There is no limit to how you can create a beautiful website, but the user experience (UX) is quickly becoming the cornerstone of the design process. The power of a pristine website with high functionality is just beginning to step into the limelight. Today, that power can’t be ignored.
Let’s have a look at the importance of user experience and how it affects your website design.
What is User Experience?
Also called UX, user experience is how a person feels or judges an interface of a system, such as a website, application, software, or any other human and machine/device interaction.
Why is User Experience So Important?
User experience is pivotal to your online success. Without considering UX when designing your website, you are limiting the users’ ability to access, navigate, and comprehend the information on your website. In turn, this decreases your reputation and causes competitors to overtake you in the SERPs. You thus lose traffic and your customer base.
With UX, you create a visually pleasing and functional website. But if that’s not enough to sell you, consider the following statistics about UX:
- 65% of people on the internet prefer to read UX-optimized websites than plain webpages.
- Stated in the same research above, 40% of people will exit a website that loads too slow.
- Using popular colours on your website can boost your revenue. For Bing, choosing a specific blue amounted to an additional US$80 million.
- Mobile traffic is expected to be half of all global connections by 2020.
- 88% of online consumers will never return to a website if they have a bad experience.
- 94% of online first impressions are design-related.
So, how do you create a great user experience? Well, there’s no right answer. The UX is unique to those who visit your site, meaning that you could never completely satisfy everyone. The important thing to keep in mind is that you are not your users.
Read that again. You are not the audience. Therefore, you need to get close to the users, understand their pain points, know their stories, and understand why they would need a service or product like yours to begin with. Get inside their heads and ask yourself questions about why they would your product or service over the competition. How can you get them to trust you, buy from you, and use the information you give?
How Do You Create a Great User Experience?
Rolling out a glorious website with great UX isn’t that hard, especially if you plan accordingly. The first thing you must do is change how you approach designing a website. While you might be tempted to ramp up the visuals and make the website exciting, you need a solid foundation and an understanding in things like colour psychology and the principles of visual hierarchy.
Beyond that, a great website is one that is enjoyable to peruse and easy to navigate. Here’s some other things you need to create a wonderful user experience:
- Mobile Responsiveness
All websites are opting to add mobile responsiveness. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, your UX is going to suffer. Optimise the website and pages for smartphones, tablets, and computers to increase your chances of success.
A sitemap is an organized hierarchy of pages and subpages within your website. Some website builders create these automatically. Others need to be made with Google tools or other online services. Creating a sitemap is for more than SEO, however. You can use sitemaps to learn how a user will get from Point A to Point B on your page. You can also consider how many clicks it takes to get to a specific section of information. By looking at the sitemap, you can uncover places where a person would get lead astray while trying to reach the answer to their question. Eventually, you will be able to eliminate excess clicks and boost the UX.
In web design, wireframes are how designers’ layout a website before building the website. In other words, wireframes are the visual guides that show a skeletal first glance of a web page and provide a general overview of what a site would look and feel like. Wireframes are great, because you can figure out any usability or compatibility issues that would take place, such as screen sizing, html issues, formatting, and so on before the real website is seen on a computer screen.
What Should You Consider When Making a User Experience?
Now that you’ve applied some web design principles, there are a couple more things to consider when building decent UX:
- Do A/B Testing
You might already have a website design but aren’t pleased with the overall outcome so far. That’s where A/B testing comes in. Create two versions of your website and run them for a period of time. Have visitors access the different versions of the website. Check out the analytical data. See which versions have higher bounce rates or which pages are struggling to keep people engaged.
- Offer User Surveys
Once you have gathered data from the A/B testing, it’s time to begin sending out user surveys. When you interview existing and potential customers of your platform, you are able to open up doors and understand what the most effective design could be. The surveys should ask questions about elements on a page, what was working well, what looked appealing, and more. Also delve into the emotions of the users. Find out what they felt, where they were confused, how did the content affect them, and if the language was clear.
- User Profiles and Personas
Now, while the design of a website is important, developing content that is UX-focused is a bit different. You need to know the audience. You need to develop experiences on your site based off their emotions and their voice. To do this, you create user personas, which is a fictional representation of a person—your ideal customer—based on research and existing data on your audience. For example, if you run a budget travel website, a few user personas would be the travelling college student and a professional freelancer. Both will have slightly different pain points, but the unifying characteristic is that they both want to budget. How do you appeal to both? That’s answered within the user persona.
Some common traits to consider in a user persona are:
- Demographics – age, location, marital status, career, education level
- Personality – introvert, extrovert, etc.
- Pain Points – what problems do they need answered?
- Motivation – what is motivating them to use your site?
Make a Website Unique To Your Users
When you start creating a website, the important factor to remember is that every design will be unique to you and the needs of your users. You might feel inclined to copy from other companies, but those designs won’t always automatically work for you. Remember, UX is more than a good looking website, it’s taking into consideration the people who will be visiting your site and using the information found there. If you use that and the tips in this article to your advance, you’ll have no problems creating a beautiful user experience.