Does Your Site Have Great UX?

Posted on: October 30th, 2014 - Written by: John Blomberg

These days, it’s extremely important for your business site to have great UX (user experience). UX design functions in “the sweet spot where user needs and business needs overlap,” explains a video from UX Mastery. The video presenter goes on to say that UX design must take into account the what, when, where, why, how, and who related to each website.

Regardless of your industry, a site that has terrific UX will benefit your bottom line at the end of the day; conversely, a site with less-than-optimal UX will hurt your company’s success in the long run.

So what are the goals of good UX? And how can you make sure your site is meeting these goals? Following are some things to think about regarding UX and how to best utilize it to your advantage.

The goal of good UX is to design sites for specific users.

There are no one-size-fits-all solutions here. Every user has his or her own constraints: available time, attention span, aesthetic tolerances, and frustration level. A good user experience is one that is designed for and used by specific people to accomplish specific things.

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

Good UX makes life easier for the user.

Users want to see sites that are easy to use and that do not require a lot of thinking. People today have limited time, and if a customer’s loyalty is to be secured, this fact must be taken into account when designing websites. You could probably ask 10 different people what the characteristics of good UX design are and get 10 completely different answers. But there are some things that most will agree on when asked this question. A good user experience involves:

  • intuitive navigation,
  • a design that is not overly complex,
  • large actionable areas, and
  • relevant content.

All of these elements, when incorporated into your website, will make life a little easier for your users—at least when they’re visiting your site. This concept has been explored in detail by usability consultant Steve Krug in his book Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.

Good UX design taps into users’ emotions.

We can all understand this: we often make choices based on our emotions, and these choices include ones about whether or not to buy a product or service. Emotion is a huge driving force in any marketing endeavor. Therefore, good user experience will strive to relate to users, to empathize with them.

Web designer Dustin Cartwright explains it this way:

Empathy arguably underpins user experience design more than anything else. Without it we would all essentially be flying blind, lacking any clues as to what our users want or need from the things we create. Empathy allows us to imagine ourselves in our users’ shoes and better understand why they love (or hate) our creations; however, it’s not their thought processes, but their emotions that we’re attempting to understand.”

A good user experience is important for your business.

When you design a site that is easy to use, nice to look at, and that accomplishes its goals, your users will be satisfied—and they will communicate this to others. On the flip side of the coin, if your site is not intuitive, aesthetically pleasing, and/or able to accomplish its goals, users will spread the word about those characteristics as well. Think about it this way: would you frequent (or at least try) a brick-and-mortar restaurant that others tell you has great food, efficient service, and an amazing atmosphere? Of course you would! Good UX is important for your business because UX is for the user, and users talk to one another.

Solid UX flexes with the reality of today’s technology.

From a purely technical standpoint, the nuts and bolts of UX design have not changed drastically over the last few years, but the landscape  has definitely changed from the customer’s point of view. Today’s consumers expect to be able to visit any site from their phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops—and for sites to look good and work well from all these different vantage points. Special consideration must be taken to ensure that each customer’s user experience is a good one across all devices.

How does your company measure up? Are you confident that your site’s UX is what it needs to be? Or are there changes you need to implement?

For some more practical tips on improving your site’s user experience, here’s another article that you may find helpful: 7 Simple Ways to Achieve a User-Centered Website.

 

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