It’s 2019, you don’t need to read another blog telling you that website design matters. The layout, the imagery, the graphics, the fonts – it’s all important for attracting customers, conveying authority, and building a brand. You know that, and you might even know your website design needs some love. The Squad can help with that. But what few people truly get is the impact of user experience.
Website user experience (UX) is the user-based journey through your site – there are many different pathways for a user to take, but you want each one to be a unique and enjoyable experience. For businesses who want their website to be a lead-generating tool, UX is even more crucial. The website UX must lead users through the process of understanding who you are, the value of your product or service, and what to do when they’re ready to make make a buying decision. Without thoughtful UX, your website is just a collection of words and images that don’t aid the potential buyer in their journey.
Why Website User Experience Matters
UX not only informs how users perceive your website but also your company from the get-go. If the user experience is negative, they will not stay on your site very long and will instead go searching somewhere else – on your competitor’s website – and you’re left with no conversion and no sell. Negative UX also leaves a bad taste in their mouth for your brand. Sure, someone may have heard raving reviews of your company, but when they visit your website and don’t have a path to follow that leads them to your great product or service, they will turn away with expectations unmet.
Positive user experience, on the other hand, facilitates trust and communicates reliability. When a user reaches your website and from every angle the UX is thoughtful, helpful, and enjoyable, then their website visit will result in new subscribers, relationships built, increased engagement, lead generation, and ultimately, revenue and customer satisfaction.
When you make a decision, how do you want to feel? You want to feel confident, you want to feel good. Your website users are the same way, and your website UX generates a feeling as users navigate your website. You want that feeling to correlate with how your business should be perceived.
If the user has a genuinely good time navigating your site, they will be more likely to engage and more likely to share their experience via word-of-mouth or online which is great for business!
How User Experience Impacts the Design and Development Process
As a designer, I’m considering a lot more than just how a website “looks” when I create the website mockup. I’m putting myself in the user’s shoes to figure out the best flow and ease of use.
Sometimes, functionality and design don’t play nice and my job is to work through that to find the perfect solution. Recently, I was working on the mockup for a product page that demonstrated just how important it is to consider UX from all perspectives. The desktop-version displayed a large, beautiful image of the product at the top of the page and had callouts to specific product features that the user could click to be taken down the page to learn more. It achieved the goal of enabling the user to see how the product worked as a whole, while still calling attention to the unique features of the product.
Yet, this experience wouldn’t work for a user on a mobile device. The callouts wouldn’t size well and length of the page would require the user to scroll excessively with their finger. I talked through the problem with one of our web developers, and we ended up finding a solution for a mobile version that was both functional and yet still designed to meet the goal of the page.
That’s one benefit to having a team of designers, developers, and strategists. We are able to work together to craft the best UX for each unique website we create.
Throughout the process, the most important thing to remember is to make the experience enjoyable enough for the user to act, engage, or react!
4 Ways to Improve Your Website User Experience in 2019
Improving website UX doesn’t have to mean redesigning your entire website. UX can be improved in new and fresh ways throughout the life of your website. Here are just a few ways to refine your UX:
- Have multiple employees, or even past customers, test the UX of the site and give feedback on anything that could be improved
- Figure out which pages of your site have the highest bounce rate or users spend the least amount of time on and improve the UX there
- Double check that the mobile versions of each page are on point – mobile sites generate more than half of all website traffic so it always needs to be a part of the UX
- Good UX across all platforms is a win too, so make sure UX is consistent between your social media accounts, marketing emails, and website
If you want to learn more about website design and user experience in the wild, check out our Website Wednesday posts where we pullback the curtain on recent websites we’ve designed and developed. The Marketing Squad is a full team comprised of designers, web developers, digital strategist, and content creators who are dedicated to exceptional UX. If this post has got you thinking about where your website UX falls short, maybe it’s time you work with us.