In May of this year, Google is set to roll out the Google Page Experience update. It is critical for websites to meet this update’s criteria to be crawled and retain or improve their position on search engine result pages (SERPs). With this new update, only websites that provide a seamless and sophisticated online user experience (UX) will establish a secure position in online search rankings.
Research shows that users prefer websites with an excellent page experience. The goal of this Google update is to enhance users’ overall web-browsing experience across all devices. Google will be using Core Web Vitals as direct page experience ranking factors. Thus, it is vital to have a solid understanding of Google Core Web Vitals to make sure your website’s user interface design and user experience or UX/UX design, meets the criteria.
Many understand how this new search ranking algorithm can make or break a business; however, not everyone has a solid plan on how to ensure their online success. There are digital marketing agencies providing web design services that can help. You can also use tools to check your website’s Core Web Vitals score and create your UI/UX design and an optimized user interface.
Before we delve further into the different UI/UX design tools and Google Core Web Vitals, let’s answer a commonly asked question: What is UI/UX design or UX/UI design? What is UI/UX design for?
UX design and UI design are two different elements that work together and impact the web experience. UX design means “user experience design,” while UI design means “user interface design.”
UX design focuses on how an item works and how users interact with it. It is the invisible side of design and involves usability and function. UI design is centered on the visual, graphical and layout aspects of design. In the web design space, UX and UI designs go together to provide users with an enjoyable online browsing experience.
Core Web Vitals quantify a user’s page experience through metrics that measure website speed, functionality and responsiveness:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This measures the speed at which your site content loads. The LCP should not exceed 2.5 seconds for a given page.
- First Input Delay (FID): This measures how long it takes for a page to become interactive. Ideally, it should take less than 100 ms.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This checks if there is an unexpected layout shift of visual page content due to human interaction and how much. A good score is any number less than 0.1.
Other page experience factors affect your search rankings:
- Mobile-friendliness: This checks how well your website performs on mobile devices.
- Safe browsing: This evaluates how safe your page is from deceptive or malicious content.
- HTTPS: This checks your website runs on a secure HTTPS connection.
- No intrusive interstitials: This checks for any advertisements that may obscure your site content and make reading or site navigation challenging for users.
These page experience ranking factors and the newest addition - Google Core Web Vitals - are set to make pages safer and more enjoyable.
There are several developer tools you can use to test your site on its user-friendliness and Core Web Vitals performance.
- Lighthouse - This audits your page concerning the Core Web Vitals metrics. It delivers your overall score and offers suggestions for improvement. You can either download the Chrome extension or install it in your browser to generate a report.
- PageSpeed Insights - This checks your page’s running and loading speed on desktop and mobile devices. Together with Lighthouse, PageSpeed Insights runs a report measuring your site’s Core Web Vitals scores. You just need to paste your URL into the tool to generate the data you need.
- Web Vitals Extension - This desktop tool monitors your site’s Core Web Vitals in real-time.
- Mobile-Friendly Test - You can input your page’s URL on this tool to check for mobile-friendliness. This tool gives you a screenshot of how your page appears to Google on a mobile device. It also lets you know of any mobile usability problems, such as incompatible plugins, incorrectly sized content or font.
- Security Issues Report - This checks to ensure your site isn’t hacked and that it doesn’t pose any security threats towards users, such as malware or phishing attacks.
- The HTTPS test - This checks if your site runs on a safe HTTPS connection.
These tools can give you the information needed to optimize your page. They can also expose security vulnerabilities and errors. While website owners should now start paying more attention to user experience, ensuring high-quality content is equally important. There needs to be a balance between providing excellent content and optimizing the UX/UI design for a great user experience. What is UI/UX design without quality content, after all?
Some tools can help you build your UX/UI design. You can use prototyping tools to create beautiful and trendy user interface and user experience designs.
- Sketch – Millions of designers are using this vector-based designing tool on macOS. It has an intuitive user interface that allows designers to produce high-quality prototypes in just a few minutes. It is flexible enough to support hundreds of plugins.
- Adobe XD – This all-in-one prototyping platform is also among the most popular choices for UI/UX designers on macOS and Windows. This tool allows you to build wireframes, web designs, interactive prototypes, mobile apps, games and voice interfaces. It also allows teams to work together in real-time and receive feedback directly from clients.
- Origami Studio – This was built and developed by Facebook designers and has come a long way since then. Its pre-built components allow designers to design sophisticated prototypes. Origami Studio can convert visual designs to written code through its export-code functions.
- Marvel – This tool is known for its user-friendly features that allow you to build a realistic user interface design and develop interactive mockups for Android, iOS and desktop applications. It works as a centralized workspace where designers can collaborate and clients can validate.
- Webflow – You can concurrently design a prototype and build a live website with Webflow. It allows you to design and develop a responsive website without coding. It has pre-built complex components that will enable you to convert a high-quality prototype to a production-ready landing page, blog or product website.
- Axure RP - If you’re a professional providing web design services and building complex, interactive prototypes with adaptive views and conditional logic statements, you’ll want this to work with Axure RP. This is a tool that a web design agency will find useful because it allows comprehensive documentation and a handoff process.
- InVision - This tool is known for its click-and-drag function that allows you to build high-fidelity prototypes. Its background eraser function enables you to have transparent images for your animations. InVision also allows collaboration where team members can see design updates in real-time and provide or receive feedback.
User behavior and expectations constantly evolve, so designers need to adapt and provide solutions to ensure that their websites can meet these changing needs. These tools should help you design your website on your own or if you have an in-house team that handles your website’s user interface design, you could suggest these tools to them.
You can also work with a web design agency that provides comprehensive web design services to create an excellent user interface and user experience design. This also helps ensure your website retains or improves its current search rankings after the Google page experience update.