You may have come across the term user experience or UX for short, but what does it really mean? Some believe the term describes making a website great again. But really it’s about ensuring the customer is at the forefront of everything you do on your website.
Understanding user experience
The first part in understanding UX is to really know your customer. Every person is different, but often those you’re trying to market to will share common characteristics with others. For example busy mums are time poor and are looking for a life coaching website that is direct and gets straight to the point. The site should provide the mothers with simple navigation and easy to understand, clear call to actions. So if you’re a life coaching business, you’ll want to include information about why people should talk to you, what you can do for the busy mum and how. Then provide a noticeable button or link to fill out a simple form to capture their contact info. It sounds easy, but it does take time to perfect.
Think about what you want the user to do
Have you ever written a website page and just winged it? Before you put pen to paper or keyword to interwebs, you need to think about a few items. Planning ahead makes sense.
Steps when planning your web page
Step 1: Think about why the page exists. If the why isn’t strong enough, it may be this page does not even need to be created.
Step 2: Understand what it is you want the website visitor to think or feel when they read the content or page. For example, on a wellness business page I want them to feel empowered about their natural health and wellbeing options.
Step 3: Consider how you’ll get your message across to this audience. This could be through the power of relevant images and words or it could even be a video. There are many formats to choose from. If you’re not sure, ask a member of your target audience to review the site for you. Remember, less is often more.
UX changes and so should your website
User behaviour can change. Content you write can get old. Pictures that you upload one day can mean another thing the next day and so on. Your website should change too.
Good UX is about trying new things for the benefit of the customer. Look at inspiration from other sites and make it your mission to make it easy for the customer to understand how you can help them, who you are and how they can get in contact or buy from you.
A website that stays the same, will get the same results.
How to pick up good or bad UX
Now you know what UX is, how do you ensure you deliver it? Here are a few ways to help you pick up the best or worst experiences
Map out the journey: The journey map looks at where people go from one page to the next. It can help identify links with pages or help you understand where it’s best to place your call to actions.
Test it out yourself: Many people build a website, then never test it fully themselves. Go through your site thoroughly. Check everything is clear, there are no grammatical errors and that it displays well across devices.
To add more relevance to your test, think about running a checklist based on what a user may want to achieve on your site. For example, in the first test I want to place an order, and in the second I want to find your contact details. These specific goal orientated tests help find gaps in your user experience.
Get your customers to try it out: Before you tell everyone about your new website, invite a few loyal customers to trial the site earlier on. You could ask them to review a part or all of the website. Not everyone does something for free, so to entice them add a special offer or free sample to say thank you for their time.
You could also try a free test program known as peek. This allows you to get a free review from a broad audience. There is also paid options if you wish to get your site tested by a specific audience location or type.
Review your analytics: Any site you run should have analytics setup. We recommend Google Analytics for our clients. This ensures we can see what visitors are doing on the website. However please note it’s not the easiest thing to use so it’s always best to consult with us or a digital marketing consultant to analyse the results and provide you with the important items you need to know.
You can also find a Google Analytics course here if you have spare time to build your practical knowledge in this area.
So why care about user experience?
It may seem pretty obvious by the points above, but it’s to put the customer first. This means ensuring your website is easy to use and understand, for the convenience of your customers and potential customers visiting your site.
Creating a website that is easier or more relevant to your audience, is likely to generate higher sales or leads, than those that don’t.
Take these steps next time you create or review your website and see how you go.