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Words Nicola Phillips
5 min read
You must have found yourself on a website and thought ‘OMG what is this? Why can’t I find what I need’? With a huff and an eye roll you then head off to find something that just remotely answers your need. You only need to be a touch better than my eye-rolling example to gain new customers but what if you were significantly better! Now we’re talking. This is where we all want to be, but how do we get there?
Gorgeous, sexy websites are eye-catching, use beautiful rich colours and create tantalisingly inspirational dreams. Generally they just drip with loveliness, but I can guarantee they all start with straight words like ‘ease of use’, ‘consistency’ and ‘organisation’. Yes my friends, you need these words to be your best pals before you can even think about inviting gorgeous and sexy to the party!!
This is where I would like to introduce you to User Experience Design, commonly known as UX design. UX will grab hold of those straight words and create a structure that talks directly to your customers so they feel listened to, engaged and find solutions. The UX will inform the gorgeous & sexy dial and how much it needs to be turned up!
As a website user, UX design is not really something you should be able to see, it’s more about how it makes you feel. Good, or great UX should feel seamless; you should feel like the site was created with your needs in mind and you should be able to find exactly what you need. This is why applying UX design is so critical to the success of a site. UX puts itself at the heart of the end user, focusing on their needs and their motivations. It asks questions like – Why do customers want to visit this site? What information are they seeking out? What problems are they facing? How can we solve their challenges?
UX looks through the lens of the visitor to ensure the experience is tailored to their requirements, so they can find what they need in the simplest way.
If your visitor can find the information they need, they will be happy, they’ll return, be loyal and importantly they will spread their joy with their friends… hello new customers!
88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience.* There are rarely second chances to captivate new customers, so getting it right is a top priority.
Now, I do need to say that great UX is a skill. A whole industry of talented UX designers undertake this practice day-in and day-out, so if you want to get this nailed first time you will need to seek an expert.
If you want to explore some simple UX yourself, start by understanding your audience. The solutions you create need to be aimed at their preferences rather than yours. Canvass has written several articles specifically about knowing your audience, so please take a look.
Analytics on your site can provide you with some great insight into your UX. We suggest you start with Google Analytics, it’s not only free but it’s simple to install. You can see what pages your customers visit and which ones they don’t. Don’t be disheartened if pages aren’t viewed, as some tweaks to your content or better placement of links to that page may just turn this around.
Reach out to your existing customers to gain their feedback on any changes you are thinking of making to your existing site. They will not only be grateful that you care about their opinion, but they will be able to highlight issues that you are not aware of. By considering and implementing their feedback you will also be addressing the issues for your new customers.
Have you looked at your website's bounce rate?
We understand that there are many ‘website terms’ that you may have heard of but filtering the ones you need to pay attention to can be tricky. Bounce rate is one to pay attention to, here’s why:
Bounce rate – the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
Now if you only have a single landing page this is not an issue for you, but if you have product or service information across multiple pages, you’re going to be interested in what the stats show you.
As a broad rule of thumb, you're aiming for a website bounce rate of under 40%. Between 40% and 55% is usually okay, while 55-65% shows significant room for improvement.
If want to look deeper into data produced by analytics you might want to consider a more advanced paid analytics system. The pros and cons for these depend on your needs, so we suggest you take a look here for what we think is a clear overview: https://www.guru99.com/web-analytics-tools.html
UX design takes time and money to get right, so it’s great to know that research has been undertaken to calculate the return on investment for UX design. According to a study by Forrester, an American market research company that provides advice on existing and potential impact of technology to its clients and the public, they say that for every $1 that’s invested in UX the return is $100. This is equal to a return of 9,900%. That’s a pretty good ROI in anyone’s book!
It’s fair to say that UX design is important to the overall success of your website. Having this as your focus rather than being caught up in creating something that looks ‘of the moment’ or being influenced by your competitors has to be key. Don’t fall out of touch with what your customers want and don’t assume. Ask them. Ease of use, consistency, organisation are all key factors that matter. They’re not the most tantalising of words, but get this right and lashings of gorgeous and sexy can be applied… to your client's taste of course! As every designer knows, form follows function. So get the UX right and you’ll retain and attract new customers for years to come, whether you view your website as sexy or not!
If you have any questions regarding the above or would like to find out how we might be able to help you with your customer challenges, Canvass has over 20 years experience of UX design and creating digital experiences and would love to help.