It is important for all of us how we experience the world – if we have a good experience in a restaurant, we are more likely to go back. If we get lost in a store because of a complicated layout, we might not. If we love the design of a water bottle but it’s hard to open, chances are we would not recommend it, and if an online store has an easy check-out process, we might just tell our friends about it. How we engage with the world and perceive this experience shapes our future behaviors. This interaction is “user experience” or UX.
Maybe you have thought about what attracts you to a business or what as a business owner is related to your customers. But have you considered that this experience is designed for you through thoughtful planning, market research and customer engagement? Business owners are taking notice and starting to invest in curating the perfect UX for their clients and customers.
What is UX / user experience?
UX or user experience are all the aspects that shape your experience while interacting with a company, its services, its website and its products. It includes emotions and attitude as well as practical and functional aspects of the experience, whether it’s the color palette of a website or the ease with which the billing process took place. When we break it down, UX is pretty much all that matters is a user’s interaction with a company, online and in person, and how they feel about it afterwards.
While UX is important for any business, it is especially important for the online world. Focusing on the user experience through a working website, great web design and modern graphic design can take your business from ok to great! A website is often your customer’s first interaction with you, and in some cases their only interaction, you want to make sure the experience is excellent from start to finish.
Carefully applied UX design and smart website planning increase customer conversions and enable you to succeed.
What is UX Design?
Although the user experience must be visually appealing, more importantly, it must be functional! UXD or “user experience design” is the process of designing physical or digital products that look good, are easy to interact with and get the job done. The key to UXD is functionality, how it looks is important, but how it works is everything. User experience designers help fill the gap between how something looks and how it actually works, ensuring that the products are as beautiful as they are useful.
- It creates solutions
- It depends on the feelings and emotions of the user
- It changes based on the context, company, product and needs of the consumer
- It evolves with trends
- It is useful, usable and accessible
- It involves both appearance and function
How to use UX to your advantage
UX has been around for a long time, but lately it has been getting a lot of attention because of how beneficial it is for businesses, especially online businesses.
Share the right information the right way.
You will focus on providing solutions and meeting the needs of your users. For example, if you have an online store, include a quick view option so customers can quickly answer the question “what does it look like to me?” Without losing their browser spot.
Focus on your site.
Your online presence sets the tone for UX. Focus on web design, layout and removal of unnecessary clutter. Some of the best web design and UX are simple. You want to make sure that all links are functional and that there are no dead ends. By providing great design and flow, you ensure that your customers can easily access valuable content, which is why they came to you in the first place!
Use a “give first, take later” model.
This means providing value to your customers before asking them to provide their credentials, create a login or sign up for a newsletter. Like personal shopping, no one wants to feel bombarded by a salesperson or pressured to make a purchase. If a customer feels unwanted pressure, they may be reporting a bad user experience and not giving you their business. A good example of the “give first, take later” approach is websites that allow customers to make purchases as a guest. This streamlines their experience, meets their needs quickly and helps solidify repeat business through a positive UX.
Use visuals to support UX.
Because UX focuses on both appearance and function, it is important to use images and pictures correctly. Most users respond better to icons than words. Great examples of these are the heart’s “like” button on Instagram, the floppy’s “save” icon or the shopping cart for online shopping. These are widely recognized symbols, and they meet all the criteria for good UX – they are simple designs that serve a purpose.
Explore easy hacks to hold back your customers.
Easy hacks such as multiple links to your contact page that provide a hidden opportunity or allow users to share directly to social media are all great ways to enhance the user experience and keep your customers engaged.
Why should you worry about UX?
For the same reason, you need to pay attention to marketing, sales and all other parts of your business – UX makes your business better, more profitable and more successful! User experience is so important when it comes to meeting the needs of your customers. Imagine walking into a seemingly beautiful restaurant, only to find that all the tables are sloping and all the chairs are wobbly; what looks good should also work to create the best UX. The online world is the same, a site may look good or have all the right information, but if it is not functional or easily accessible, the user leaves. You do not want the user to leave, you want them to stay on your site, find value and ultimately give you their business.
Ways to increase UX
Take the time to engage with your key demographic.
Ask your customers and clients for feedback.
Rent out professionally.
By hiring a web design agency that specializes in UX and UXD, you ensure that your website looks good and runs smoothly.
Check out the competition.
Check to see what others are doing, getting inspiration from those in your field is a great way to stay relevant and maximize UX.
Be open to change!
We may all be a little guilty of thinking that our way is the best way, but sometimes improvements can be made. All good things require a setting from time to time. Do not hesitate to upgrade your site and focus on design and UX, this increases customer conversions and customer satisfaction.
Vancouver’s web design scene is a great example of great UX offering some of the best sites – it’s innovative and unique and a great starting point to start getting inspiration for your own business.