In this microguide you’ll learn:

  • 6 phases of designing website user experiences that actually matter.
  • 3 important factors for implementing those 6 steps effectively.

Once you’re done, head back to your website and ask yourself.

Did our website user experience design follow these steps?

If the website user experience we designed 5 years ago was relevant, is it still relevant today?

Could a usability audit help make our website matter more to visitors?

Let’s start.

Website User Experience: Customer Journey Map
Website User Experience is about meaningful journeys

Defining the Six Stages of Website UX Design

Perhaps you’re familiar with these already. If not, they provide a robust framework from which your entire website concept and design should grow.

1. Understand

Define customer’s mission. Define your own mission. How do those two things relate?

2. Research

Research how ideal customers go about solving the problems your website needs to solve how well your website is helping them do that.

So many times the UX research we’ve performed for clients uncovers insight that challenges their assumptions and throws up surprises.

3. Analyse

Once you’ve gained relevant customer insight, it’s time to drill down and pull out focused use research data you can use to build customer personas and journey maps.

This model borrowed from SAP takes pretend customer behaviour research and maps it into a workflow that rationalises the buyer journey to maximise efficiency and eliminate waste steps, to keep things efficient and relevant.

Typical User Journey Map
Source: SAP

4. Design

  • You’ve gained customer insight (research phase) and organised it into a meaningful flow (analysis phase). Now it’s time to turn all that into a high converting website design that includes:
  • Site map
  • User flow
  • Mockups
  • Images
  • Icons
  • Colours

Your design needs to arrange these elements to create an overall experience that relates to your brand, your mission and your customer’s mission.

The key in great website design is to maintain customer-focused coherence. Every part of the website design needs a purpose so that it creates a meaningful, valuable, relevant experience that converts value for you and your customers.

5. Launch!

Once you’re happy that the website user experience you’ve designed connects customers with the value they need as efficiently as possible, it’s time to go live with a beta version to do some launch testing.

6. Analyze (Again)

When your shiny new site launches, don’t rest on your laurels and wait for the leads to come in. Analyze how your website traffic is interacting with the journey you’ve built.

See our HotJar tutorial to learn how to view click and heat maps and learn how customers are interacting with your website.


The 6 Steps of Website User Experience Design Alone Won’t Convert Without These 3 Factors

Ok, you’ve learned the six basic steps for designing a high converting website. Understanding the theory behind the workflow is just the start.

Now we’ll cover critical, qualitative factors behind the theory that will ensure your website actually matters and converts traffic, once you turn theory into practice.

Great Websites provide meaningful experiences

Design Website User Experiences Using Empathy

We misunderstand empathy in business. It’s not really as talked about as ‘passion’ and ‘acumen’ which is a shame, since understanding customers and creating website user experiences that actually matter to them is ALL about empathy.

Empathy: doesn’t have to be weepy. Cognitive empathy is simply the ability to see things from another perspective, that’s not your own. It’s that kind of empathetic insight that will help you design website user experiences that fulfil your customers’ mission and convert new business.

Don’t design user experiences according to what your MD thinks looks good, or what the sales director reckons should be included.

Do design user experiences that are informed by empathetic insights gained at phases 2 and 3 of the user experience design workflow outlined above.

That’s how you’ll make the customer journey actually matter and convert.
That’s how you’ll make the customer journey actually matter and convert.

Yes, you saw that twice. No editing error. It’s worth repeating.

Don’t Stop Doing User Research Just Because The New Website Design and User Journey Is Live.

User experience research never ends.

The phase 2 research you did as part of your website user experience design process was just for the sake of perfecting your design to match customer needs.

  • New competitors emerge.
  • Existing competitors change their offering.
  • Audience values and habits change.

Tons of factors out of your line of sight can shift and move, threatening the relevance and conversion effectiveness of your website user experience over time.

Ultimately, your website is a product. You need to determine what your customers want from it. A high converting website assumes those factors are constantly changing.

Failure to perform ongoing user research is a key reason for why websites go out of alignment and start to underperform.

Don’t Copy Design Trends Just Because They’re Popular.
Find Out What Matters to Your Specific Target Customers.


It’s not hard to get caught up in growth trends and social media marketing advice that might work in specific contexts not relevant to your business.

Don’t try to be hip. don’t be swayed by the fanfare around ‘cool designs’. Pretty alone is meaningless unless it converts business.

What should be most important to you is creating a high converting website user experience relevant to the people you’re trying to reach.

How easy is your website to use? How consistently does it get visitors from arrival through to the moment they’re ready to consider, contact or purchase?

What can you do to find the quick conversion wins? If you need a hand with all that, we’re here to help. Just ask.