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Guides & Advice

An introduction to user experience and its importance

By Emily Waddecar / August 12th 2019

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There are many elements to creating an effective, useful and usable site that visitors find not only enjoyable to use, but an answer to a problem they have been trying to solve. With a thorough, measured approach to UX, you’re sure to be left with a site or product that leaves a lasting impact on users that come into contact with it.

These interactions are what’s defined as user experience (UX), and this will be a key consideration both during and after the development of your site. But what exactly is UX and why is it so crucial to your website’s success?

What is ‘user experience’?

Let’s start with the basics.

UX can be defined as how a user feels when interacting with a system. UX is a major consideration during any point of contact between a human and a device, product or service. This could include using a business’s software or browsing a website or web application.

TIP: A user’s experience of a brand starts the second they come into contact with it. So bear in mind that any promotion, review or social content will add to this.

From responsiveness and engaging design to having a broad range of features, there’s a lot that goes into great UX. It’s not enough to have just one stand-out point to create a positive user experience, it’s about the whole journey from the first point of interaction to eventually receiving your product or service.

Why is it so important to consider UX at every step?

Benefits to improving UX

The main reason UX is so important is that fulfilling the user’s needs should be a business’s top priority. Your search strategies might help users find your site, but it’s UX that makes using your site a positive experience.

All businesses have a goal, whether that be to sell a product or get a number of leads. UX makes all the difference to whether you will achieve your goal or not.

Great UX is what a business needs to create customers loyal to their brand and products.

Was your website designed mobile first?

As more and more users shop and browse using smartphones, often using multiple devices to complete a single transaction, improving user journeys has never been more important. In fact, mobile users are 5 times more likely to abandon a task if a site isn’t optimised for their device.

TIP: Did you know 79% of your viewers leave and look elsewhere for a solution to their needs, if they can’t find it on your website.

Considering this, we have adapted a mobile first strategy when it comes to designing and building new websites. That leads us nicely to:

What defines good UX?

Time & usability

Consider how well your site is laid out. Is it easy to navigate, or does the design and format make navigating frustrating? With a site that’s difficult to use, users may become frustrated, leave, and look at competitors instead. By improving the usability of your website, you could stop this from happening.

You may be wondering why time is so important. Time is one of the main reasons many website visitors choose to leave a site. This could be down to many reasons, from the time it has taken them to find a specific product or piece of information, to the load time of your site’s pages. This is especially relevant to mobile users as the average user will only be prepared to wait 3 seconds for a page to load before leaving.

If your site is easy to navigate, easy to sort and quick to load, you’ll have a well-functioning and easy-to-use site that efficiently meets user needs.

Desirability & enjoyability

A website that’s well-designed will be visually appealing, and will leave lasting positive impressions on your customers. Think of your key selling points that set you apart from competitors.

Why should a user buy from you over your competition? Consider how desirable your product is to a user. Make sure you have great reviews, USPs and offer fast delivery or great service to really make them believe your worth.

Credibility

It’s one thing to make your products and services look and feel appealing, but making products, your site and your business overall feel more secure and trustworthy is crucial to your business success.

If a user is considering using your products or services, how do they know they can trust you with their money or information? How do they know that what you offer is worth their money?

This is the same risk users take every time they make a purchase online, so consider steps you can take to improve your user’s journey to make sure you gain their trust.

TIP: Adding accreditations, awards and reviews is a must for gaining credibility for your business.

Also, make sure your checkout is secure, and your site itself is secure through https. This shows users that you take their online security seriously.

Accessibility

Have you ever considered how difficult using your website would be if you were colour-blind, dyslexic or had other disabilities? Did you know that disability affects 1 in 5 people in the UK?

This is why improving accessibility on your site is especially important, not only for equal opportunities and improving the overall perception of your brand, but also to increase your online audience by potentially another 12.9m people!

So, consider things such as an alternative colour scheme for people with colour-blindness, and larger text fonts for people with clinical blindness or poor vision. In general, you should look to provide an equal opportunity to browse for all users.

TIP: Improving UX on your website is not always about packing it out with more. In most cases, the work you do to make a user’s journey clearer and simpler gives you the biggest wins when it comes to conversion.

How every1 can help you create a brilliantly usable and efficient site

Given how important it is for businesses to provide a browsing experience that sets them apart from their competitors, it’s important that you take a measured, expert approach to creating, updating and refining your site continually.

When there are many other aspects of running a business to keep considering at the same time, it might often feel like time is a bit tight. Some business needs might take precedence over others, for example.

We’d love to explore how our web design and development strategies could deliver results for your business. To request a briefing questionnaire or arrange a brief telephone conversation with one of our team, call 0845 485 7170 or get in touch to find out more.