.

In the beginning of any project, you’re faced with an onslaught of questions to wade through… How do you figure out what kind of updates are needed and what are the best solutions? How do you align your internal team on a direction when there’s conflicting opinions about what kind of updates need to be made? How do you know that you’re making the right decisions?

Here are some tips to start making better UX decisions for your website:

Make sure each decision serves your main objective

With the first phase of a site update, it’s important to set clear boundaries around your objectives. Identify your target audience and what pain points need to be improved. What problems are you trying to solve? Once you have this identified, use it as your reference point for each decision that comes next. Asking questions like “Does this decision reinforce our main objective?” or “What problem is this solution solving?” will help keep you on track. When navigating different opinions and aligning on a direction, this mindset can help you weed out any design options that might be blocking your core objective.

Remember that you and your leadership team are not the end user

We always say to design with the end user in mind, right? Well sometimes this important piece of the puzzle can get lost in the process, especially when you have to get design approvals from internal leadership teams.

All too often we see organizations who forget to put the user first when making updates to their website. It’s easy to get blinded or tied down by internal opinions about how a website could be improved. While it’s important to have internal approval and alignment regarding your website’s objectives and direction, you can’t make design choices just to appease your stakeholders. The overall user experience will suffer if your design process isn’t centered on the end user’s goals and needs.

It can be a fine line to walk, but it’s important to get your internal team thinking about the end user in every decision that’s made about your website updates. Advocate for your users’ point of view when talking through these decisions. And when you can, conduct user testing on your site to get accurate feedback from real users!

Keep it simple

It’s tempting to want to place all of your content right on your home page, or to create really long, detailed subpages packed with everything your user may need up front. However, you also don’t want to overwhelm your user with too much content and too many decisions to make. Simplify your content as much as possible. Make it easy for users to quickly scan through a page and clearly find what they need.

You can create simplified pathways for users to navigate through, and utilize your page layouts to present information in the most efficient way. For instance, rather than squeezing multiple lengthy paragraphs onto one page, try organizing and styling the information into smaller bite size pieces that the user can quickly skim and then decide for themselves if they want to dive deeper. It also helps to have one clear call to action on each page, so make sure the content on each given page lends well to that goal.

Check-in and Reevaluate

After launching site updates, it’s important to keep revisiting your objectives and goals for the site, or even for specific pages. Allow your site to grow and evolve by reflecting on what’s working well and what’s not. Use tools like Google Analytics to assess if users are interacting with your site as intended.

At the end of the day, being adaptable to your user’s needs will always help guide you to the right decisions.

Does your website serve your users? We can help you make updates centered on user experience. Let's talk!