Coming to Terms with the User Experience Concept
In a previous post, we mentioned the term ‘user experience’ and, considering the role that it plays in web design and also the way in which individuals interact with your site, we feel that it is important to offer a more detailed explanation of the term. Let’s be honest here, anybody that has a website wants to be sure that their visitors are getting what they want from it, don’t they?
Now, the actual phrase itself does come with various definitions depending on who you pay attention to, but at the end of the day it all boils down to one thing, making sure that your visitors are able to get what they are looking for from your website and able to do so with the absolute minimum amount of fuss. However, it is important to remember that this is not all about a fancy website design or trying to be all clever with what you are doing as it is more than that. It is all about making life as easy as possible for your users and that they can do what they want.
To better explain, there are several points that should be addressed that are seen as being central to this entire thing. Indeed, any website owner should keep these things in mind when their website is being created and even though they are general points, one should make sure that they apply them to their own products or services that are going to be mentioned on their site.
1. This involves each aspect of their interaction with you.
The first point is the idea that this is going to involve every single aspect of the interaction that they have with your website and this does mean from the moment that they land there. What do they see when they land? How do they then get to what they are looking for? Is it easy to understand and follow?
Think of this as the way in which you react when you first walk into a new store. What are your first impressions? Remember they really do count and that applies to how the products are laid out, how easy it is to find what you want, how the staff interact with you, everything right until the point where you are leaving. If one part is not up to the standards that you expect then your entire experience with that store is going to be tarnished.
Well, the exact same applies to your website and that is why user experience is so central to what you are doing.
2. Think of layout, images, sounds, and your brand.
The one thing that you do not want to do when it comes to user experience is having a point where the visitor has no idea what they are looking at, what they are hearing, or even aware of your brand. If one of these parts is wrong then it is going to destroy their user experience and hardly make them likely to then do the actions that you are trying to tempt them into doing.
Your website has to be the most attractive and informative store front that you have ever seen. It needs to have your brand all over and remember this includes your professionalism, customer relations and so much more related to your business.
3. Make sure all questions are answered.
This point is a bit of a guess on your part, but your market research should have indicated the kinds of things that people are going to be asking of your website before you get it designed. That market research should have a series of questions and answers and they must all be included in your layout and overall design.
What you are looking for with user experience in a website is to get to this point whereby your visitors have a question and can immediately become aware of where they have to click in order to get the answer. Searching around, links not working, confused messages and generally annoying added extras that serve no purpose whatsoever are not exactly going to contribute to a nice experience for them. In short, they will click off and that could account for the bounce rate that you see on your website, or at least part of it.
So, what do you do? Well, you do not rush into a design just for the sake of having a website. Get inside the mind of your users. What would you expect if you were in their shoes? What annoys you about a website? What is your own concept of user experience? Seek advice from your web designer who can guide you towards the best solution for the products or services you are offering.
So, after that explanation of the user experience concept, it does hopefully make it easier for you to understand what is expected by the visitors to your site and how to then provide them with this. After all, if your visitors are not happy with their experience then how on earth can you ever expect your website to grow in size and stature? Keep the user experience in mind throughout the design process and see the difference it makes overall.