New data from Search Engine Journal reveal that WordPress powers 39.5% of websites as of 2021. The percentage must have remarkably improved to date, considering businesses are rushing to make a strong brand identity online. It’s safe to say that there has been no better time for UX WordPress designers than now.
WordPress, once a blogging platform, has stretched its wings far and wide to become a full-fledged content management system (CMS) with millions of themes and plugins. It’s the prime reason why companies are using it extensively now. As it evolves, so does its user base. Simultaneously, WordPress designers must continue building user-centric WordPress sites, considering the fact that every 2 out of 5 websites use WordPress.
7 best practices for UX WordPress designers
WordPress is an all-in-one solution that delivers what it promises. However, it doesn’t promise perfection. In such situations, people look up to UX designers to develop better experiences that will justify users’ time on the website. For aspiring designers and experts, learning to build great first-time interactions is a never-ending journey. The good news is that there are certain practices that, when implemented, create an almost-perfect user experience.
1. Understand your user
The best designers in the world started their design process by first identifying the problem and the audience for it. All designs are centered around the users because, without them, the product/service is meaningless. Identifying the expectations and pain points of people is the first step to becoming a great UX WordPress designer.
A few UX research methods to implement to understand the user more intimately are:
- Create the closest personas of your users
- Segment them into categories based on their intentions and requirements
- Research their purposes for visiting your site
- Provide them with an experience on WordPress that meets their expectations.
2. Conduct a thorough user research
A detailed and time-taking step succeeding the first one is conducting thorough research on your consumers. It is an important practice as, through it, you will get a clearer picture of what exactly your users are looking for. By understanding their needs, behaviors, and patterns, you will be one step closer to creating the best user experience.
Good UX designers for WordPress will put in the following efforts in order to interact with and engage the users:
- Giving them access to navigate through the website
- Asking questions about the hows and whys of the service and each of its elements
- Accepting feedback positively and implementing it
- Putting thoughts into action practically.
3. Test the usability of the website
Usability testing is an unmissable component in the entire design process. All successful projects go through multiple rounds of testing so that the best version can come to the fore. It is also the most realistic approach to understanding user interaction and engagement on the website. Depending on the observations, features can be added or reduced so as to make it a seamless experience.
To eliminate the guesswork as much as possible and get measurable results, the following testing types can be used:
- A/B, or split testing, is the best way to see which WordPress version is liked the most by users. 2 versions of the same website can be tested with people and get an understanding of your user’s preferences.
- Analytical data on your website’s performance online is another great way to figure out what is working out and what’s not. You will get valid results in form of statistical data about your WordPress website. The data never lies, and you can count on the results and use the learning to build an upgrade.
4. Follow a step-by-step guide
The most impactful practice to implement is creating a proper process, from research to implementation. This process acts as a handbook when you create WordPress sites. Penning down ideas right from inception to noting areas of improvement will help you significantly. Furthermore, you will be able to manage your time and complete tasks within stipulated time frames.
This is the most basic step-by-step guide (an extension of the points discussed above) that up-and-coming WordPress designers can use and customize accordingly:
- Research: User research must be the first step in any design journey.
- Design: This step includes your web design, prototypes, visuals, user flow and more.
- Test: Testing is an endless process that ends when you terminate your WordPress. Until then, it makes more sense to run continuous testing on the website so that issues can be recognized and addressed early on.
- Implementation: The final step is implementing the service/product. This is where your dreams, aka designs, come to life.
5. Take the help of good UX tools
For designers starting, apart from testing their skills, certain tools can aid work. For example, you can start by creating sketches on paper. A good tool will help in creating visual prototypes on different devices. There are multiple tools in the market, so choose one that meet your needs and test it out. If you’re not successful with one, there is always another tool ready to be used.
Technology has helped many designers to turn their knowledge and skills into legit actionable techniques. There are people experienced in this field who are willing to impart their wisdom to keen UX designers. In this list of the top online UX design courses, you can choose one or many to hone your skills and shape your professional journey.
6. Be receptive and observant
You will meet and work with many other UX designers on your journey. You will likely be working in a team when you build a WordPress site. Therefore, you will be receiving ideas and feedback from all ends, some of which could be unsolicited. In order to become a good designer, it’s better not to get attached to your designs and work. Be open-minded to others’ feedback, as most of the time, the same feedback helps you create a better version of what you already did.
Similarly, observation can help you identify problems and answers too. Look around you, there are many problems to be addressed and you might be the catalyst for solving them. On WordPress, be in the loop with your readers, users, and visitors. Their review of something may trigger you to notice missing gaps. Your next step must be to bridge those and serve your audience in the best way.
7. Find the right mentor
You must have someone from the same line of work to guide you. There will be people in your circle who have created quite a few successful WordPress sites before. Make sure to build a rapport with them so that when the time comes, you have someone to reach out to. You can connect with other WordPress UX designers on social media. Surround yourself with a group that knows what they’re doing and whose feedback will always bring out the best results.
Entwining WordPress and UX
A good UX WordPress designer doesn’t simply create aesthetic layouts and themes but also strives to find the best solution to users’ problems. These 7 tips are a few fundamental pointers that every designer adopts. With regular application, you will figure out what works best and there’s a strong possibility of you coming up with better ones. Until then, think of these and continue building effective WordPress websites.
Written by: Naomi Grace
Naomi Grace is a freelance content writer with a Master’s in Mass Communication. She loved writing poems as a child and turned her passion into a profession in 2019. Her greatest joy comes from knowing that her content has the power to help someone. She also loves singing songs, baking cakes, and editing videos. When she’s not writing, you can find her kickboxing with her brothers or enjoying a cuppa Joe at her favorite cafe, or wandering through nature, away from city life. You can reach out to her at email@example.com and she’ll be delighted to be of help.