What is User Experience design?

user experience

And how can giving people a fantastic user experience help increase your sales?

UX design isn’t just for designers to think about, business owners and marketers should also aim for a website that makes it really easy for people to find what they need.

What does User Experience mean?

User Experience or UX is all about how people interact with your website – literally, their experience of your site

Basically, it’s all about finding out how easy or enjoyable something is to use.

UX design works by following a process, one which involves exploring, assessing, evaluating and modifying certain things about your website or other product.

A concept called Design Thinking is important in UX design as it helps you to get great results by guiding you through a thinking process of 5 stages – involving research, testing and improving.

Source: Adobe

The 5 stages of design thinking explained

  1. Empathise – researching your users’ needs
  2. Define – identifying and stating your users’ needs and problems
  3. Ideate – generating ideas, e.g. brainstorming
  4. Prototype – experimenting to create solutions
  5. Test – trying your solutions out to see if they work/have improved usability/see if there any design problems remain

While ‘empathise’ only appears in stage one, it is really important to keep that ethos throughout the build process and the ongoing development of your website. It is incredibly easy to forget about your user’s experience once you get stuck into worrying about the technicalities of a site, the colours, the design, the content.

None of these matter at all if the user experience is horrible.

User Experience design is hugely important for the bottom line of your business

Quite simply, if you provide a great user experience on your website then more people will buy or enquire and Google will reward this with even more visitors. Furthermore, satisfied users will feel loyal to your brand and return to browse again.

Think of a website that you return to time and time again. I bet the following are true:

  • The website is quick to load
  • You can find what you want quickly and easily

If you thought some more then these would also be true:

  • Clear, well-designed website
  • Pleasing design
  • Site inspires trust and confidence
  • Intuitive navigation  – no getting lost
  • No bugs, broken or empty pages
  • Product information is useful and comprehensive
  • Easy purchase/checkout process – quick, simple and few steps
  • Can complete all the actions you wanted to
  • Where relevant, social proof and trust symbols provide reassurance to customers.
  • Forms are as quick as they can be to fill in

Behind every website that you barely consider as you easily buy your product or choose your service, lies hundreds of thousands of hours (in the case of the big websites) of work by user experience experts, designers and developers to make sure your few seconds are seamless and easy.

The psychology of good User Experience design.
By showing your customers you understand them and care about their needs, you have a much better chance of gaining and retaining them and while a lot of emphasis is placed upon the journey of a user, remember that alongside function we should think about the way our site looks and makes people feel, as this neat diagram from UX Planet shows.

Source: UX Planet

How to check your website for User Experience

Friends and Family
Get friends and family to test the site – make sure they have a list of things to do on the site and then find out how easy it was for them.

This is a really useful service – they provide ‘Customer experience narratives’ – which are effectively video reports of users using your site. You get all the emotion as well as the facts.

Heat Maps
A heatmap or a scroll map such as the ones below from Hotjar can we really useful as a way to show which pages are encouraging people to scroll down and which aren’t. It will also show which buttons or CTAs are working better than others.

Good User Experience is hard to retro-fit to a bad website

Fixing a few minor issues is, of course, easy to do. Fixing poor journey design, poor design and other major problems is very hard to do on a live site. You may well be better off starting again – it could well be the cheaper option that is also the better option – an unusual combination!

At The Ambitions Agency our team works carefully with website owners to ensure a great User Experience in all the websites we design and build. To find out more get in touch today

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