Throughout the design process of your website you’ll come across a number of stages that largely determine the success of your online business. Right at the top of this list you’ll find the huge matter of user experience (UX) and this is something you’ll have to come back to at every stage of your marketing strategy.
The modern web is all about UX which means the art of creating a compelling experience for users is something you want to master – and here’s why.
Internet users are a fussy bunch
First of all, people online are more impatient and less tolerant than any other place you’ll encounter them. You need to picture every visitor on your website with their finger hovering above the back button, just waiting for an excuse to ditch your site and look elsewhere.
So the first reason user experience needs to be your priority is because this is exactly what users demand – and these are the guys who decide how much profit you make.
Key areas of user experience in web design
UX design comes down to even the finest detail of anything that impacts the journey users take – from landing on your website, all the way to buying a product or service. At the very least you don’t want any obstacles in their way, but – more than that – you want them to confidently move from one stage of the buying process to another, certain they came to the right place.
We can’t go into everything that adds up to good or bad user experience in one article, but we’ll be back to look at more specific examples in the future. Meanwhile, here are some key areas you really need to get right:
• site structure and navigation
• page loading times
• landing page
• layout (eye tracking)
• mobile optimisation
• visual design
• functionality (code)
There are some interesting points in this list and you may be surprised to see something like content get a place. But even the fonts you choose to display your content, the layout in which you present it and the colours chosen have an impact on user experience.
So why is UX important to you?
Okay, so we know UX is important to your users, but the reason you need to care so much is because of conversions. When a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions you start to see how poor user experience can hit you where it hurts. Less conversions mean less profit and potential leads spending their money with one of your competitors instead.
You can think of SEO, PPC and content marketing as your tools to bring people to your website, get the foot through the door and start the buying process. But it’s user experience that determines whether they stick around long enough to buy something, leave valuable reviews and hopefully come back for more in the future.
User experience doesn’t end with web design
Web design is just the starting point for your brand and user experience. UX will feature heavily in the development stage and marketing of both your website and online brand. Not only that, but also the use of your products or services, customer care and just about every interaction between you and your target user.