6 User Experience Design Essentials For Your Business Website
JetBlue’s CEO famously flies in the back of the plane to experience his customer’s point of view and get a clear understanding of their UX (user experience). But UX is something all entrepreneurs, including small business owners, can no longer ignore. These days even small, local shops have to embrace the concept.
Founders cannot ignore the rise of mobile: U.S. e-commerce grew by 44% in 2020, and continues to rise. According to Business Insider, “m-commerce” (mobile commerce) has reached roughly $284 billion, or 45% of the total U.S. e-commerce market. Keeping these trends in mind, your customers may only ever interact with your business by interacting with your website or mobile app. This is your chance to make a strong first impression, which is necessary in a web retail landscape where all a customer has to do is “click” to exit your page, and flock to a competitor.
Many customers refuse to put up with frustrating software or an app or website that lacks professionalism. That’s because customers know good design connotes quality: it’s a reflection of your team, product/service and brand. Moreover, customers are more demanding of good design and a UX as a prerequisite for doing business with a company. Businesses that invest in UX have been able to build a loyal following of devoted customers on the back of that UX.
Thankfully, the keys to user experience are all rooted in principles that businesses of any size could (and should) follow. These useful tips are brought to you by our partners at .US domains. Looking for a domain name that is uniquely you? Start with .US.
How to launch a UX strategy:
- Leverage UX as an opportunity to truly understand your customers. It challenges you as the founder as well as your team to adapt your product and services to the customers’ needs. So throughout the process, listen to your users and learn about their pain points, goals, wishes, desires, what they might be looking for before they use your product or service, and what they might do afterward. Don’t let assumptions or pride drive your strategy. The same principles of exceptional customer service apply to UX.
- Think about features that will improve user experience, as well as achieve your business goals. Focus on clear calls-to-action on every screen: an indicator of what action you want your user to take whether it’s to sign up for a newsletter, download a report, or add to cart. Keep each page clear and concise with no more than two calls-to-action per page. More than that and you risk confusing the customer on what they should do next.
- Optimize for performance and load times. Users are more challenging than ever to acquire and even harder to retain, especially when 75% of visitors leave if they have to wait longer than 5 seconds for your website to load. There are ways to deliver rich experiences that don’t degrade performance, but it can be tricky to pull off. As mentioned, for typical consumer brands, mobile is now the primary method people use to access your site: as high as 65%-75%. Your website should be fully responsive: built to look good on the desktop but function flawlessly on mobile as well. Ensure users can find you with a short and memorable domain name, and then make sure your site loads quickly across all devices.
- Embrace analytics. Objectively evaluate the effectiveness of your UX efforts. This is where tools such as Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager can provide you a more accurate snapshot of where your user experience is lacking and causing low conversion rates or high customer churn. Focus on the biggest offenders first for the most improvement.
- Embrace experimentation, prototypes and mockups. After you've designed a draft solution to your users' problems, go back and test it. See if it solves their problems. For businesses on a strict budget, it is especially important to test your solutions before your team officially launches an expensive feature.
- Keep listening to your customers. Again, spend time every week looking over customer feedback on review sites, comments on social media channels or direct emails. This exercise will provide you with all kinds of information on what’s working, FAQs, where users get stuck or confused and what your site might be missing. UX is an ongoing process that should be revisited regularly to ensure you’re not missing any opportunities to convert visitors to customers!
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