Building a new website can seem daunting, there’s a lot to consider and so many tasks that it’s hard to know what to prioritise. In the interests of simplifying this thought process for you, Formation have two letters: UX.
UX is a widely used abbreviation for user experience. It’s one of the most important factors in setting up any new website.
For example, say you’re opening a shop. You want people to feel comfortable and happy while they’re visiting and to be able to easily find what they’re looking for.
You want them to leave with a smile on their face and to feel like they’ve made a connection with a real human being who’s interested in giving them the best experience possible.
Designing a website is no different. This is what is known as UX in the world of web design.
It boils down to catering for your customers in a way that also meets your business goals, keeping everyone happy.
If we go back to the shop analogy for a second, when you walk into a shop you immediately begin forming opinions about the business and the people who work there, conscious or not.
The impression that you develop in those first few seconds can dictate how long you stay in the shop, whether you buy anything and whether you come back.
Again, the same is true of web design. It’s vital that users feel comfortable with your website and have a pleasant experience while using it. Bad UX can put users off and ensure they don’t return to your site, no matter how good your product or service might be.
It’s been found that more than 65% of people would prefer to read a UX-optimised site over a plain webpage and nearly 40% of people exit sites that load too slowly.
A good UX has also been shown to boost conversion rates by up to 400%.
This demonstrates the importance of having a site that is enjoyable to use and avoids cumbersome loading times, all part of a good UX.
The implications go beyond just customer satisfaction for those that only see in numbers, as Robert Pressman states in his book, Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach: “ For every dollar spent to resolve a problem during product design, $10 would be spent on the same problem during development, and multiply to $100 or more if the problem had to be solved after the product’s release.”
The point being that it’s vital that a site be built around UX, as fixing issues later on could be costly.
One particular feature of UX that’s becoming ever-more important is mobile optimisation. This is as a result of the growing number of people who access the web through mobile devices. Sites that aren’t tailored for mobile devices as well as desktops will provide a poor UX for this growing segment of the market.
In addition to this, Google announced not too long ago that they would be demoting sites in their searches that didn’t cater for mobile users.
Websites that provide a good UX are often built from the point of view of the user, from the ground up.
In order to do this, it’s first necessary to know the needs and behaviours of the user you’re aiming your site at. The initial step in this process is often to create a wire frame map of the user’s ideal path through your site.
From there you can build up. As important as your site’s aesthetic is, it should always come second to a good UX. Too many people are inclined to focus on form over function when they first set out, which can provide a frustrating UX.
The UX Honeycomb, designed by Peter Morville, shows all the core elements that should be considered in creating a UX-optimised site.
For more information about UX-tailored web services and boosting your online presence, contact Formation today.