What is User Experience and Why You Should Care

Did you know 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience? You’ve probably heard website designers, developers, and marketers discuss a website’s “user experience” or UX. But do you know what this phrase refers to?

User experience has a wide range of definitions including:

All aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” – Nielsen-Norman Group.

User Experience (abbreviated: UX) is the quality of experience a person has when interacting with a specific design.” – UXnet.org

The user experience, mostly called “customer experience” when referring to e-commerce websites; the totality of the experience of a user when visiting a website.” – UsabilityFirst.com

User experience should not be confused with user interface (UI). As defined by UserTesting.com, user interface is “the series of screens, pages, and visual elements—like buttons and icons—that you use to interact with a device.”

When creating a WordPress website, you need to keep both the user experience and the user interface of your website design in mind.

What Does User Experience Include?

According to Semantic Studios, there are seven key factors to a solid user experience. This diagram is known as the User Experience Honeycomb. This theory and diagram state that a website or piece of information online must be:

  • Useful
  • Usable
  • Desirable
  • Findable
  • Accessible
  • Credible
  • Valuable

Useful: Does your website content and design fulfill a need? Do your customers find the information on your website to be useful?

Usable: In short, is your website simple to use? Is it intuitive?

Desirable: Does your website design appeal to your audience? Is it enticing to interact with? Does it grab a user’s attention?

Findable: Can users find the information they need easily? Can your website be found quickly on the Internet?

Accessible: Is your website accessible by all? Does it accommodate users with disabilities?

Credible: Is the information on your website truthful? Will users believe what they find on your website? It has been reported that judgments on website credibility are 75% based on a website’s overall aesthetics.

Valuable: With all of these factors combined, does your website content, design, and functionality provide value for users?

Everything on your website, from the marketing copy to the URL structure, contributes to a user’s overall experience with your brand.

Why Should I Care About My Website’s User Experience (UX)?

Providing website visitors with a thorough and pleasant experience is of the utmost importance. Your brand reputation, customer loyalty, and sales are on the line if you fail to prioritize a website’s UX.

Brand Reputation

When you reach a website that is difficult to use or unappealing, what do you think about that brand? Not the nicest of thoughts, right?

Studies have shown that first impressions are 94% design-related. Plus, almost 60% of users say they will not recommend a business that has a badly designed mobile site. From the device your visitors use to access your website to the appearance of your website, the overall UX of your site can have a lasting effect on your brand’s online reputation.

It is always in the best interest of your brand to provide a stellar experience for users visiting your website.

Customer Loyalty

Did you know 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company? Have you also heard that 79% of people who don’t like what they find on one site will go back and search for another site?

Why should customers stay on your website if it is not optimized for the information they need or does not function properly? If your brand is struggling to retain and generate repeat customers, consider improving the UX of your website.

Sales

If your business is using a website to drive online sales, user experience needs to be your top priority. Why? For instance, slow-loading websites cost retailers $2.6 billion in lost sales each year.

A user’s experience with your website has a large effect on their decision to buy. 60% of users who do not make a purchase cite dissatisfaction, a lack of information, a slow connection, or a small screen as their reasons for not buying.

Take a look at the conversion rate for your website. Is it where you’d like it to be? If not, the reason could be a failed website design or UX.

5 Tips for Improving Your Website’s User Experience

Now that you understand why user experience is a vital component of website design, it’s time to put it to work. Use these tips to improve your website’s user experience.

1. User Testing is Imperative

The best way to determine whether or not your website meets the seven facets of user experience is through user testing. While some user tests require a full team, expansive budget, and controlled facilities, there are numerous tools available online to deliver the results you need.

UserTest.io is a high-performing and affordable tool for receiving feedback on your website. The tool asks users questions about the website design, content, functionality, and other factors and delivers the results directly to you. In addition to saving time, money, and effort, you also receive in-depth insights on the website preferences and activity of your audience.

2. Ask Customers How You Can Improve

It never hurts to ask, right? After a purchase, send your customers a follow-up email asking about their ability to navigate and interact with your website. Be sure to ask specific questions rather than vague, open-ended questions, which could lead to undesirable responses.

In addition, you can also ask customers about their experience while they are on your site. Although pop-ups tend to be a widely used tactic for these surveys, in-website chat boxes are the most appealing as they do not intrude on the user’s activity on your site.

3. Review Your Site Flow

Look at the structure of your site, also known as a sitemap. Is it easy for website visitors to find information in a logical manner?

Remember, as one of the key factors of proper UX, users need to be able to find information they want easily on your website. If it takes several illogical steps to access pertinent information, it is time to rethink the structure and flow of your site.

When restructuring your website, rely on a user testing tool to help you understand what site path is considered simple and complex for your audience.

4. Use Headings to Your Advantage

On top of a sensible site structure, properly implemented headings can also aid a visitor in locating the information they need. Your headings should be:

  • Informative
  • Concise
  • Actionable
  • Intriguing
  • Optimized

Headings not only introduce a reader to a particular topic, they also point visitors in the direction of the information and content they need.

5. Have an Authentic Website Design

Returning to Nielsen-Norman Group’s definition of user experience, your website is part of a potential customer’s overall experience with your brand. Meaning, if your website has a stale appearance, users take notice. Whether you’re using outdated website design trends or doing far too much at once, it will detract from the complete brand experience. If your company has a brand standards guide, be sure your website design follows those guidelines.

With these UX definitions and tips in mind, how will you improve your website’s user experience? Let us know by commenting below.

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