There are a lot of factors to keep in mind as you begin your user experience design process.
Your goal is to convert website visitors into valued customers. To make this happen, your users must have a great experience on your site.
So how do you design the user experience for the greatest ROI?
This article will explain the 10 most significant factors to consider.
1. Page Load Speed
We live in a fast-paced world where the average person spends about a minute on a single page.
If your users have to wait 5 or 10 seconds for your page to load, they may not stay long enough to see what you have to offer.
We don’t want you to lose the war before it has started.
So here are a few user experience design process pointers to keep the load speed to a minimum:
- Build your website with a simple design. Google research shows that most people prefer simple websites, anyway.
- Use a graphics program to optimize your images so they load faster.
- Avoid using a lot of plugins because they can slow down the site.
- If you generate a lot of traffic on your page, you may want to use a content delivery network (CDN) to help with speed issues.
2. Easy Navigation
Once your customers stay long enough to view your site, it’s important to keep at the forefront of your mind that they’re there for a reason. They may want to purchase an item, learn valuable information from your blog, or get customer service for a problem they’re having.
Your first task is to find out what your visitors are looking for when they come to you.
Once you know what they need and want from you, your goal will be to give it to them as quickly and painlessly as possible.
If they can’t quickly find what they’re looking for from you, they’ll go looking somewhere else.
That’s where easy navigation is essential.
They key is to strategically place text, images, buttons and controls where they would normally look to find them.
For most websites, navigation utilities are found in the upper right-hand corner of the page, or in the footer.
Examples of common navigation utilities include:
- Search box
- Contact us link
- Shopping cart icon
- Help forum or contact page
The utilities you place on your site will vary based on your type of business. An online boutique may have a shopping cart, a shipping information tab and a promo page. A bakery might have an online order form, image gallery or menu and a customer service page.
It all depends on what customers expect to find on your website. If you can quickly provide what they need, they’ll have a positive experience and will most likely come back.
3. Visual Appeal
Once you’ve made your site easy to navigate, you’ll want to spend some time making your website as attractive as you can. Making your site look good is a key component of the user experience design process.
Visual appeal is all about simplicity, as mentioned earlier. You’ll want to eliminate any unnecessary images.
Your customer is trying to understand the web page in as little time as possible, so having a lot of distracting visuals and large chunks of text will deter them from staying. For a home page, generally a few images will suffice.
4. Scannable Content
79 percent of online readers scan text on the internet. Only 16 percent actually read the text word-for-word.
With this in mind, be concise. Scannable content is central when you’re in the user experience design process.
Keep your paragraphs short and simple, and leave lots of white space on the page.
This keeps your reader from becoming overwhelmed and leaving the page.
5. Emotional Appeal
Another central aspect of the user experience design process is creating emotional appeal.
In person, you try to make your customers feel good when they interact with you. The same goes for the web.
When you think about your customer persona, what are their dreams, goals and desires? Once you know their preferences, likes and dislikes, tailor your site around those preferences.
Emotional appeal encompasses many aspects of the look and feel of a website. It includes:
- Colors used on the site, and how those colors draw attention to the places your user needs to go. For example, using a different color font or callout for the Sign In button draws attention to it and moves your customer along in his search.
- The feelings that your images evoke on the page. For example, if you see an image of a smiling 2nd grader eating watermelon on the grass, you may remember good memories of summer fun from your childhood. This may appeal to families with young children.
- Even the shape and size of the text can create a positive feeling in the reader. If the font is cursive and spaced out on the page, it may remind you of hand-writing a letter to a loved one. It may be appealing to a grandmother, who loves to write notes to her children and grandchildren.
You want all the details of the page to suit your intended audience. Think about what is meaningful to them, and make them feel good.
Credibility is huge in online marketing. It is one of the most important factors to consider during your user experience design process. Customers who determine that you are trustworthy and have good intentions will have more brand loyalty.
While having good customer service is essential, that by itself is not enough. You also need to focus on the impression that your website gives and the messages that your customer receives.
Telling the truth and showing respect for your customers (and even your competitors) carries a lot of weight.
Tone is also very important to credibility. This is especially true in blogs. If your blog is overly promotional and focuses only on your products, your customer may wonder if you have their best interest in mind.
Your blog is there to provide a service to your customers, and if they find it useful and do not feel pressured to buy something from you, they probably will buy from you.
If you’re always thinking about what your customer really needs and wants, that will show, and they will appreciate you for it.
Many companies overlook the needs of people with disabilities that come to their website. They may think that only a small fraction of people using their product or service are disabled, so they don’t reach out to these people.
But according to US census data, 19 percent of Americans have some kind of physical or mental disability. So accessibility is and should be a factor to remember during the user experience design process.
When it comes to user experience, you’ll want to consider the needs of people with a hearing impairment, visual impairment, motion impairment or learning disorder.
8. Real-Time Technology
With technology changing so fast, what was once a pipe dream is becoming reality. We’re in the age where you can turn your thermostat down from a laptop halfway across the world. An age where you can record videos with your glasses. And pretty soon, you’ll be able to drive to work while taking a nap.
Nowadays, we expect everything to be user-friendly and automated. We expect real-time technology at our fingertips for most smartphone apps.
That means that businesses should try to implement real-time technology for better customer service.
A good question to ask yourself as you’re designing the ideal user experience is this: how can I give my customer what they want from me instantly?
Real-time options include automated voiceovers to common Q&A inquiries from customers on their phone. Real-time delivery tracking of shipped orders could be another possibility.
Any feature that gets your customer what they want faster is vital to your success. That’s the direction our society is headed, and the leaders in customer service are heading there fast.
Be sure to keep real-time technology in mind during your user experience design process.
9. A Call to Action
This is a pretty simple marketing strategy, but we can’t leave it out because it’s an integral part of the user experience design process you’re developing.
A call to action button is simply an instruction to the user of what to do next. Examples of call to actions are:
- Contact Us
- Browse Our Store
- Buy One Now
- Learn More
A call to action suggests that the user takes action. If the action you want them to take is the action they came to the site to take, wonderful! If it’s not, the customer may feel frustrated by it.
If you keep in mind why the customer came to your website, a call to action gives you a painless opportunity to convert them.
10. User Feedback
User feedback is perhaps the most important factor to consider while going through your user experience design process.
Listen to your customers.
Listen to their praise and their complaints. All information you can gather from your customers is vital to the success of your business.
While you may not like hearing their complaints, those suggestions are a goldmine. They can help you give your customers what they most need and want. Taking their criticisms and working toward solutions is the best way to improve.
If they know you’re listening with an open mind, they will tell you invaluable ways to make your business the best.
User Experience Design Process Summary
Creating the ideal user experience is all about finding out what your customers really want and need, and giving it to them.
If you design your user experience with your customer in mind, they will not only give you their business, but they will recommend you to their friends and family, as well.
The tips in this article are meant to help you create the best possible user experience to increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
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