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How Coding Shapes User Experience in Your Website

By Arleen Atienza

Photo by Firos nv on Unsplash

August 20 2021 - The continuous advancement in technology has brought both challenges and benefits in business industries today. The advent of digital marketing has opened more opportunities for companies to market their products and services to a wider range of potential consumers. But of course, as more businesses saturate digital channels, the tougher the market competition gets.

Digital marketing encompasses a wide variety of advertising methods across all online platforms. The most basic, and probably the most important method in establishing your brand to potential customers online, is by creating a website for your business. A website is an ideal marketing tool in attracting people who might be interested in the products or services your company offers. As we all know, building a website starts with coding, and everything that we see, from the UI to the functionality of the website as a whole, is influenced by how the website was coded. Any minor detail you put into the development of your website can greatly affect your user’s experience, and that’s what we’re going to talk about in this article.

What is User Experience?

Before we dive into the main subject of this article, let’s define "user experience" first. User experience or UX deals with understanding the users’ needs, capabilities, limitations, and the things they value. Adhering to these factors when creating a website is crucial for businesses, as it could improve the quality of the user’s perception of your brand.

Why coding?

Now that we already understand what user experience is all about, let's discuss why coding is the better option in creating your business’ website. For start-ups and small businesses, using website builders instead of hiring remote developers can be more economical, especially for those with very limited funds. Although website builders can produce a decent-looking website for these brands, entrepreneurs still have to consider other important factors like data security and overall user experience. Websites built from CMS platforms can be easily targeted by hackers since they share common security vulnerabilities. Also, making changes in these websites would still require users to code, so why not opt for full hand-coding instead? At the end of the day, aesthetics and content are not the only aspects vital in developing a website - usability, discoverability, and accessibility should also be taken into consideration. As CMS platforms fail to give their users the full authority in constructing their websites to achieve a marketable structure, coding makes the better choice, especially for those who seek long-term solutions. Here's how:

Usability

When we say usability, we’re talking about the website’s effectiveness, efficiency, as well as overall satisfaction that it gives to its users. In this aspect, we’re measuring:

  • How first-time users can effortlessly understand the website’s UI
  • How easily users can navigate different sections of the website
  • How fast frequent users can accomplish tasks
  • How frequent users make mistakes while navigating the page
  • How experienced users can effectively use the system in future visits

Coders can improve a website’s usability by making the page load faster. This can be done by enabling the cache feature, avoiding too many plugins, and compressing images. Coders may also opt for clean coding principles instead of using spaghetti code in building a website. Spaghetti code is prone to error, difficult to understand, and hard to maintain. Meanwhile writing a clean code is more structured, very easy to follow, and also very easy to maintain. A well-maintained website creates a better user experience, which can also generate high website traffic.

Accessibility

People often confuse usability with accessibility, but there’s a thin line between the two. While usability caters to the needs of general users, it often fails to address the needs of individuals with disabilities. While accessibility requirements also tackle the visual aspects of a website, it mainly concerns the more technical aspect of web development.

Coding is key in fulfilling these user-specific requirements. A website may include assistive features like:

  • High-contrast text - improves readability of texts
  • Magnifier - enlarges elements like text and images for easier reading
  • Screen reader - converts texts to audio
  • Color filter - adapts the display color for a better visual experience
  • Speech recognition - allows users to use voice command in doing tasks like searching the page
  • Captions - shows texts to screen while playing an audio/video

Website developers and business owners must work hand in hand in order to give equal opportunities to every user. Incorporating assistive features in a website doesn’t just improve user experience, but can also boost a brand’s reputation for fostering inclusivity.

Coding does more

The role of coding in growing a business is often overlooked. Most people may reduce a coder’s role as someone who’s solely in charge of the "technical stuff", but what people fail to realize is that apart from turning ideas into reality, coding does more by improving relationships between brands and customers. Without good website coding, your page may not be even able to appear on search results!

About the Author

Arleen Atienza has been writing for several organizations and individuals in the past six years. Her educational background in Psychology and professional experience in corporate enable her to approach a wide range of topics including finance, business, beauty, health and wellness and law, to name a few.

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