Data-Driven Design: What Is It and How Does It Work?
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Designing products, services, or online experiences that resonate with your customers is often easier said than done.
While you might think that your design looks great and your customers will love it too, it’s not always so cut and dry. What you think looks great, might be completely different from what your customers want.
That’s where data-driven design comes in. By leveraging the power of data to guide design decisions, you can create products and website experiences that your customers will love and will help you reach your goals.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what data-driven design is, how it works, and how it can help you create a better-performing website that delivers a more engaging user experience.
What is meant by data-driven?
The term ‘data-driven’ is used a lot in business in reference to strategic decisions that are backed by data rather than personal experiences or subjective opinions.
There are loads of different types of data that are used to make decisions, including financial, customer, market, sales, and operational data.
Analysing this data and discovering fresh insights into your performance, market, and customers can help you create more tailored products, marketing campaigns, and designs.
To collect this all-important data, you can conduct your own research, purchase market reports from trusted sources, or use online tools like Google Analytics to track and analyse website data.
What is data-driven design?
Data-driven design involves using your current website’s performance data and customer and market data to guide your website design process and help you achieve specific goals through your design.
With data-driven design, there is an element of science in the process. To be specific, the analysis of appropriate data based on historic performances, customer behaviours, and market trends.
This not only helps guide design but also provides a catalyst to develop new creative ideas that differ from previous designs to help you reach a specific goal.
In most cases, a designer’s personality will vary massively from the audience that will be using the products they are designing. This is one of many reasons why data should influence design.
Background research into a user audience gives insight to designers so they can develop the best-suited designs for the audience that will be putting them into practice.
How is data-driven design used in website projects?
Data-driven website design helps designers create websites and platforms that are optimised for user experience and conversion rates.
At the start of the website design process, using tools and research to collect and analyse the following types of data helps designers create better-performing websites and experiences.
User behaviour data
User behaviour data focuses on how users interact with your website and include engagement statistics like click-through rates, bounce rates, and session duration.
If you have an existing website, this type of data can help inform design decisions surrounding your website layout, navigation, and content placements that will help to promote user engagement and increase conversion rates.
User feedback data
Feedback data gathered through user surveys, feedback forms, and user testing sessions can help you identify user pain points and inform design decisions that will improve the overall user experience of your website.
For example, if multiple users with visual impairments provide feedback that specific text and colour backgrounds make it difficult to understand information on your website, you can use that data to improve accessibility through design changes.
Conversion rate data
Your conversion rate data shows how many users are completing actions on your website, like submitting contact forms, signing up for mailing lists, or purchasing your products.
This data can help you identify any pages, specific elements or features that could be preventing conversions and causing disengagement with users. From there, you can use that data to inform design decisions that’ll help improve your conversion rates.
For example, if you notice that users aren’t using a specific form on your website, it could be down to the structure and design of that form. If another form on your website performs well, using a similar design could lead to more user submissions.
A/B testing data
A/B testing can provide valuable data when choosing between different design concepts.
After collecting enough data, you can analyse the performance of each design can incorporate it into the final website design.
Overall, using insights from objective data to inform your website design and any critical decisions made during development can help you produce a website optimised for your users and business goals.
How is data-driven design used in UX?
Data-driven design is also essential to creating user experiences that your customers love.
By auditing your website performance and collecting various types of data, you can improve your design to encourage more user engagement, longer site sessions, and more conversions.
I’ve already mentioned some types of data you’d need to look at to improve your UX design, like behavioural data, user feedback, and A/B testing results.
But, specifically within the world of UX and UI, there are a few other types of data that you can analyse to determine whether your website is up to scratch or needs some changes to the design and structure.
Heatmaps give you a visual representation of user behaviour on your website. This includes where your users click, scroll and spend most of their time.
This data can help identify areas of your website that get the most attention from your users, which can help you make design decisions to make these areas more engaging or actionable.
Or you could use that data to discern why other areas aren’t getting as much attention and make decisions to optimise the design and structure of those areas.
Analysing your web accessibility through audits and benchmarking can help you make design decisions to create a consistent user experience for every visitor, regardless of their ability.
For example, through an accessibility audit, you may discover that specific colour contrasts, font styles and sizes throughout your website could be challenging to read for users with visual impairments.
Or it could be that some forms on your website don’t include clear labelling, logical tab orders, or proper error messaging, making it difficult for those with motor or cognitive disabilities to navigate and use them.
Analysing and optimising your design based on accessibility data and best practices is essential for creating great user experiences.
Usability and interactive design are a big part of your website’s overall user experience.
Collecting data such as the frequency of website errors, the average downtime, the number of negative reports from users, and other usability data can help you improve your website’s UX.
Additionally, analysing your website and whether it meets UX best practices and key usability heuristics can help you identify and make design changes that’ll improve the usability of your website and, subsequently, user satisfaction.
What are the benefits of data-driven design?
I’ve highlighted a few benefits of data-driven design, like improved user engagement and optimised UXs, but there are many benefits to using a data-driven design.
What you like and what your users are more than likely different.
So, basing your design decisions on your personal opinions and what you think looks good can negatively impact your website’s performance and the user experience it provides.
Instead, using indisputable data and evidence to inform your design decisions is far more likely to lead to better results.
Reduced design costs
Analysing data and gaining insights into user behaviours and historical performance can help you identify potential opportunities or problems early in the design process.
This means you can avoid spending more time and money on additional design iterations or complete redesigns by doing it right the first time!
By basing design decisions on data-driven insights, you can create a website design and structure optimised for driving conversions and reaching business goals, resulting in a greater return on investment.
Final Thoughts on Data-Driven Design
To sum up, if you want to create a product, website, and user experience that your customers will love, and helps you hit your business goals and grow your revenue, you need to use data to back up your design.
Failing to use a data-driven design and making decisions based on subjective opinions or intuition can lead to poor-performing websites and products.
In the long run, this will likely cost you more through multiple design changes or even complete website redesigns.
Fancy giving your website design a change-up?
If your website design is feeling a little dated, or you’re not getting the website performance you need to help you hit your goals, then get in touch to speak to one of our specialists about our WordPress website design services!