Key Reasons Why a Great Website User Experience is Essential
How Your Website User Experience Impacts Your Business
Providing a good user experience (UX) on your website can be the difference between meeting your business objectives and not. These days, growing brand loyalty and a robust bottom line are both signs your website user experience is working. But how is this achieved?
As the name suggests, the website user experience – i.e., putting the user at the center – is the focus. Designing enjoyable, effortless digital experiences is the new “customer is always right” of our digital age.
Every good website has one essential element: an incredible user experience. Visitors stay on a website when they find the experience to be worthwhile. Otherwise, they bounce and move to other sites that better meet their expectations.
88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.Invision App
You will lose a lot of business if your website doesn’t provide a good user experience. But what exactly is website user experience? And what does it take to meet the expectations of your target audience?
In this post, I explain website user experience and how you can improve your UX & UI design and make your website or online store more helpful to customers.
What is User Experience?
User experience (or UX) in web design is a complicated term to define in full. Simply put, website user experience is the quality of experience users have when interacting with a website or e-commerce store.
However, to help us understand it better, we can ask ourselves a simple question. How does your site visitor interact with your site?
We need to focus on creating a website that provides a positive experience, practically (the user can find what they are looking for) and emotionally (the user feels good about your site).
Good UX moves visitors seamlessly between web properties. It makes your website clear and intuitive and encourages conversions.
But, if done poorly, visitors become confused and frustrated when they land on your website, and your business can suffer.
Why is UX Important?
When I started building websites in the late 1990s, nobody talked or even cared about user experience. But in today’s digital era, user experience (UX) design is essential to creating an engaging online presence.
The reason is simple; how people engage and relate to the global marketplace has evolved, so we need to make every effort to connect with those who would appreciate our product or service.
Think back to your past experiences (good and bad) with brands. Your feelings will determine how much you are willing to spend on an organization in terms of time and money.
Your website is the mothership of your digital marketing efforts. It is where you educate your users through your blog, e-books, infographics, etc., and where you inspire them through video, photos, and testimonials.
Is UX Just Another Buzzword Trend?
In any commercial venture, revenue, sales, and the bottom line are of critical importance, and in this age of digital transformation, UX design impacts business outcomes like never before:
- Website conversion rates: customers who engage with your product for longer are more likely to result in a sale.
- Overall sales revenue: lost opportunities mean fewer sales. Increase revenue by ensuring customers see your platform as simple and easy to use.
- Brand integrity, trust, and ongoing loyalty: a positive experience when engaging with your brand results in increased customer retention and longevity of the relationship.
- Search engine page rankings: faster page load times, lower bounce rates, users staying on site for longer, and visitors checking out more pages all inform Google that your site is an authority in your sphere.
- Time and money required to invest: The best UX results in reduced website updates and improvement costs.
How a Bad Website User Experience Hurts Your Business
Quite simply, a bad experience can lead to losing potential customers. Alternately, a user-friendly website can lead to a sale and, more importantly, help develop a long-term relationship that benefits all parties.
For a business, one of the worst-case scenarios imaginable is having a prospective customer landing on your website, who genuinely wants to make a purchase, but ends up leaving with their wallet firmly closed, having had a poor experience.
Have you ever felt you wanted to pay for something, but the business didn’t want your money? Was it just too hard to find what you wanted? Or to complete the transaction?
Even in the B2B space, digital experiences can be painful and lead prospective customers to go with a competitor.
A website and product may look impressive, be enticing, and have caught their full attention. But without a straightforward journey to finding the information visitors need and concrete actions to take if they are interested in the next step, they may come and go without giving your brand the chance to meet them and begin a conversation.
Beautiful Doesn’t Mean Functional
Having an aesthetically pleasing website user interface (UI) may make you feel like you have a sexy brand on your hands. However, if visitors can’t use it intuitively, one small bump in the road can cause someone who would have otherwise loved your brand to leave in seconds.
Sounds harsh, but we live in an impatient era of diminishing attention spans, where busy people will gravitate to the most seamless experience. If that experience isn’t yours, you could be losing sales and revenue.
The best user experience puts you in the place of the people you aim to relate with, working to ensure they feel comfortable when engaging your brand. You must be ready for the fact that these people are not you.
Your audience could include people of all abilities, different levels of education and digital savviness, and people with more than one thing on their minds as they engage with your brand.
If you do it well, their experience with your brand won’t simply elicit feelings of quality; it’ll build loyalty by defining your brand as one with genuine values that resonate with people on an emotional level.
Do You Provide a Good Website User Experience?
Monitoring your Google Analytics over time can help determine how your users interact with your site.
Keeping track of metrics such as time on page, bounce rates, and exit pages will show you what is and isn’t working.
Another way to see if you are currently providing a good website user experience is to test it on a group of people that fit in with your buying personas.
