UX (user experience) design

UX design is a term that you might begin to hear if you’re in the process of getting a new website.

But what does it mean? Really? 

If you’re new to the web design and development process, it can be disorientating hearing lots of tech jargon.

As designers and developers, we can sometimes be guilty of ‘tech talk.' But we also really determined to explain things clearly and simply to our clients.

After all, Albert Einstein said it best: ‘If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough!

So we’re going to explore UX design here. And for starters, let’s unpack the acronym.

UX design stands for ‘user experience design.’

It’s a small term that covers a lot of ground.

UX design is the web design discipline of designing with the user in mind. UX design involves always thinking about user interaction and usability of a site.

A significant part of UX design is the research phase. This involves a study of your audience, your customers. A UX designer will want to know as much as possible about the users of your site. How old do they tend to be? Are they working professionals? Do they engage well with your current site?

UX design is something we have all experienced - without even knowing it. Everyone knows the feeling of being on a website where everything just sort of clicks. Information is easy to find. You can navigate around the site smoothly. You find what you were looking for straight away.

Of course, everyone has also experienced the opposite of UX design. A slow loading site with lots of pop-ups and a crowded layout that gives you a headache. We’ve all been in the situation where we’ve clicked away from a bad site within the first few seconds!

These are the kinds of sites that didn’t prioritise UX design. And they tend to have a high bounce rate and poor user satisfaction levels. This can have a huge impact on your google rankings - so it’s not something to brush off or take lightly.

UX design, or user experience design, covers a broad range of practices. It tends to include user research, wireframes, visual designs and prototypes. UX designers create concepts based around user journeys and flow - meaning how the user travels from one part of the site to the other.

Wireframes are like the skeleton of a website. They show the architecture of a site before colour, graphic and designs are added. This helps designers see how the site will function, and how the user will interact with it.

A UX designer's job is to see the online experience through the eyes of the user. They will identify any possible pain points. They can spot which pathway through the site feels clunky and can register which call to action engages them.

So where is UX design heading?

It seems like the future of UX design is heading towards more simple designs. Users tend to react the most favourably to easy-to-use sites with simple functions. Amazon’s one swipe buying process, for example, is UX design at its most simple and accessible.

We are expecting our tech to do more and more, and make our lives increasingly easier. UX design will have to do more for us, whilst seeming as simple and effortless as possible. No mean feat!

If you’re in the process of building a site and would like some advice on UX design, we’d be happy to chat. Or, if you already have a site but this your UX design needs improvements, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask for a bit of advice.


More than just a trend – Charities need to be more active on Twitter

You are probably aware of the popular online social networking website, Twitter. Founded in 2006, it now has over 310 million active users every month. You are quite possibly one of those active users yourself but are you using Twitter enough to promote your charity?

The word ‘twitter’ itself can be defined as ‘a series of short, high-pitched sounds’. That is exactly what Twitter should be used for. Spreading awareness through a series of short, high-impact messages that can be heard by your audience - Not just a quiet blur in the background that occurs once per week or month.

What is great about Twitter, is the ability to connect with an audience through a shared interest, an audience who want to speak about the same things and care about the same causes, an audience who are only 140 characters away...

Charities have found a new way to get their message heard by the right people. It doesn’t require an expensive TV campaign or 50,000 printed leaflets being handed out, only to be tossed in the nearest recycle bin. It requires a strong message and a hashtag.

As a marketer, I naturally check the trending column of Twitter each day (this shows what everybody online is tweeting about). Today 5 of the 10 viral hashtags belonged to charities. There were 3,511 Tweets about the #BigConversation for Dying Matters Awareness Week and 1,218 Tweeting under the hashtag #CoeliacAwarenessWeek. The others were #MCRHomelessnessCharter, which aims to tackle homelessness in Manchester, #ConcussionAware and #SunAwarenessWeek.

Whilst giving an insight into the level of competition in the charity sector, the amount of engagement the hashtags have received also show a trend in themselves... People online are willing to talk about a cause, they want to hear your message and in response they want to share their experiences and feelings. This not only strengthens brand awareness for yourself, it creates that short, high impact message that reaches the right people. Those who spread awareness and those who donate.

Whilst giving an insight into the level of competition in the charity sector, the amount of engagement the hashtags have received also show a trend in themselves... People online are willing to talk about a cause, they want to hear your message and in response they want to share their experiences and feelings. This not only strengthens brand awareness for yourself, it creates that short, high impact message that reaches the right people. Those who spread awareness and those who donate.

View some of our charity projects here.

If you need help making some noise on Twitter. Email hello@22group.co.uk or call 0161 672 7822 and we will help you put together a social strategy to really get you recognised.


