Why does user experience matter?
User experience has become quite the hot topic of late however more often than not, it was never heard of unless it was going wrong. User experience is an integral part of the design process from the very earliest of concepts to the final finished product. So with this very public discussion about user experience occurring, we look at why it matters so much to designers and the ability of the final product.
What exactly does user experience mean?
User experience or UX for short is about how the person feels when they’re interacting with a digital product such as your website. UX encompasses a whole manner of factors, some of which are controllable by the designers themselves and others that are purely environmental or user preference. These different factors include usability, accessibility, ergonomics and marketing to name just a few. It should be noted however that UX isn’t usability although they are closely related. UX is more to do with the experience and emotion, the connection felt by the user when using your website. Usability is about the effectiveness of the design and how user friendly it is to manoeuvre.
Why is UX so important?
The user experience of your website is just as important, if not more so than visual identity in terms of design. it really doesn’t matter what your website looks like if people don’t know how to interact with it. Moreover they need to enjoy the experience when using it. UX is very much key for complex websites as users need to be able to navigate the website themselves and with ease. Neglecting UX can therefore leave your website sloppy putting potential customers off of returning. One of the most complex types of websites can be those that include retail or online sales as the websites needs to be not only well-organised but also needs to have clear and easy to follow signals of how to make the purchase.
UX is also very much the key for small and start up businesses as their website is often their first opportunity to make that all important first impression for potential customers. This debut is critical when it comes to directing traffic to your product. In short, user experience is important as it helps to create the momentum that can propel the business forward. Users take just a few seconds to decide whether your website is worth their time and more often than not that’s the only opportunity you get to reel someone in.
Providing poor user experience will seriously work against your websites success
Poor user experience will often have very noticeable issues that ultimately lead to a negative emotional connection to the website for the users. The Usability Professionals Association has outlined six key benefits to adding UX to the design and development process. These being; increased productivity, further increased sales, decreased support and training costs, decreased time and development costs, heightened customer satisfaction as well as reduced maintenance costs.
Incorporating the UX into the design process
With this in mind, the question of UX and how we can incorporate it into the design process will no doubt rise. It begins first and foremost with collaborative design and by this we mean opening up the entire process to a team of professionals that all have a common goal. The team must work together in order to create great aesthetics and vision as well as goals for a design project. You must then think about the connection and experience you want to achieve with your users i.e. simple, formal or emotional. Think about what the UX says about your brand too and ask whether it conveys a universal message. How does it compare with the UX of your competitors? Once you have the answers to these and a number of other similar questions, you’ll need to work on revisions. Try not to be disheartened however as it’s very rare for the first design to be the best option.
Many designers ask why they should worry about UX as it’s generally considered a developer problem but simply put, developing and designing around a user experience is absolutely everyone’s problem from the very first sketch to the final product. It’s therefore just as much a design issue as it is a developer one. Without an effective UX, your website is very likely to fail, it really is as simple as that.
A good UX keeps visitors returning
When it comes to digital products, user experience and visual identity should be thought about in tandem. Common applications we use everyday have users going back to them simply because of how they work and the connection they have achieved with reliability and meeting the individual’s needs. Users will notice the minor differences when comparing how the website works versus how the application works and so on but by working hard to create a common user experience where things work in much the same ways, users will still have the same feelings about the programme regardless of device and use. This is a universal and extremely effective user experience.
Hire a digital expert to give you the perfect website which ticks all the boxes
In conclusion, user experience is indeed an art form all of its own. You can most certainly never predict just how your website will be perceived but arming yourself with the tools to create a thoroughly effective user experience will ensure it’s met with as positive a reaction as possible. Here at Wecan Media we have not only the tools for the job but the creative minds too. Our team of digital experts can help you create not only the perfect website but the perfect website with a well thought out UX too. For more information or if you’d like a free, no obligation quote then contact us today and take your first step toward digital success.