As one of our UX designers so eloquently put it, the guiding principles for UX design is about getting the user from point A to point B as easily as possible, creating a pleasurable experience, making the journey intuitive, improving the user’s interaction with your brand and delivering on the user’s expectations.

UX is involved, insightful, learned and complex – so where do you start?  There are UX best practices abound, far and wide. Best practices that are always evolving through a combination of art and science supported by different approaches, insights and technologies available. And although best practices provide great strategic guideposts for planning and design efforts, they are not always a cookie-cutter blueprint for success.

What is particularly awesome yet extremely tricky for a UX designer (and the overall team) to master is knowing when to apply said best practices and when to throw caution to the wind and go against the grain. The key to knowing when to stray from what has been deemed a “best practice” is really and truly knowing your audience. This is not unique to digital projects, this is something that is inherent in everything we do in marketing and branding.

As Jeff Horvath states “A good user experience, like a measurable ROI, doesn’t typically happen by accident. It is the result of careful planning, analysis, investment and continuous improvement.”

Web design isn’t a one size fits all formula. No site is built strictly using all best practices or the trendiest features, everything we design and build must obviously be customized for the client and tailored to their key audience unlike any other deliverable. What makes digital projects a bit more complicated is that we have ENDLESS tools at our fingertips and new bells and whistles being developed every day. We are constantly applying the latest approaches and trends to our website development efforts, but the key is to ask the right questions to derive at the best solution for your audience rather than formulate a preconceived answer based on theory and conjecture. Brendon Cornwell puts it best in his article from “But trends, like patterns and process, are not hard and fast rules, and they are not a substitute for understanding the needs of the user.”

When you create a website you begin with you – “YOU” the user. Doesn’t get much simpler than that…

Want more? Read our thoughts about how Facebook will find yet another way to shake up the digital publishing landscape.