UI/UX Design 101: How User-Centered Design Can Improve Your Brand


There are so many elements to consider when creating a branded website. There’s the words on the page, the way the pages look, the photos and videos, the links and buttons… And how they all work together to tell the story of your brand! By using the principles of user-centered design, we can create sites that are intuitive, accessible, and visually appealing, meaning your audience can easily use your site to reach their goals. 

In our recent event, Put Your Best (Digital) Foot Forward, our Senior UI/UX Visual Designer, Mirek Janczur, gave an overview of best practices for user-centered design.   

Watch the full event here.

What is UI and UX? 

Mirek explained UX (user experience) with this quote from Don Norman, “UX encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” On a website, this would mean every scroll and click a user takes to purchase a product, schedule an appointment, sign up for a newsletter, etc. Are they doing what you want them to do? Or are they just aimlessly clicking around and then leaving? 

UI (user interface) refers to a specific visual touchpoint or asset that the user interacts with. It’s about the look, feel, and interactivity of a digital product. Mirek created this Venn diagram to help us see the differences and how they overlap. 

“These two concepts work together to create a user-centric design (UCD). UCD revolves around continuous testing and iteration to ensure that the end product aligns well with user needs and expectations.” 

Venn diagram showing the difference between UI and UX Design


Benefits of User-Centered Design

The ultimate goal of user-centered design is to make your site easy to navigate and use, enhancing user satisfaction and encouraging repeat visitors. But, a well-designed site has many other benefits.

Increased Engagement and Reduced Bounce Rates

Good UI/UX design captivates users, making them more likely to engage with your content, explore different pages, and spend more time on the site. This reduces bounce rates and increases the likelihood of users taking desired actions, such as making purchases or signing up for newsletters.

Improved Conversion Rates

UI/UX design also directly influences conversion rates. By providing a seamless and intuitive user experience, a website can guide visitors smoothly through the conversion funnel, from initial interest to final action, such as making a purchase or subscribing to a service.

Competitive Advantage

Websites with superior UI/UX design stand out from the competition. A well-designed website can attract more visitors and convert them into customers more effectively than one with poor design. This can be a decisive factor in markets where competition is fierce. Take a look at your competitor’s sites. If even one looks old or outdated, you have a serious area of opportunity.

Cost Efficiency

Investing in good UI/UX design can save money in the long run. A well-designed website is easier to maintain, requires less customer support, and typically has fewer issues that need fixing. Additionally, a good design can prevent the need for frequent overhauls and updates.

Brand Perception and Trust

A professional and aesthetically pleasing UI/UX enhances brand perception, making a business appear more credible and trustworthy. This is crucial for building customer loyalty and encouraging long-term relationships with users.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

Good UI/UX design ensures a website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. This broadens the potential audience, complies with legal standards, and demonstrates a commitment to fairness and inclusivity. Learn more about web accessibility.

SEO Benefits

Finally, user-centered design also has SEO benefits. Search engines favor websites with a good user experience, characterized by fast load times, mobile responsiveness, and easy navigation. This can lead to higher visibility in search results, attracting more organic traffic.

How to get started 

If you’re ready to audit your existing site or start from the ground up, you’ll want to establish your business goal and your website’s role in achieving that goal. Then, you can start your research and testing: 

  • Conduct research to understand your user personas and desired audience. 
  • Audit your site for usability and accessibility. 
  • Compile your findings to inform site architecture and user flow improvements.  
  • Collaborate, experiment, fail, learn, repeat! Make sure multiple perspectives are included throughout the process.  

Incorporating user-centered design principles into your website is not just about aesthetics; it’s about creating a seamless, intuitive, and engaging experience for your users. By focusing on the needs and behaviors of your audience, you can build a site that not only looks great but also functions efficiently, driving user satisfaction and loyalty. Need help auditing your website? Reach out today to see how we can help.