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User experience is more important now than ever. A few years ago, visitors would put up with a glitchy or poorly functioning site because the internet as a whole was less developed. Now, if one site doesn’t work well, visitors will simply look for another that was designed properly and responds how they want it to.

Visitors aren’t the only ones who care about user experience, either. Search engines are putting a bigger and bigger emphasis on how much users will enjoy a site instead of focusing on technical things like linkbuilding that visitors won’t ever notice.

Robert Hoekman has been working in the web industry for thirteen years and has first hand seen the changes happening as user experience became one of the most important aspects of running a website. While there are a few dissenters, Hoekman is part of the majority who are happy to see websites being designed for users, not for designers or search engines. However, he knows some designers have had some growing pains during the transition.

To help designers understand the importance of user experience and why it is the key to creating a well ranked and well liked site, Hoekman created a list of 13 tenets of user experience (one for every year he has spent in the business). If you don’t get what the big deal is or why user experience was bound from the beginning to become the most prized aspect of design, his rules should make it all clear.