User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) will make up the ins-and-outs of what it means to actually visit your website. User interface is made up of elements that you put into the site, and user experience is what the prospective buyer will take away from visiting you.
Your site’s UX and UI will have a tremendous impact on how customers perceive and interact with your business, and that means your bottom line. For instance, according to a study from 2017, around 70% of online users surveyed identified experience of interacting with the online storefront as an important, or very important, factor in their purchasing behavior.
So to help any website get off on the best possible foot, here are 5 tools which you can use to both design and test your user experience and user interface. Best of all, these resources are free.
Sketch is a toolkit for UI design that can boast precision and broad scope. Sketch is notable for undergoing relatively frequent updates, in order to constantly add functionality. As a result, Sketch is always adding functionality and improving performance.
Any UI designer will find Sketch to be a well-rounded program, and it is well-suited to responsive design.
Origami is an attractive and versatile platform for exploring, iterating, and testing your web design ideas. Origami is a great choice for designing mobile websites, and even allows you to plug in iPhones and Android phones and test your site in real-time.
A brief look at Origami’s website and its interface makes it clear that this is a great choice for design-conscious creators who are also looking for a free option. In this vein, Origami boasts excellent compatibility with programs like Sketch, to make great artistic design easier.
3. Wireframe CC
Wireframe CC aims to be the #1 choice for enabling you to design clean and simple wireframe with a minimum of clutter. It offers a minimal interface; click-and-draw wireframe creation; templates for browser windows, tablets, and mobile phones; context-sensitive UI editing, and more.
The free version is obviously more limited, but many users identify Wireframe CC and its in-browser interface as a standout platform.
InVision is a prototyping tool that enables designers to create interactive mockups. InVision makes it easy to organize your workflow, it makes design intuitive, and it presents your finished work in a way that replicates the experience of visiting the finished site. All of this adds up to an ideal prototyping tool which we swear by.
InVision also makes collaboration simple. Anyone working with a team will enjoy how painless it is to sketch and wireframe and then share notes and materials easily.
More and more people are shopping online using their mobile phones, but the number of websites with flawless mobile functionality is not keeping up the pace. Any firm seeking to stay current would do well to consider redesigning with Bootstrap, since it’s ideal for responsive and mobile-first web design.
Bootstrap was designed by engineers at Twitter, and you can download it pre-compiled or in the source code version. It also has a slew of plug-ins that you can use to tailor it to your unique needs.
Heat mapping is a valuable tool for determining the most important thing about user interface: where your visitor’s eyes go. There’s a reason that the most important story in a newspaper always goes in the right-most column above the fold: that’s where a reader’s eyes go first. With a website, the visitor’s interest a bit more of a mystery, and that’s where click mapping programs can help.
ClickHeat is a free, open-source software that’s relatively easy to use after a few initial steps. The major obstacle is cloning your site, but once you do, upload the software, and ClickHeat will tell you where your visitor’s mouse cursor is going and how long it lingers. This will take some of the guesswork out of determining what works best.
Once your site is almost ready to go, it’s time ensure that it’s up to visitor expectations. Surveys show that online visitors expect websites to load in about 2 seconds, with half of users saying that they’ll click away if a page takes 3 seconds or more. Five Second Test bills itself as the first in its field: what you do is share your home page, landing pages, publicity images, or marketing materials with the platform.
The service then shows your materials to people for five seconds, and they recall as much as they can, then the responses are collated into a word cloud for your use. Five Second Test crowdsources a review of your site, and it’s a great resource with a free basic service.
These are 5 valuable tools that your firm can use to fine-tune your website’s UX and UI. Do you have any favorites from this list? What about any that we forgot? Let us know in the comments below!