Getting Your Website User Experience Right!05-08-14
We recently completed the design and build of a brand new website for Milton Keynes College. The website is the primary hub for prospective and current students at the College so, in particular with this site, the focus had to be on guiding the user to the right information and getting them to make an enquiry.
An effective user journey and enjoyable user experience is critical for any website to deliver new business. Here is how we made sure the Milton Keynes College site did exactly that…
Clear and Intuitive User Interface
When a user can’t find something they are looking for on a website, it is only a matter of moments before they give up and leave the site completely. Ideally, content should be reachable in no more than 2-3 clicks. The Milton Keynes College site is vast, but has a number of features that make it quick and easy to find course information, or get ideas if you are not quite sure what you are interested in. Most importantly of all, the site is completely dynamic. This means that, once you tell the site your area of interest (e.g. A-Levels), the site content (text and images) all change to fit around who you are and what you want to see; for example, pictures of representative people who are the right age and text written in a suitably appealing style.
Aesthetically Pleasing, On-Brand Design
The look and feel of a site has to be representative of the brand and offer an experience the user would expect from it. Our team of designers worked hard to ensure that, despite the scale of text content, the site felt simple and uncluttered. We made extensive use of the bright brand colours we introduced into the college’s new brand image, in 2013, against stark black and white people imagery to make the college feel vibrant yet very professional. Slight gradients in the dropdown menus and a complementary colour palette all come together to make each page flow seamlessly, whichever area of the site you find yourself in.
Bespoke Content Management System (CMS)
These days, most companies want some degree of control over the authoring of content on their website, without needing specialist coding knowledge. CMS systems fill that void. For the MK College site, rather than using an off-the-shelf CMS we built their system completely from the ground up, around the college’s specific needs. The website has a dedicated CMS back-end with a multi-tier user system that links together for the very first time their course management software and the public-facing website putting all data in one place! The CMS also has SEO optimisation and meta key-wording capabilities built in, to help pages rank higher on search engines.
Depending on your sector, you will find that mobile device users now equate to at least 10% of your regular viewing audience and can be as much as 70%. Responsive website design provides a dynamic, adapting site that detects the resolution of the device every user accesses the site with and re-formats the layout of page content to provide the clearer content and the best possible experience, whether on a tablet or smartphone. Ensuring users can comfortably access site content anywhere, at any time and on any device increases user engagement, keeps them on the site longer and makes them more likely to connect with you then and there.
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAIL
For varying target audiences, with varying needs and varying ways of accessing your site, you MUST have a dynamic and responsive user-experience that fits with who they are, caters for their specific needs and drives them to make contact with you. Information should be quick and simple to find and contextually relevant; by this we mean if you have a page on a product, it makes sense to provide images, videos, case studies, testimonials, tech sheets and whatever else matters on that one page.
How many of your site visitors turn into an enquiry? If the figure is lower than you want it to be, then get in touch with us at TFA. We can help!
TFA is a full-service brand, creative and digital marketing agency. We work with clients across every sector who are looking for a partner that can help them drive their brand, business or product forward. We achieve significant, measurable results for our clients time and time again, through smarter strategy, better creativity and our extensive depth of technical experience.
If you would like to meet us, or have a project we could help you with, contact 01908 263650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org