Putting the ‘user’ in User Experience
For a long time in the digital marketing industry the expression “user experience”, otherwise known as UX, has been a buzz phrase.
But with good reason – after all, your website is a crucial channel for your business that could be make or break for enlisting new customers, as well as retaining current ones. Those who visit your website need to feel like they have had a good experience, or they simply won’t come back.
So what makes a good user experience? In essence, the answer is simplicity. A visitor wants to be able to get to what they’re looking for easily, whether that’s a product to purchase or a phone number to call to make an enquiry.
A report by Komarketing found that once on a company’s homepage, 64% of visitors wanted to see the company’s contact details. Whilst you may think keeping a visitor on your website for longer is the aim, the fact is that people will not stay to dig around for the information they’re looking for – they’ll go elsewhere to find it from someone else.
In fact, Experienced Dynamics found that 79% of people would search another site to complete a task if the first site they visit doesn’t tell them what they need to know.
We can break down this simplicity requirement into four different parts – content, design, technical and mobile.
Content encompasses any copy, images, video or other multimedia on your site. Content is very much the fuel of your website, as it can be used to inform, persuade and convert your customer. If the content on your site is poorly written, badly formatted or just doesn’t give the user the information they need, they are not going to have a good experience.
Copy needs to be clear and concise, explaining your businesses and services in a way that can be understood straight away with no complications. Imagery and other media need to be high quality and professional. If media showing off your product is poor, then the visitor is likely to assume that the product itself is poor.
No one likes a busy, disorganised looking website. Ironpaper conducted a study which found that a whopping 94% of people cited that bad website design was the reason they did not trust a website, meaning that its absolutely crucial your site looks good.
Over the years, website design has changed significantly, and we are now in a place where users respond best to sites that are clearly spaced out, have bright imagery and clear call to actions. If your site is cluttered, it can look old fashioned and unprofessional.
Technical covers the mechanics of your website. At top level, this is how your site is structured. Do you have a navigational menu that is easy to find and use? Do you have the appropriate pages for what your customers need to know?
Whether a visitor lands on your website from a search engine, or direct from seeing your domain on marketing material, it must be easy for them to find their way round. This can mostly be achieved with an organised navigation menu, and by interlinking (linking to other pages on your site) where relevant.
In addition to simple navigation, another technical aspect is functionality. Does the site function as it should? Are there any broken links from removed pages? If you have any contact forms or similar embedded aspects to interact with, do they actually work? Another key area to be wary of is load time. If your website is slow, people aren’t willing to sit around and wait.
Site owners need to test-drive their sites to make sure they are up to scratch.
According to Social Media Today, 83% of mobile users say they want a completely seamless experience across all devices. This is why a responsive website design is incredibly important to your bottom line, as its an expectation of potential customers.
A responsive website is one which adapts to the device it is being used on. It’s optimised for the best performance and provides the content in a friendly format whether you are on a desktop computer, mobile or tablet. Without a fully responsive website, the user may become frustrated trying to navigate it so will ultimately leave.
Overall, putting the user first is integral for creating and maintaining a successful website. By keeping the visitor happy, you could see a significant increase in conversions, which means more money for your business. To find out more about the importance of UX, or our website design services, get in touch today by calling 023 9248 0082 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.