The UX of a website is a multilayered concept. It is not just a simple way of describing how the website works and how the users navigate it. It is the intuitive structuring of the web in a way that every piece of information that the user needs from the site is readily accessible within three clicks.
Why the limit of three clicks? Because users surfing the Internet are not patient with poor design or functionality. If you are not giving them the information they need in the first few seconds or the site design is too difficult for them to follow, they’ll get frustrated and simply leave; possibly never to return.
With only seconds to ensure your victory, what can you do to keep people engaged with your site and ultimately turn them into customers?
Well, you pay attention to your website’s UX and make sure it’s in top shape and optimized for conversions. In this post, we are going to talk about the five major reasons why your site’s UX needs such focused attention from you and how it holds the key to your success.
Customer Experience has been the design buzzword for a while now. If you are not familiar with the term, it is the study of user behavior and understanding their needs so the products, services, and interfaces that are created not only fulfill those needs but deliver more than expected.
What helps in creating such a design?
- Field studies
- User interviews
- Persona building
- Journey mapping
- Task analysis, and
- Human-Centered Design
UX that has been created after studying user behaviors and listening to what they have to say becomes proficiently intuitive, frictionless, and a joy to use.
Attentive to UX directly drives profits. According to a report by the PWC, people are willing to pay more for good user-experience on the website. And the opposite is true as well. 32% of site visitors stop engaging with a website after a single bad experience.
But why is UX so important for good customer experience?
Consider this: due to an inefficient UX on the site, every time your user clicks on the ‘About’ section to find your contact information, they are redirected to your home page. After two such attempts, the user will stop engaging with the page. Consider another example: when you go to a website that is taking too long to load (more than 3 seconds, on mobile devices), will it help if the site has a progress bar that indicates how much loading time is left? Of course, it would.
All these examples help in deciding if a user had a satisfying or dissatisfying experience on your website. But customer experience is not only based on page load times or faulty links; it also includes:
- How personalized task flows are for users?
- Availability of customer support on the site
- Is the site easy to use or will the customer have to ‘explore’ it to understand it?
- How visually appealing the website is?
- For e-commerce sites, how smooth the checkout system is?
- And so much more
A great UX heuristic is to minimize learning curves for your user. The more you ask a user to ‘learn’ or ‘understand’ a design, the more you risk losing their interest or distracting them. Conversely, if you have been attentive to their needs and created the interface with their unique needs and tasks in mind, they won’t even notice the UX; it’ll become that intuitive and inherent to the functionality – ultimately improving the whole customer experience.
Instant Connection with Users
Brands that invest in cultivating connections with their users stand to gain the most in terms of recognition, profit, customer loyalty, and longevity. How can UX help you with that task?
UX works at the core of what a customer is looking for and therefore, has a deeper understanding of the target market than perhaps even the marketing team. Using knowledge gained through customer interviews, user data, and persona building, UX designers can create websites that accurately reflect their brand’s characteristics into the site design.
It covers a lot of ground in terms of web design and development. Strategic aesthetics of the web design, goal-focused functionality, and smooth transitions across devices and platforms, all help the customers to not only remember the brand but encourage repeated visits too.
Remember: modern users are not content to consider businesses as faceless entities. They want their brands to have personalities and voices. Starting from a meaningful and engaging brand identity design to having a brand voice that is as authentic as it gets is what customers are now after.
And conscious UX design can help you deliver all this. It evolves with its users and constantly learns from them. Through regular testing, research, and usability reviews, etc. it tells users how central they are to designing websites that work for them.
Increased website conversions are directly proportional to good UX design. The more a site is easier to access, easier to browse, and efficient in performing, the more its site traffic will increase. Leading to improved chances of conversions.
Back in 2015, ESPN decided to listen to what its users were saying about their experiences on the site and incorporated those views into their site’s redesign. They designed more personalized homepages for individual fans depending on their locations, interests, and the device they are on. True, in 2020, personalized websites are nothing new but just a way of doing business. But five years back, it was groundbreaking. ESPN saw an instant jump of a 35% increase in its revenues after the redesign.
Similarly, another study concluded that compared to better UI (200%), better UX design can boost your conversion rates to as high as 400%.
What key UX design factors directly impact increased conversions?
- Faster page load times
- Clear Call-to-Action buttons
- Short and to-the-point copy
- Visual hierarchy in the design
- Functional links
- Instant bug fixes
- Secure browsing and payments, among others.
To make your website continually give you high conversion rates, keep your ear close to the ground and focus on what your customers are saying. Learning from them and evolving with them will keep you relevant as a brand and your conversions at an optimum high.
Responsive Web Design
Creating a responsive web design comes naturally to good UX philosophies. Since optimized UX is all about making user journey easier and engaging, it makes perfect sense that better UX demands for a smoother and frictionless platform transition across devices.
It is also important to note that Google search rankings favor websites that have an adaptable web design – meaning, responsive websites are ranked higher in SERPs than their unresponsive counterparts.
How does UX help in designing responsive websites?
- Encourages mobile-first designing
- Creates fluid designs
- Leaves space to avoid incorrect/accidental tapping
- Removes form fields that are not necessary
- Prioritize menu items
- Using smaller images for smaller screens
These and other UX methods ensure that a site caters to the needs of the users no matter the device it is being accessed on. That means a site where the use of the keyboard is minimized, where games can be played without accidental tapping, and where you don’t have to look for scroll bars on the tiny edge of your screen.
Best UX design practices for responsive websites create an overall better experience and lead to minimized interruptions and less friction.
Lastly, making changes to your site’s UX designs in the early stages of development are highly cost-effective than correcting a mistake after many customer complaints.
According to Forbes, citing Robert Pressman’s book Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach, “For every dollar spent to resolve a problem during product design, $10 would be spent on the same problem during development, and multiply to $100 or more if the problem had to be solved after the product’s release.”
Since you’d be hard-pressed to create a flawless end-product without any kind of customer feedback or user survey, it is better to invest in those initial findings now and learn what your customers are looking for. Continually investing in customer feedback surveys, conducting usability testing, and analytics reviews, etc. help in spotting mistakes early and fixing them in time, saving you money in the long run and creating overall cost-effective websites.
We hope that by the time we arrive at these last few words of the article, you’d have gained a more thorough and deeper understanding of how great UX design drives leads and profits in such complex ways.
As we conclude our discussion for today, let us know in comments how your UX journey has treated you and share what you’ve learned in the process.
Andrew Hoffman is a creative freelance writer who specializes in topics related to small business and startups, digital marketing and branding.