Designing Websites with a User-First Process

Written by Angelo Smith

Thanks to the Internet and the widespread use of computers and smartphones, businesses and professionals need to have websites to truly be competitive. When the Internet first gained popularity, many created their websites themselves using basic templates. They designed these websites by thinking about what they wanted online. Few considered search engine optimization or the end user. Today, however, professionals turn to experienced web designers to create their sites, and they use a very different approach than individuals did in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Designer-First and its Flaws

Designing a website using your own plan as was originally done has a few different flaws. First, you’re creating the content that you would want to see on your website. In some cases, this meant the content was written at a high level using jargon and references the average reader would not be familiar with. This is acceptable at times, especially in a business-to-business situation, but at other times, it leaves readers confused and uncertain about what the website is trying to convey.

The issue is that as the business or professional (or the company hired to design the website), you’re very familiar with your product, service, or process. Your readers may not be. Potential customers may have never heard of your product, but if you’re not thinking as one of these customers, you may not explain it in terms they can understand.


These flaws led to a new approach that puts the user first. Before web design professionals begin work on anything they do, they think about the user. Whether it’s a website, an app, or even a printed poster, designers consider the audience and how the audience will interact with, use, and receive the product.

Figuring out how the end user will perceive the website is the first step in designing the website so that it conveys the message you want it to convey. Otherwise, it may not speak clearly to your potential customers. It may present the topic you want, but it won’t use the correct language or the tone that is the most effective at converting these potential customers. A great Los Angeles website design company knows that any promotional product, which is what a website is, must approach content, navigation, and overall design from a user’s point of view.


The Results

Older websites may say what the business or professional wants to say, but they don’t always speak to the consumer. Websites created with a user-first approach, however, do. They tell the consumer exactly what he or she needs to know about the product or service the website is promoting. They address the user’s need, what type of solution would perfectly deal with this need, and the benefit of working with you rather than with a competitor. All of this is done in a way that is SEO-friendly, easy to navigate, and easy to view on multiple devices.

When this type of approach is used and high-quality content is created, you’ll see your conversions improve. It’s the best way to get a strong return on your investment and has become the standard for website design.

About the author

Angelo Smith