UX (The User Experience) in my humble opinion should be the most important aspect of any service. A website is a service just like any other (e.g. call centre, convenient store, notice board, mobile phone interface). So with that said let’s cut to the chase: The pretty colours, fancy graphics, effects, and all your trivial preferences are important but ideally mustn’t overshadow the experience the user desires and the experience you user should have in the best interest of your business/ organisation.
The experience the user wants
The UX designer should consider who your audience is, their wants, their needs, weaknesses, strengths and what they expect. Try to maintain a balance as it’s usually preferable to cater for the entire variation of users you may have (e.g. keeping it simple for most whilst including complexities when necessary). Target your audience and understand what they expect out of a website to keep their needs satisfied.
UX in the best interest of your organisation
This is about controlling the user’s journey to an extent. Notice how many popular websites generally have simple interfaces though when it comes to closing your account or processing an RMA they occasionally tend to make the process less straight forward (bastards). A company may put the support link in small fonts on the footer of the site rather than on the main menu not because they don’t want to be contacted but because they may not want their staff dealing with less complaint.
Personally I don’t encourage making life difficult for your customers & clients, I believe the future of UX revolves around “common sense” rather than “corporate sense”.
The experience you want the user to have may be of your desire. Preferably your personal inspirations should always aim to revolve around a new or rarely used Idea rather than recycling the same old boring stuff people experience every day. Why? Because you want people to remember your website & you want to overwhelm the competition. It’s all about “The Difference”
The average user seems to have several expectations (e.g. main navigation at the top of the screen). Sometimes having your users best interest in mind means keeping the experience familiar & sometimes it means taking an untraditional or unfamiliar approach. Either way they need an underlying reason for returning. Content is usually central to that reason, the juice of the content may be they style in which you write articles, interesting photos, specialist products, helpful
Content Is King
In 1996 Bill Gates wrote an article which basically was saying “Content is king” (Adel Chaveleh may have been inspired by Bill or great minds think alike). Satoru Iwata themed part of his Nintendo 3DS presentation around that concept as seen above. What I want you to take away from this concept is that no matter how immaculate and fancy your website is or how ravishing you branding feels the content is no.1. (But didn’t you just say UX is the most important aspect?) To refresh I mentioned how UX should be the most important aspect of any service. A good service is pointless if the end result is a fail (friendly waitress, terrible coffee).
What do I need to do?
Let the person/ people you hire to make your website go through a thorough process so they can make your website function with the user ideally in mind rather than creating a website that revolves around solely your excitement which you may regret down the line.