While the user has always been at the heart of many brands across the world, UX design has only started gathering momentum in more recent years. But just because you want your website to be user-friendly doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly become an expert. There’s a lot more to user experience than common sense, and using data to fuel any changes you implement is key.

Agencies like Fast FWD (https://www.fastfwd.com/) are well equipped to optimise your web design efforts with their extensive knowledge of UX principles. But in the meantime, what tips do beginners need to know? Here’s a list of 4 that you just can’t miss:

  1. Know your Audience

Before you can begin making your site easier to use, you need to understand the kinds of people who are actually using it. Gathering data about your audience’s age and gender, for example, can help to inform your decisions.

Imagine your target audience is elderly people. This particular demographic is going to have very different needs to younger generations who have been using computers since they were children. Your website may have to be simpler and explain things more plainly to cater to the needs of older people who are less familiar with tech.

  1. Simple is Best

Clean, minimalistic websites aren’t just rising in popularity because of aesthetic trends, but because they help the user too. This doesn’t mean your website has to be as sparse as some, but less really can be more. Avoid cluttering your website with too much text and lots of images to keep things focused. This will help you to draw your user through the journey you want them to take. Make it easy to understand how they can make a purchase or learn more without overwhelming them with what they don’t need to know.

  1. Don’t Skip Research

Effective UX is always data-driven, so take the guesswork out of the equation by carrying out in-depth research into your target market. Make sure you’re monitoring traffic on your site and trying to understand how users are engaging with your platform. Whenever you make changes to your website, consider user testing to see how it compares with your old design. This will help you to narrow down what works and what doesn’t. In the end, you’ll be left with the most effective design possible.

A big mistake many UX beginners make is thinking they can test their website on themselves. But you are not the user of your website, no matter how much you might see yourself in your audience.

  1. Have Patience

Because UX relies so much on testing and data collection, you won’t be able to build your perfect website overnight. In fact, you’ll likely come across errors and ineffective design choices along the way. This is all perfectly normal and your failures will lead you towards a more optimised interface. When it comes to UX, sometimes knowing exactly what your customer doesn’t want is just as important as figuring out what keeps them happy.