What is UX Design?

In recent years, web­site design has tak­en an inter­est­ing turn. With advances in the way web­sites are cre­at­ed, design­ers are able to pro­vide much more than an online brochure. We’re able to cre­ate an expe­ri­ence for users. It’s an oppor­tu­ni­ty for brands to cre­ate an envi­ron­ment where cus­tomers are able to actu­al­ly expe­ri­ence some­thing with­out hav­ing to be in a phys­i­cal space. What I’m refer­ring to is user expe­ri­ence.

Nowa­days, user expe­ri­ence is more impor­tant than ever. We strong­ly urge our cus­tomers to keep this in mind when cre­at­ing a web­site. But what makes user expe­ri­ence good or bad? Ulti­mate­ly, this is sub­jec­tive. How­ev­er, we recent­ly reviewed sev­er­al craft brew­ery web­sites in order to get a bet­ter idea of what answers that ques­tion. Here’s what we came up with:

If you’ve ever been to Ratio Beer­works in Den­ver, you know that it’s one of Denver’s best brew­eries. The beer they serve is great, but what makes it mem­o­rable for me is the space itself. Think wide open space, lawn games, and punk rock.

The Ratio Beer­works web­site does a great job of pro­vid­ing users with an expe­ri­ence that is sim­i­lar to being at the actu­al brew­ery. The use of grungy halftone tex­tures and clean lay­out remind me of the space in Den­ver. It’s clear that Ratio made it a point to ensure their brand is a part of every­thing they do, which makes it real­ly suc­cess­ful in terms of user expe­ri­ence both in their phys­i­cal bar and their web­site.

Reviewed by Blake Lockard, TMRC Design­er

10 Barrel’s web­site is imme­di­ate­ly eye catch­ing and easy to nav­i­gate. The side nav­i­ga­tion is easy to find and large mak­ing it very sim­ple to use. Their use of black and white and clean lines leaves no room for con­fu­sion when mak­ing your way around the site. Using video right off the bat catch­es the user’s atten­tion and keeps them engaged in the com­pa­ny mes­sage. You can real­ly tell who their tar­get mar­ket is and they do a great job stick­ing to it.

Reviewed by Hay­den Zig­urs, TMRC Design­er

Per­haps I’m a lit­tle old school, but I’m a suck­er for well exe­cut­ed, clever inter­ac­tive ani­ma­tion. Sure, Flash is in the grave but I always enjoyed the clever and imag­i­na­tive pos­si­bil­i­ties when it was done right. Clear­ly, this isn’t Flash, but it imme­di­ate­ly loaded (even on the worst of the worst hotel wire­less!) and it imme­di­ate­ly had me click­ing and mov­ing my mouse around the page.

Back to the old school part … aside from Fat Tire, back in my col­lege days, Buff Gold to me was THE craft brew or brews. So I was hap­py to see them still doing orig­i­nal things.

Reviewed by Kevin Roberts, TMRC Own­er

At first glance, the Cam­den Town Brew­ery web­site is bright, col­or­ful, and clean. Once I dug into it a lit­tle more, I real­ized I was look­ing at a web­site that wasn’t too far from what local soft­ball league team’s would look like. Every­thing from the mes­sag­ing to the bright col­ors screams “Take me out to the ball game, and join our team!”. It’s real­ly clever and I love what’s going on with it. I think if I were actu­al­ly part of a soft­ball league I would’ve caught onto the brand­ing a bit faster. Over­all, I’d say the web­site does a great job of por­tray­ing a brand of beer that is per­fect for crack­ing open with the boys (and girls) after a game.

Reviewed by Blake Lockard, TMRC Design­er

In a more tra­di­tion­al sense of judg­ing mod­ern UI/UX, I found Upslope’s design to be most appeal­ing and user friend­ly. Loaded very fast, nav­i­ga­tion was large and very respon­sive. I espe­cial­ly how they tweaked the par­al­lax design to fit their brand. Odd­ly, this is the first time that I recall see­ing this done. Per­haps hav­ing seen inter­est­ing vari­a­tions to a theme, but not to direct­ly match the brand. The rest of the site is well done with con­sis­tent posts. Blog is time­ly and the events page is very thor­ough and well exe­cut­ed.

Reviewed by Kevin Roberts, TMRC Own­er