a great experience - ux.
You may have the most beautiful website in the world but who is it really designed for? When people visit your website, they just want to get what they came for, to find that product, service or piece of information extremely quickly. So your website looks amazing, but are your visitors getting a great user experience?
Getting to grips with the UX (user experience) means that you have to understand how your visitors think and what they want. You’ll need to consider their journey through your website, from the page they land on to the page you wish them to get to. Websites aren’t like books where you work through them page by page in a linear fashion. Websites allow visitors go off-piste or at least follow several different paths. When planning your website, imagine the user types and what they will want from the site, map a preferred journey for each user type and ensure that they can find the information or buy the product you want them to easily and efficiently.
There’s lots to consider besides the route you want them to take to create that great experience. Besides a sensible site structure and intuitive navigation system the site must deliver consistent branding. The correct tone of voice needs to be used so that visitors can engage with the wording and imagery needs to pack a punch and appeal to the relevant target markets.
There will be times when you want your visitors to do more than just read or buy, you’ll want them to engage and interact with the content, perhaps fill in a form or a poll, or complete a survey. The information they provide here is invaluable. So consider how you encourage them to provide that information without spoiling their experience. Visitors don’t want too many things flashing out the corner of their eye or diving in across the page. How you use colour is important too, navigation buttons or areas where you require the visitor to interact could be the same colour throughout so that visitors recognise these as action areas or buttons. Accessibility issues need to also be considered so that visitors with disabilities can gain a wonderful user experience too.
Technology develops extremely quickly and our attitudes and how we react to websites evolves. We recommend the use of an analytics package so that you can see how visitors are using your site, what pages they stay on the longest, what route they take and whether they ever get to the page you want them to get to! This way you have some data to allow you to alter your website if needs be and adapt it to your users’ needs.
However, if budget allows, there is a step that you should consider before going live. User testing is a sensible approach to take during the development stage or following a soft launch. You can conduct your own user testing utilising a group of people (of the correct target audience) or there are many online services that can help. A/B testing can be really useful too, here you can run two versions of the same website (or parts of the site) to aid with decision making. The key things you should be looking to measure are:
- How long does it take and how many steps/clicks does it take for your user to reach the desired page?
- How many mistakes do users make along the way?
- How do users feel about their experience and would they recommend the site to others?
- How much do users remember about the website after a period of non-use?
There’s nowt so strange as folk… you’ll probably be surprised at some of your users’ reactions. So take on board the feedback, amend the site accordingly, and then go live knowing you’ve nailed the whole UX thing!
Want help nailing it? Get in touch 01752 222744.
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