If you’ve not come across Experience Design before, your first question might understandably be “What is UX?”
User Experience (commonly shortened to UX) is all about making it as easy as possible for someone to use your website, app, product or service. It involves finding out who your audience is and what they think – their needs, pains and goals. With this in mind, you then design things around them so it’s easy for them to achieve what they want. After all, happy customers are the ones that will return time and again.
Why UX is important
So now we know this, what makes UX important for everyone? If you’re a relatively big business with large numbers of users, there will be more variety amongst them. One size won’t fit all so you need to understand them and create distinct experiences for each. If you’re a smaller business with fewer distinct users, you can’t afford to lose many to frustration or competition. Optimising for your core audience and what transforms them into customers is key.
We’ve broken down a few of the key ways UX can improve things for businesses of any size:
Helping people find your business in the first place
Not everyone looks for things in the same way. If you advertise or have a presence on only the channel(s) that you personally use, you might be missing out on other audiences who can’t easily find you. Consider widening the scope and remember that your customers may come from unlikely sources and behave in ways that might not make immediate sense to you.
The first step in any buying cycle is evaluation – learning about your options. Making it as quick and easy as possible to find all the information that users need to reach a decision is critical. By structuring your pages and content in such a way that it is simple for your users to find the information they’re after, it feels like less time has been needed to get to that point. Time is precious (or money as they say).
This is the product of making things inconvenient. We’ve all been there – filling in a form online only to click ‘next’ and find out that all the hard-entered content has inexplicably disappeared. Some of us have even addressed the website in question with choice words of one syllable.
Despite everything, some users might be willing to put up with a surprising amount of frustration if they really want or need what you offer. However, for all of us, there comes this tipping point where it’s just not worth it anymore, and we give up. In extreme circumstances, some people decide never to use your service again or even take to social media to complain, which is detrimental to your brand’s public image.
Treat the experience as a whole
Each of your webpages might be usable in their own right. However, it’s not how each page behaves that is important, but how people move between them. Linking a new page to an old one can create inconsistency and confusion. Does the site still make sense as a whole in the context of these new pages? Each little bit of inconsistency might not be critical in its own right. However, to a user navigating a lot of pages and learning as much as possible, it can be cumulative and have the effect of death by a thousand cuts.
Ultimately price is always a major factor in decision making. It’s not always the one you can change to beat out all your competitors. Making your pricing as clear as possible, as well as explaining what customers get for their money, engenders trust. It can help to solidify the idea of your business in the comparison stage of decision making.
A Gartner study highlighted that 89% of companies expect to compete primarily on the basis of the experience they can deliver to their customers. This highlights how important it will be to optimise the experience if businesses want to stand out and keep customers.
The chances are you weren’t aware of the benefits of UX. Or perhaps thought that it was either unnecessary or out of reach. It isn’t. Why not speak to us today about UX consultancy? No obligation and no pressure.