Remember that chances are you and other team members interact and use your site regularly. Therefore they will not give you an objective opinion of your site. However, using people from outside your organization will give you a clearer idea of whether or not there are areas that require improvement.
What Makes a Great User Experience?
User experience design focuses on enhancing customer satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and efficiency of user interactions on your site. Visitors make instant decisions about your website based on the elements of user experience. They are:
- Value – Does your content provide value to the customer?
- Usability – Is your site easy to use?
- Desirable – Does your content make an emotional connection with the user?
- Accessible – Is your website accessible to everyone?
- Credible – Does your website/content build the trust and belief of the user?
Since your site is the centerpiece of your growth marketing efforts, these elements must combine into a valuable and rewarding experience for the user.
Improving your user experience reduces obstacles that make it difficult for users to interact with your website. As a result, users won’t get stuck when they land on your website, thus keeping them engaged, loyal, and recommending you to others.
Essential Elements of Website User Experience
Generally, a website based on extensive research into your website users / potential users is the key to ensuring that your site has excellent usability. But you can’t beat that first impression impact that a website with great aesthetics has on a user.
A positive first impression will start a positive user experience, help you gain credibility with your users, and build trust with them.
Great aesthetics provide an excellent first impression. Still, a slow-loading website is one of the fastest ways to undo that and lose people’s attention, interest, and potential custom.
Fast Page Speed
Imagine two shops selling the same product. Both look great, but one has a long queue at the checkout, and the other has multiple staff where you can pay without queuing. So you will likely go to the second one —the same with a slow website. If pages take too long to load, your users will take their business elsewhere.
Don’t compromise on your site speed. Using amazing photos and video is excellent but ensure they are optimized so that they do not slow down your site.
Studies have shown that 40% of people will abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Knowing and monitoring your site speed for desktop and mobile is key to ensuring that you aren’t losing out on potential customers or negatively impacting your brand.
Fast websites are a must so that visitors can easily and quickly navigate their way through your site.
Using site navigation that people are familiar with (logo in the left corner, navigation menu on the right, etc.) is a good idea because it is so ingrained in us.
Some may argue that this can stunt your design efforts as some designers like to play around with the location of the navigation bar, which is valid to an extent. But whichever way you choose to go, be sure that your site navigation is easy and logical.
Straightforward and easy-to-use navigation helps your users quickly find the information they are looking for, which is why they came to your site in the first place.
Content Specific to Your User
Understanding your different customers and their unique requirements is key to ensuring that you produce and publish the content that they want.
A user arrives on your website looking for answers or solutions to their individual needs. Your content should provide these answers to your users and leave them pleased that they came to your site.
Doing this well will enable you to continue building the relationship with the user and encourage them to take further action that can start to move them into your sales funnel.
Your users will access your content in different ways, so it is also critical to optimize your website or online store for use on mobile devices.
Google reports that over 50% of global internet traffic comes from mobile. Therefore, if your site doesn’t look and function correctly on mobile, then you are potentially losing out on potential business.
KEY TIP: You can test if your site is mobile-friendly by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool and entering your URL.
Aligned with Your Company Goals
Finally, perhaps most importantly, you must align your website user experience with your business objectives.
What actions do your users need to take to help you meet your business objectives?
Your website should take your visitors on a seamless journey that helps them find the information they require and inspires them to take action to help your business grow.
Let’s now look at what you need to do to enhance your site’s user experience.
How to Improve Website User Experience
Use Data to Guide Your Efforts
Our web design team believes that the best websites and e-commerce stores are all informed by data. So track user interactions on your website to know the actions visitors perform when they get to your site. This data will help you drive your efforts to satisfy the end user by guiding you on the web pages and processes you need to optimize to improve usability.
Your language should appear real-world and relate to the audience rather than technical. UX-focused copywriting is one of the growth marketing strategies that will help you build a passionate online audience.
Online users have so much going on. They are busy and multi-tasking across different apps, so your web design content should be as close as possible to their thoughts. Visitors will abandon your site if they find the language too technical, so keep it simple to enhance your website’s user-friendliness.
But remember that it’s not just about your audience; you need to benefit too. Data will give you the pathway to better understand your visitors and how to serve them better to keep the profits flowing.
Design for Your Target Audience
Always use a simple and responsive design when setting the layout of your website. Simplicity means a clean layout with two or three color schemes and plenty of white space.
Everything the user needs to know should be visible to make it easy for them to meet their user objectives. Your website user experience research will let you know which actions your visitors often perform when they visit your site. Make those web pages accessible to ensure visitors don’t have to navigate a maze to find relevant content.
Please don’t make them have to remember where things are. Well-designed menus, tooltips, and a good layout are essential for this. A straightforward design framework allows visitors to transition from one aspect of your website to another, helping them fulfill their goals.
For instance, if a customer gets to your website through a blog post, it could lead to another post that expands on the topic or a service page with the product that satisfies the user’s needs.
You must create memorable experiences allowing users to navigate your site efficiently.
