User Experience

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Definition

User experience (also commonly referred to as ‘UX’) is a term which covers every element of a visitor’s experience of your company. This measures how the customer felt about their interaction with your company, from the start to the very end of the user’s experience.

User experience is most commonly applied to online content, such as a company website or online application. But, UX can also be affected by a variety of external factors, such as your branding, pricing, reviews, media, advertising, and so on. These factors will shape the impression that individuals have of your company, and so they may mean that people arrive at your site with preconceived ideas.

This assessment encompasses a wide variety of elements, including a company’s customer service, the product that it provides, and the usability of the site, for example.

This measurement is designed to gauge the emotional response that is experienced by customers when using a company’s online offerings. By evaluating a website through the analysis perspective of user experience, companies can identify any areas of weakness, and then improve their online platforms so that they best fit the requirements of their target market. In addition, the more a customer enjoys using a company's site, the more likely they are to continue using it, revisit it, or make a purchase from it.

The process of improving your user experience requires you to optimize your page with users’ interaction in mind. This involves, for example, enhancing its usability, adding content that has more relevance to them, improving your web page design, or providing a greater number of customer service points on the website.

What factors does user experience cover?

User experience is an objective principle which can be applied to a company’s entire online offerings.

It is designed to unify and assess a wide variety of different elements, including the website, blog posts, any customer service or assistance that is provided, and the visuals and attractiveness of the content.

Generally speaking, an assessment of the user experience involves determining how enjoyable an interaction users will have with this content.

In order to achieve this, the following UX criteria need to be covered:

  • Value - how much a user can personally gain from the information available on your site.
  • Usefulness - how successfully your site fulfils their particular need.
  • Accessibility - how successfully your website caters to any users who have a disability.
  • Usability - how easy to use and user-friendly your website is.
  • Navigation - how easily your website can be navigated. In addition, how easily your website can be found by users.
  • Credibility - your content should be credible, accurate, trustworthy and reliable.
  • Desirability - this covers a more emotional response to your content. Visitors to your website should feel enthused by your brand identity and your company’s aesthetic.

Why is user experience important?

The aim behind improving user experience should be helping visitors to complete their goals faster, and as easily as possible. Often, this goal will be to make a purchase. So, by making it easier and more enjoyable for visitors to use their website, a company can reap significant financial benefits.

User experience should be prioritised by web designers in order to fulfil the expectations that online shoppers have. Consumers are used to being able to access online content that prioritises usability. They expect sites to be trustworthy, to have a quick page speed, the website to be easy to navigate, and the platform to be sleek. If a site does not fulfil this criteria, then many users will quickly leave this site in favour of another. So, it is imperative that your designer creates your site with the user experience in mind.

How to achieve a positive user experience

Beyond the factors that we have listed above, improving your user experience is all about discerning your users’ mindset. To achieve this, you need to research the fundamentals of human-computer interaction (HCI) and consider their implementation in your site design.

You need to be intuitive in identifying any areas of your website that are letting you down - for example, by isolating a page that is difficult to navigate, or adding an extra point of customer assistance.

You could work to identify areas to improve your user experience level by employing a number of different research strategies, such as:

  • Undertaking user research
  • Assessing your user interface design
  • Improving your accessibility
  • Undertaking a series of web analytics experiments, such as A/B testing
  • Gathering information about your customers, then creating user personas
  • Mapping out a series of user journeys through your website
  • Using a more user-friendly web design technique, such as breadcrumb navigation
  • Undertaking usability testing
  • Adding a series of responsive website design features.

User experience example

An example of breadcrumb navigation from the Seobility blog

The process through which you can achieve a positive user experience will, by its nature, change rapidly as new technological developments arise. So this should be an ongoing point of consideration for your website designers.

Importance for Online Marketing

As a company, you should aim to create a website which creates a positive impression of your company amongst visitors.

This is a highly effective form of online marketing because an enjoyable user experience of your site will make a visitor more likely to purchase your goods or services. Furthermore, it will also translate into a higher number of positive reviews and recommendations.

By making changes to your site with a focus on improving its UX, you can achieve a more positive perception of your brand and its product or service amongst your target market.

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