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    Community Manager

    Recap: Web design principles (Expand 2021)

    Welcome to the recap thread for “Web design practices you’ll use every day” with Cathi Bosco.

    Cathi is a co-founder, UX researcher, visual designer, and strategy consultant at UXATT.


    Join the follow-up discussion by leaving a question or comment below.




    1. Motivation
    2. Design for experience
    3. Usability design models
    4. Collaboration
    5. Services & business operations
    6. UX research and discovery
    7. Visual design



    Reasons to unlock more time for yourself and your team:

    • Create more time for family, hobbies, travel, fitness, or non-work
    • Create more time for a side-gig or passion project
    • Create more time and space for adding new resources to your offerings
    • Create more time for learning other tools, tech
    • Create more time and space for eventually selling the business
    • Create more opportunities for collaborating with other pros
    • Create more time for growth and biz dev, to diversify or contract larger projects
    • Create more time for learning new skills
    • Create more space to transition towards consulting on projects, less tactical work


    Design for experience

    • Designing for users based on their needs
    • Design as an experience: end users, design, and website around shared experiences


    Experiences we can design for:

    • Publishing, media companies
    • Ecommerce, online stores
    • Business, marketing sites
    • Online learning, courses
    • Membership, online communities


    Usability design models

    Models combine UX writing (interface copy) and findability (navigation/wayfinding).


    Usability Model v 1.0

    1. Performant – Secure – Accessible
    2. 10 Heuristics
    3. User delight


    Heuristic = Enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves.


    Recommended read: 10 guiding principles for UI interaction design from Nielsen Norman Group


    Usability Model v 2.0

    1. Ethical – Sustainable – Inclusive
    2. Performant – Secure – Accessible
    3. 10 Heuristics
    4. User delight



    • Use collaborative tools and platforms to nurture a single source of truth
    • Stakeholders may include creative, engineering, administrators, and 3rd party partners
    • Collaborate and build a network


    Services & business ops

    • Lead by example; give your clients a great experience
    • Clients trust you to have the resources and skills they need
    • Are you a good fit? Check against client’s available budget, timeline, and resources
    • Leverage tooling and automation for efficiency, e.g. Zapier
    • Charge for your team’s time, get great at estimating how much time to allocate


    Advice for getting better at time estimates:

    1. Predict how much time the work will take
    2. Track the time to see what it actually takes
    3. Measure your progress and improvement at estimating


    What services can you and your network provide? Look at complementary services, e.g.

    • Visual design
    • Brand identity
    • SEO
    • Content
    • Marketing
    • Advertising
    • Accessibility
    • Security
    • Performance
    • Development


    UX research and discovery

    Leverage tactical & strategic work:

    • Who is the site for? Identify user groups, define the value proposition
    • Perform usability studies, user research, interview real users
    • Hold stakeholder interviews
    • Align business goals with user’s needs
    • What tasks do users need to accomplish? Map the user journey, critical task flows
    • Test and validate solutions with real customers
    • Remove unnecessary complexity
    • Address accessibility considerations
    • Audit the existing site
    • Create a content strategy including navigation, information architecture
    • Synthesize analytics


    Include time for research and discovery.

    • You’ll move from unknowns, through understanding the problem, to developing a solution.
    • Agile methods let you perform discovery in tandem with development. Alternate each sprint.
    • Focus on discovery and understanding the problem before moving to development.


    Visual design

    • Design is not just visual design
    • It includes research, UX copywriting, usability testing, and measuring outcomes
    • Recommendations for style guides, logos and branding, social media, marketing assets


    Design awesome experiences

    • Work efficiently with teams that operate from a single source of truth
    • Don’t make assumptions about users’ or clients’ needs – do the research!
    • Embrace a user-centric process and get paid to do better work


    Download: User-Centric Design Weak Spot Audit


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