What is UX design and how can it help your business?
UX (user experience) design is the process of developing a product or service that provides a useful, meaningful, relevant, and hopefully enjoyable experience for users. User experience is considered across physical and digital spaces during the creation of things like websites, advertisements, and even retail spaces. The goal of UX design is to ensure all touchpoints are usable and useful while still simple and delightful.
How can better UX design improve your brand and business?
Investing in UX design can keep customers interacting with your brand longer, decreasing their desire to turn to a competitor. Better UX design and functionality can also lead to an increase of conversions, meaning users are more motivated to perform actions such as contacting your company or purchasing a product. And by ensuring your products and services are enjoyable to use, you build brand affinity among users.
Let’s consider a website, for example. Users should be able to easily navigate a website to find the product or service relevant to their needs. This requires:
- Empathizing with users
- Understanding the user journey
- Determining the priorities of the user
- Providing a well-organized website
- Expressing the values of your brand
How can you develop a positive user experience on your website?
Empathize with users. UX is about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes – specifically, your user’s. The best place to start your website project is with research to understand user needs. But don’t stop there: ask for feedback as you move through the process, so you can understand what users are trying to accomplish on your site. If the purpose of a button makes perfect sense to you but no one is clicking it, ask why, listen, and adjust in a way that works for everyone. Being empathetic to your users will ensure that you’re on the same page as them, so when your website is out in the wild, you’ll receive the interactions you’re looking for.
Understand the user journey. The user journey is the path someone takes through your website. This can be affected by a few things: Is this their first time on your website? Did they find you through a search engine? Are they a repeat user? These scenarios require you to accommodate different needs by providing different levels of interaction or information. You also need to think about the external factors unrelated to your brand that may be affecting users. How much time do they have? Are they using their phone, a computer, or a screen reader? Are they highly engaged or stressed? To provide the best user experience possible, it can be helpful to think through how certain factors may change the user journey.
Decide on priorities. The most important aspects of UX vary by industry. For financial institutions, users may value the assurance of security and speed; for restaurants, the placement of hours or the ability to interact with contact information may win. Conversations clarifying what types of people will visit your site, what their goals are, what your business goals are, and how you can both achieve them are necessary to determine your UX priorities.
Provide a well-organized website. It’s been said that you have only seven seconds to capture the attention of a user. Think of it as a search-and-find puzzle: They’ve found your website through a search engine, ad, or message from a friend and are on a quest to find something they need. What that something is, you don’t know. Because of this, it’s important to provide all the most valuable information up front and presented concisely to aid their search. Your navigation should be organized so users can quickly decide which pages to visit, and the page content should be easy to scan through and laid out in a practical order. Your calls to action should also be displayed prominently so that users can continue their journey through your site or convert.
Express the values of your brand. UX is mainly about function, but it can also be a way to delight the user by extending the experience of your brand. Think about visiting a store in the mall – all the different colors, scents, signs, and music help create a unique feeling that may cause you to make assumptions about the products they offer. The same can be done with your website. Express your fun side with whimsical animations, show users you respect their time by featuring an easy-to-use checkout process, or establish yourself as knowledgeable by offering a live chat. Take this time with users to show how you’re different and increase their desire to buy in to what you offer.
Ready to take a deep dive into your brand’s user experience?
Let’s talk about what Crowley Webb can do to engage potential customers with a unique user experience. Contact us today.