It’s easy to have a pristine, functioning website these days, but turning it into a money-generating tool for your business is another matter completely. Clearly, quality content is important, but at the end of the day, you’re going to struggle to retain visitors to your site if you don’t create an excellent user experience as well.
Why User Experience Matters
You might be wondering why it’s important to consider the goals and emotions of end-users when creating your site. You certainly want the site to work well enough for those who use it, but why should this be a priority?
While prioritizing UX may not seem to line up with business goals and strategies on the surface, tailoring your website specifically to the needs and experiences of the user helps satisfy the most important goal of any business: increasing the bottom line.A company’s site should always be created with functionality in mind. Click To Tweet
It should present purposeful content that has been laid out in pathways that facilitate easy and comfortable user experience. When designed in a way that gives users the most successful, efficient, and satisfying experience possible, a website allows a company to:
- Present the “meat” of your content with confidence.
- Create customer trust and loyalty.
- Maintain an edge over the competition.
- Ultimately engage with satisfied users who are prepared to listen to you.
However, the process of creating a good user experience must be done carefully and thoughtfully. Flashy trends hastily slapped together do not make a good website. In fact, the entire concept of design is easy to misunderstand if not properly defined.
Understanding DesignWhen it comes to business, the best designs are the ones that are so good you don’t notice them. Click To Tweet
The modern concept of design has become increasingly human-centric and with focus on a good experience. Again, the goal isn’t to simply cobble together a bunch of elements that are used on popular websites. True website design takes into account the actual people who are going to use the site.
While this does include things like shapes and colors, it goes much further. Layout, minimalism, pathways, and even loading time seriously affect the user experience and can make or break a user’s view of your product or service.
That’s why it has become a critical part of website maintenance to properly track and analyze your user’s experiences in order to perfect your site’s UX … and consequently maximize your bottom line.
Some Ways to Measure UX
Gathering data from your users is one of the best ways to increase your site’s UX. In fact, surveys have shown that businesses are increasingly gathering and analyzing user insights early in the development process and, at times, even before a concept is initially created.
In the case of websites, in particular, there are two things that can have a huge impact on shaping your site’s user experience.
While analytics is a hot commodity these days, the truth is, it’s hard to analyze without a good understanding of your customers in the first place. Asking for customer feedback on your site is always one of the best ways to quickly and efficiently gather data about the user experience. Ask questions like:
- Did they find what they needed?
- How were the loading times as they moved through the site?
- Was information readily available for them when they needed it?
These, of course, are just generic suggestions, as it’s also important to define what data you’re looking for from your customers before you start asking questions.
While approaching customers directly for their feedback is one way to gather user experience data, another approach is to implement a predictive analytics strategy on your site. The use of predictive analytics is growing rapidly, with the market set to nearly triple between 2017 and 2022.
The marked increase in popularity doesn’t imply that analytics should become your sole approach — it should be balanced with a healthy dose of traditional business acumen and intuition. Implementing analytics alongside your other endeavors can provide critical information to help balance your strategy and make decisions for improvements or adjustments as you go.
Using an analytics tool like Google Analytics allows you to observe information like page traffic, referrals from other sites, and even the path that a customer took before making a sale. The challenge comes with analyzing the data gathered in order to help you make informed decisions and ultimately increase your user experience.
User Experience: The Key to a Healthy Website
There are certainly many factors that should be taken into consideration when building and maintaining a website. But at this point, there’s little argument that one of the most important things to prioritize is the experience that each and every user will have when they drop in for a visit.
If the site loads slowly, the layout is confusing, or the content doesn’t lead through specific pathways that are geared towards the needs of the user, it can cripple the effectiveness of a website. Taking time to gather customer feedback and data for predictive analytics can allow you to make changes where necessary in order to create the most optimized site possible.
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