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User Centred Design With Quintin Schnehage

Posted by Lucas Walker on
User Centred Design With Quintin Schnehage

Quintin Schnehage, a senior UX designer, visits Pitstop to share with Lucas the golden rules of UX development and design for your Shopify and e-commerce store.

Far from the days of busy, gif infested homepages and gimmick based websites, modern online design seeks to make the user experience both subtle and supportive, and is built from the ground up to best optimize user centred design. While design fetishes come and go, like neon synth wave or cottage-core, the fundamentals of an experience-assistive user design remain the same. Following these key tips and tricks will help drive your consumers effortlessly through your store, and more frequently through the checkout.

  • Start thinking about your UX design once you've established your brand, such as when a flagship product brings you stability, or once you start seeing a plateauing of your profits; your product has drawn in its natural market, now it's time to invest in a UX designer who will make sure your e-commerce store or brand website is best designed to optimize both user experience and sales.
  • Take your time, work with your UX designer, and experiment. Perfecting a user centred design that's tailored to your tastes, your customer base's behaviour, and increases profitability by natural flow comes about through tedious but necessary trial and error, and a lot of cooperation and communication with your design team. Your patience will often pay off.
  • UX design is a hybrid discipline, partly intuitive and partly analytical, a marriage of tightly structured design and wild creativity. Find the balance between both rather than favouring one at the expense of the other.
  • There is no all-purpose UX design or user centred design template, and even brands under the same parent company will have vastly different needs based on the specific product or services they sell, in whatever quantity they sell them in, and to whomever their market base is. Design for yourself and your customers, not anyone else.

Follow The Data, Not Your Gut

Shopify and e-commerce store owners, ask yourselves, do you really know what your customers are doing on your website? With heat mapping, you can put that question to work, and see a profitable return. 

Heat maps are an indispensable tool in the UX designer's kit, a powerful weapon against the forces of chaotic layout and interrupted flow. Try as hard and for as long as you may, sometimes what you think of as the ideal customer interface and user experience, what comes natural or intuitive to you, may in fact hinder and harm your site's profitability. Knowing your customer, getting inside their head and really figuring out how they navigate your store, how they engage with your brand, is the single most important part of creating a user centred design and positive user experience.

What is a heat map? Heat maps are data sets that, in the case of e-commerce stores, digital designers use to assess and analyze how customers and traffic behaves on your site, including what pages they visit, what keystrokes they use on your site, which buttons they click, and ever where their mouse hovers. While sales figures will tell you what products and how much of it your customers buy, heat maps will tell you how users on your site eventually work their way to that sale.

Why should heat maps concern me? Heat maps are an essential tool for discovering unexpected delays, jams, detours and dead ends in your user experience, keeping you from maximizing your user centred design. Heat maps can pinpoint areas on your site where customers are stressed or confused, or indicate where certain options are being either ignored or missed, so that you can best adapt to your customer's behaviour and expectations.

I tried using heat maps but my traffic didn't change, what am I doing wrong? Reading a heat map isn't just a matter of noticing the big red hot spot in the data where everyone is gathering, interacting or getting hung up on, there are systemic subtitles in the behaviour, influenced by everything from consumer mood to which devices are being used, to varying degrees of internet connection speed that affect how your users behave on any given site. As such, while any store own can get something out of making changes themselves in accordance to their reading of a heat map, it's really for the best that you hire someone with an expertise in design, or someone like a UX researcher, who brings with them a depth of knowledge and expertise in interpreting the data that most store owners are simply too busy to dedicate too much time towards.

With a dedicated UX design team, relying on accurate and up to date heat mapping tools, optimizing and maintaining your customer flow and user experience from landing to checkout will always lead you and your business to prosperity and good fortune.

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