Have you ever visited a website where you couldn’t find anything that you were looking for, where a simple transaction required an awful lot of seemingly meaningless and time-consuming steps, or where the design or the colour scheme was so terrible that your eyes ached? Or a site that might have been wonderful, but it took so long to load that you gave up on it?
Of course you have - we all have! Unfortunately, even with more than 20 years of accumulated web design knowledge and learning, there are still far too many examples of poor user experience.
It’s easy to become too close to our website and to our business so that we can’t realistically imagine what the user experience might be like for our visitors. We know how to find the various products or content elements on our site, we know how to make a purchase or a booking, and we don’t notice that we’re asked questions that we’ve already answered or offered items that we’ve already bought.
For one-fifth of the population who suffer from disabilities such as sight impairment, colour blindness or motor issues with typing or using a mouse it can actually be impossible to access some sites at all.
Whether or not a user’s experience is positive can have a major impact on business results. A Stanford research study found that fully 75% of consumers judge a company’s credibility by its website, which is very often the first impression that they have of that brand. And 79% of shoppers will not return to a site that loads too slowly. On the other hand, the Aberdeen Group found that businesses using effective visual engagement tools saw an 83% greater yearly increase in annual revenue compared with competitors who didn’t.
Figuring out how your business rates in this regard takes a mix of quantitative data from your analytics which tells you things like “how many” people take a certain action, watch an important video or visit a certain page, combined with qualitative data that you can gather from onsite or in-person surveys, interviews and focus groups, which suggests ideas as to “why” they took these actions (or didn’t).
It can be complicated - and that’s where our latest course comes in. We take an in-depth look at what’s included in user experience and UX design, how to go about it, and how to measure your success. We offer some best practices, and we introduce you to Peter Morville’s time-proven “user experience honeycomb” which identified the most vital components of a good user experience:
- Useful: Obviously if something isn’t useful, then no one wants to spend time engaging with it!
- Usable: Anyone should be able to use your site and to complete transactions
- Findable: Visitors must be able to find whatever they need on your site quickly and easily
- Credible: As we’ve already mentioned, trust plays a huge role in a website’s success and in whether customers are willing to do business with your company
- Desirable: People make emotional buying decisions (even though we like to think that we’re being rational), so your design must be attractive and appealing to your target audiences
- Accessible: Don’t forget that if you make getting around your site easier for people with disabilities, you’re probably making it easier for everyone!
- Valuable: Finally, your site and your offerings should add value – they should make life easier, more enjoyable or provide some other benefit, otherwise customers won’t come back
Ensuring an effective user experience is critical to both acquiring and retaining quality customers. Check out our UX course today to learn more, and check out our trailer below for more on what to learn from the three-part course.