Grassroots Digital Marketing Studio

Website Design is very much like other objects. For example, the functionality of a forklift is much like how a website is designed
Website Design and Forklifts

What is UX Design - A Case study with forklifts

What is user experience design? and more importnatly why should you care.

Why  is website design so important to when it comes to users?  This topic transcends the digital marketing landscape to so many things in our lives.  Usability is key in design.  You have probably encountered this before something might look nice or easy to you at first, but then when you start using it, it’s clunky, challenging or just plain doesn’t work.  Websites can be a lot like that too.

What is UX design?

What is UX (User Experience) design ? Simply put, the user experience is how an individual user interacts and experiences a product, service, or, in our case, a website. How easy it to use?  How functional is it? Does it do what it needs to do?  Thee are questions we ask when we look at user experience.

This article on UX in the forklift industry, focusing on Mitsubishi forklift trucks, is interesting in how they approach user design.  The approach to design, at least in this case, is very similar to websites; the goal is to create a user-centered designed.  If we think of something complex, and potentially dangerous,  like a forklift, design for the user is of paramount importance. 

The focus when creating a new forklifts or website for that matter is considering who the specific user will.  Just as you design your website based on who your users will be.  Are specialized in a particular field?  Are they digital novices? Do they know what they internet is?  These are questions you have to ask youself.

What is UX Design graphic

How does usability testing come into play?

The way that Mitsubishi informed their design process was through usability tests.  Usability tests should ALWAYS be used when designing a website.   Mitsubishi learn from observing forklift drivers while they worked, asked them questions and talked  to other people in operations.   You should do the same with your website to make sure the end user knows how to use it.  

This usability testing gave the forklift designers insight into what was good for drivers and what was not.  You might think something is initiative when it comes to finding information, making a purchase or filling out a form on your website.  But you aren’t a typical user, you know too much about your business to be objective.

How forklifts are like website UX design

Instead of seeing what the issues were in a boardroom, they asked the people directly affected, the operators.  It makes a lot of sense to ask the people who are going to use it.  But you’d be surprised how often it DOESN’T happen when it comes to web design.   

Usually a group of designer or project managers, more often, site with business owners and discuss what they want for a website.  But is what you want as a business really what your customers or audience wants?  It quite possible the answer is “No.”

Integrated design should fulfill a particular need.   You have to balance the two key needs; your business and your customers, when it comes to web usability.

Websites are a lot elike veryday objects when it comes to usability and UX design

Websites are really like other familiar aspects of your everyday life, most are built out of function.  They may look nice too!  But their primary function is to be operable,  like the forklifts.  

That’s why many items, including the best websites, are designed with signifiers.  Signifiers give a user a “signal” of what they are supposed to do.  Just like when you see a button on a piece of equipment that is red, you might assume that it turns the machine on and off.  The color red does not have any role in how the machine functions, but the color is a signal to you that that is its function. 

user design

User design when it comes to websites shouldn’t always be looked at by the “experts”  A bunch of designers can say we think this is good design, but ultimately what do your customers think?  That’s why usability testing is so important.  

There are some industry standards on what is good functional design for user’s web experiences, but there is no average user on the web.  It’s just too many people.  So you have to determine what what works or does not work for the majority of your customers.

Matt Beauchesne

Matt Beauchesne

Matt is a co-founding partner of Grassroots Digital Marketing Studio. He has spent the last ten years in marketing.

About Grassroots Digital Marketing Studio

We are digital marketing company that focuses on website design, social integration and content creation.

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