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November 7, 2017

How Important Is User Experience?

When it comes to the design of your website, ensuring a good user experience is rapidly becoming just as important as your brand identity. Over the past few years, UX design has seen a number of businesses both large and small investing in the research and development relating to user experience and how your site can impact this. All of this can help businesses to try and avoid the most common UX mistakes we’ve seen online. What do we mean by ‘UX’? UX is short for ‘user experience’ and ultimately comes down to the experience a user will have on your site. Luckily, there are a huge number of factors that can have an impact on user experience and we’re going to be taking a closer look at the importance of utilising these to improve the user experience for your site.

workplace-1245776_960_720The Business Value of UX

Back in 2014, research by ON3 Software suggested that companies that implemented a highly effective UX design to their website improved their revenue by around 37%. Generally, this research was focused on app development, but now, UX is just as important in desktop and mobile versions of the site.

There has been increasing public discussion relating to user experience of websites, generally since the publicised launch of HealthCare.gov and the subsequent issues that entailed. The design process of websites is now heavily focused on user experience, starting from the initial concepts all the way through to the final product, which ultimately means it needs to be something that your business is considering too.

There are a number of different parts that make up user experience, and these include:

  • Accessibility
  • Ergonomics
  • Aesthetics of your site
  • Utility
  • Usability
  • Marketing
  • Overall site performance
  • Overall human interaction

The overall discussion regarding what user experience is, shows that it is becoming more about interaction with your digital product (in this case, your website), from the emotional connection that your visitors experience when they reach your website, all the way through to how they interrelate with the different pages on your site. In other words, UX is more important than functionality, which is why it is so imperative that you begin to implement user-friendly practices into your site’s design and development – no matter the size.

Understanding The Emotional Connection

When you think of the rawness of web design and development (aka coding, testing, usability, software etc.), emotion probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. This is why it is so important for emotion to be integrated within the UX of the site. Your website is there to serve a purpose – whether that’s to sell the product or service, to inform and engage your audience, or to educate. However, you will not be able to achieve the purpose of your website without fully engaging with the site’s visitors.

The process of constructing UX approaches to a web design and build is by having a number of specialists work together in order to find and solve any problems that they may come across. Each part of your site may have a different purpose, and may exist to evoke a different emotion when the user lands on the page. Designing for emotion is the easiest way to continue to keep your visitors connected.

Do you want your audience to feel sympathy? Delight? How about fear or surprise? Understand what each part of your site should do, create this as an objective, and be honest with yourself about whether or not each part of the site actually meets the objective set. Understanding what your audience should be getting from your site, and creating, moulding and challenging every aspect in order to ensure that your site is completing the exact objectives that it is supposed to – that is how to build a good UX.

There are five key ‘E’ considerations to UX that you should consider:

  • Ease of use
  • Efficiency
  • Effectiveness
  • Error-Free
  • Engaging

It doesn’t matter if your users have landed on a site that blows them away in terms of design. You could have the most beautiful site on the internet, but if your users don’t know how to interact with it, and do not enjoy that interaction, then you won’t end up meeting the purpose of your site.

season-1985856_960_720Where Does UX Apply

User experience is important for a number of different applications. It doesn’t matter if you are promoting a particular digital product, have a large and complex site, are selling products online, have a start-up site, or a site that has been around for a long time – UX applies to all.

When it comes to complex sites, in particular large eCommerce sites, UX is key. Not considering user experience can lead to a chaotic, unorganised mess, which could ultimately drive your consumers away. Your visitors need to find exactly what they’re looking for on the site, without having to traipse through page after page to obtain the correct information. If your visitors have to spend a long time trying to find the information they are looking for, then they’re likely to bounce, almost instantly.

Users will decide within a matter of seconds whether or not they want to use your site or app, no matter whether they are viewing on mobile or desktop, so it is important that you make an instant impact. In fact, without effective UX, your digital product is likely to fail.

How To Implement UX Into The Design Process

With the increasing importance of UX, most designers will already be thinking about how they can implement better practices to improve user experience.

But isn’t UX a developer’s problem?”

The short answer? No. UX is just as much of a designer’s problem, as a content writer’s or even a CEO’s. The easiest way to implement effective UX practices into the design process is through a collaborative approach. This way, a team of creative professionals can collectively consider the experience that you want users on your site to have, and ensure any issue that occurs when you test it all. Even better? Test again, and then even test again just to make sure everything is fixed prior to your site being released.

If you need assistance with improving the design of your website, get in touch with our team of experts today!

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Author:

Ben Austin

With a solid background in the sales and finance industry, Ben was inspired by the possibilities of SEO after propelling his own website to search engine success. With a natural flair for digital marketing and a strong work ethic, his entrepreneurial streak soon took over, leading to the birth of Absolute Digital Media.

Naturally ambitious by nature, Ben didn’t stop here, instead pushing the business to new heights, offering a wider range of services to more and more clients. He is now proud to employ a number of SEO, PPC, web design, social media, copywriting and marketing professionals and is driven by all things digital marketing. His passion and persistence have led the company to multiple awards and accolades, such as the company being announced as in the Top 100 Independent Agencies in the UK by The Drum Independent Agencies Census and finalists of the UK Biddable Awards and RAR Digital Awards in 2017. When he’s not busy leading the company on new ventures, Ben enjoys spending time with his wife and children.


Email b.austin@absolutedigitalmedia.com

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