Part 1 of 5: How to Design a Fantastic Online Experience

March 20, 2015


I remember driving with Zach & Jody Gray several years ago on a tour Shoot Dot Edit had put on. It was fairly late, and as a designer I was curious about the client experience that Zach & Jody had talked about earlier with photographers that evening. As we chatted, the importance of consistency of message, appearance, and presentation when working with clients became clear to me. Since then I have struggled with the back and forth of all those pieces, discovering myself, making changes, and just being overwhelmed by the “money-making work” side of being a small business. I haven't found perfection, but I do believe I have found a sweet spot in my own business and I want to share a few design thoughts when bringing your tangible customer experience to your entire online world, especially your own website!

What is UX Design?

It's like speaking in code. UX just stands for User Experience. What does that mean? Simply put, you are designing an experience to solve a problem/pain that your visitor has when they visit a website (hopefully someone else's). We all know a point where we have been on a site and feel, well, genuinely angry. Something doesn't work, we can't find what we want, or some other small thing. The problem is these small things turn into big things. FAST. People leave, sales are lost, and your return on investment tanks. User Experience is important, and the good news is there are some easy ways for you to make your Showit Website easy and intuitive to use.

1. Get to Know Your Users

Asking for feedback can be scary, but when it happens that small fear of rejection is usually replaced with pride and a big smile. The best part is, even if we goofed on something or missed a tweak on our site, when we get feedback we know what to fix. It also forces us out of the isolation we can live in when designing our own site. This is what I look at every day, and especially being in rural Kansas, it get's lonely so getting to know my users is not only fun but rewarding too. Great User Experience Design comes when you talk to your visitors and solve their problems.

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. – Steve Jobs


My lonely desk on a normal day, empty food dish and all. Get out and talk to your users! – Jason Toevs (2BlokesDesign)

A great place to start is to ask yourself the following questions when working on your website, planning for a new one, or working with your designer. Answer these questions and you are already ahead of most other small businesses in the industry! Answer these questions and you are already ahead of most other small businesses in the industry.

  • Does your design address your target market?
  • Does it resolve their real problem/pain?
  • Is your solution an accurate response to your target market's needs?


Tune in Tuesday (3/24) for the next post in this design series where we dive into Strategy. In the meantime, we want to hear from you! What are some ways that you have gotten to know your website users?


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