Structure Your Content
Most UX & UI design experts agree that information architecture is one of the best tools you have to help users move through your site. Setting the hierarchy for your website requires you to think through the functionality and information your website contains and then map it into a tree-like structure where every aspect of your website flows naturally.
If implemented correctly, your web pages and sections will flow smoothly from each other, thus allowing users to navigate your site more easily.
Consider these questions when designing your website’s hierarchy:
- How is information organized across your site?
- What is the natural order of pages?
- What do you want to stand out within individual pages?
- How will you differentiate information that is more important than other information?
The answers to these questions will help you develop your site’s information architecture to structure your content on your website. Set the primary navigation menu that includes the main sections of your website. Add secondary menus that take users deeper into your website for specific content and information.
Don’t forget to work on your visual hierarchy that allows users to navigate easily within a webpage. For example, make your headings more prominent than the body text to make your content stand out.
Use different colors for interactive elements like buttons and links to attract more attention. Engage a UI UX design agency to create the proper hierarchy for your site.
Make Your Website Easy to Use
People can more easily use a site that has a standard layout. But don’t make it identical to your competitors. A similar format will work well for you.
Your website or e-commerce store must be accessible to all, meaning that you need to remove obstacles for your users and have a simple design that shows them everything they need to know. For instance, you can have contrasting colors for the text and background. The contrast will make it easy for visually impaired users to read the content on your website.
You can also use customer feedback to improve your site and make it easy to use. After purchase, send customers a follow-up email inquiring about their ability to interact with your website. Additionally, you can ask your users about their experiences while on the website. Use pop-ups and chat boxes to collect valuable customer feedback that will help you improve your website design.
Prevent Unintentional Errors
Your users will inevitably make the wrong decisions on your site. Preventing such errors is one of your key goals as a UX designer. A simple message like “Are you sure you want to cancel?” can differentiate between winning and losing a customer.
Confirmation helps the customer re-right their wrongs and travel through the funnel. By assisting the audience in correcting mistakes, you prevent them from giving up entirely. One example is Google’s error prevention screen that asks, “Are you sure you want to delete this permanently?” when performing specific bulk actions. This type of confirmation allows users to review their actions before committing an act that users cannot reverse.
E-commerce stores also provide an order confirmation screen that allows shoppers to review their orders before making purchases. So if you had erroneously added something to your cart, you get the chance to remove it before finalizing the purchase.
Such confirmation measures enhance the user experience and give customers a reason to return to your site. Engage a UX design agency to identify the site actions that need error prevention measures.
Improving Your User Experience
Your website is the centerpiece of your marketing efforts. Therefore, when designing your website, you should strive to provide a good user experience to ensure users can easily navigate your site and find what they need.
Being able to help your users find the information they require quickly helps them in the short term and builds trust and authority that can lead to a positive long-term relationship between them and your business.
Getting this right can take time and money but getting it wrong is a cost your organization cannot afford to make.
How do you know if your tactics are working?
Measuring some of the key metrics I have discussed over time, including website speed, time on page, exit pages, bounce rates, conversions, etc., is a good way of ensuring that your site provides a positive user experience.
Another thing to consider is your organization’s questions via online chat, phone, email, etc. If the same questions are constantly coming up then there is an area on your site that you can improve.
There is also the option to use an exit intent pop-up. These appear on the screen when your user scrolls the mouse toward the top of their computer screen.
You can use them to encourage users to stay on your site or ask them what they couldn’t find on your website today. In addition, you can use these insights to continue improving your website user experience in the future.
It’s not easy to make your website work. It would help if you had a keen understanding of UX design to ensure your website satisfies your customers’ needs. Working with a UX design agency is your best bet if you want to provide your site visitors with the best user experience.
The team at PixoLabo has got your back. We are a full-service UX and web design agency that understands how to design websites and online stores that leave a lasting positive impression on customers. We are here to help. Let’s talk!
Do You Need to Improve Your Website?
Do you need to improve your website user experience and better meet the expectations of your target audience? Our team of WordPress experts will be happy to help you with this. But first, look at our portfolio and read our case studies.
Then, if you believe we are a good fit for your business web design needs, let’s talk! We offer a full range of consulting and design solutions for businesses and product brands.
If you are unsure how considering user experience in web design can support your business objectives, let’s talk! Our team will listen to your concerns, evaluate your needs, and develop a list of things you need to do to improve your website’s user experience.
Are You Providing a Great User Experience?
Are you working on your website? If so, has it improved your overall user experience and boosted conversions? If not, what prevents you from improving your website? Do you have any other UX design tips for creating a better user experience?
Please leave your comments below so our audience can benefit and grab our feed, so you don’t miss our next post! And help your audience with their website by sharing the importance of user experience in web design with them!
Thank you! We appreciate your help in ending bad business websites, one pixel at a time!
By Gregor Saita
Co-Founder / CXO