Northern Business Expo- Creative

OFFER EXTENDED: Sign up to either of our creative packages before the end of April and get a FREE 2 sided flyer designed and setup for print worth £225

Creative package/

£800 (Usually £1,600)

Realise the power that branding can have on your business with this 'feel the brand force' starter pack.

Package includes:

— 1 hour brand identity development review

— Research and analysis of your competitors and market leaders branding

— 3 bespoke logo concepts with 1 set of amends on your chosen route, supplied in various file formats for on and offline use

— Stationary designs and print ready artwork including; business cards, comp slip and letterhead

— Social media graphics

— Logo usage print / web guidelines

All packages are subject to terms and conditions

Sales brochure/

£322 (Usually £450)

A well designed sales or corporate brochure is essential for conveying your products, values and services, in a professional and appealing way to your potential or existing clients.

Package includes:

— Evaluation of your current literature

— Design of a sale brochure (up to 16 pages) in a print ready format

— Up to 4 stock photography images

— Up to 8 bespoke icons

— Up to 4 bespoke illustrations / graphics


Additional pages: £75 x 4 pages

Content writing costs: £700 up to 10 pages

All packages are subject to terms and conditions

email us at hello@22group.co.uk -  Offer only available until the end of April 


Come see us at the Northern Business Expo – We’ll make it snappy!

The team at 22 Group are exhibiting at the Northern Business Expo on 14th and 15th April. The renowned business exhibition, which is free to the general public, provides business owners with the opportunity to forge valuable relationships with potential customers and suppliers, gain solid business advice from over 150 exhibitors as well as the chance to take part in free seminars and skills packed workshops. Two of those will feature 22 Group members this year in the Digital Marketing hub. The Expo has always attracted leading speakers and thought-leaders, this year featuring supermodel Caprice talking about how she built up her global enterprise.

Our award-winning Creative Director, Robin Arnold is holding an ‘Introduction to Branding’ workshop at 10.30 each day, which explores how understanding the difference between branding, marketing, design and advertising can lead to business success. If online is more your forte, at 2.15 you can head over to hear from Marketing Manager, Amber Stevens at a fun social media workshop which will provide you with the basic skills and knowledge to get started online and advice on how to make your social media campaigns an ongoing success.

If you fancy a break from developing new skills and knowledge, pop over to stand A22 to meet the rest of the team and get your selfie snapped for a chance to win a luxury 2-night stay in the prestigious Mayfair hotel, 9 Hertford St, just moments away from Buckingham Palace.

You can register here for your free tickets http://www.northernbusinessexpo.com/tickets/

See you there!


Online estate agency advertising campaign

Here is the first glimpse of the new advertising campaign we have created for online estate agency Self-sale.com. The look and feel of the campaign uses the graphic illustrations we created back in February as part of the brand refresh.

This is the first bill board advert to be designed and we are over the moon with the positive feedback we have received so far.


Manchester Digital roster badge

Manchester Digital recently asked 22 to design a badge for their roster.

The Roster acts as a recommended supplier list for customers looking for trusted suppliers from a wide range of disciplines including creative, marketing and media, through to technical, software and ICT.

Successful applicants will be awarded a Roster Badge which can be carried on their website and stationary as a way of telling potential customers that they are a quality supplier in a named discipline.

In keeping with the Manchester Digital brand identity we created a minimalist badge that uses digital source code as the theme.


The Bond Board annual report

The Bond Board are a charity who help in preventing homelessness by assisting people to secure and maintain homes in the private rented sector.

We have recently designed and produced their annual report and it has just come back from the printers. We can't keep our hands of it! If you don't already know, to say we are partial to a nice bit of print would be an understatement.

We have really gone to town on this one!

The report comes in two halves. The A2 wrap around cover contains all the facts and figures and is printed 2 colour on A2 sheets of brown paper.

The A4 12 page brochure contains case studies of people who have been helped by the Bond Board over the last year. Photography is by the wonderful James Maddox

We used this interesting format so that the brochure could be sent out as a stand alone promotional item without the figures and be used as a promotional brochure.


Miss Out…No chance — Smoke Free campaign

22 have created marketing material for the The 'MISS OUT... NO CHANCE' anti smoking campaign.

Smokers die young. A quarter die in middle age and many even younger. The campaign is targeted towards parents with the powerful message 'Don’t miss out on your family’s future'.

The campaign is part of the Department of Health launched National Smoke Free campaign.


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22 Group is the umbrella company for creative work.

Check out our specialised branches for work in the property and finance sectors: Property Stream | Finance Stream

22 Group is a proud member of The Pride, an alliance of independent creative and communications companies.

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