When you’re working in SEO, there are a lot of abbreviations you get used to hearing. One of the important ones is UX. This stands for user experience. This is all about the experience a user is having while interacting with a digital product or service. It’s very user-centric, and focuses on the user’s needs throughout every stage on a businesses website – from clicking onto the website right through to check out.
There are many factors involved in UX, including:
UX is related to usability, but is not necessarily the same thing. Instead, UX focuses on the emotional experience and connection a user has while using a digital product or service. Usability is just one of the many factors that make up UX.
If UX sounds like a completely new and foreign term – don’t worry! Chances are, you’re probably doing some of it already. However, understanding what you’re actually doing could greatly improve your website and its UX.
Some things to think about
There are a few things to consider when designing your website to ensure it has a good UX design. Consider questions such as:
- Who is the audience? This is an important one, considering that’s who you are making the website for. Undertake some market research or analytics to discover who is visiting your website.
- How easy is the user’s journey? You want the customer cycle to be as smooth and seamless as possible. Make sure your design decisions are made with this in mind.
- What does the audience want? First impressions are important, and if the audience isn’t impressed with your website, they will quickly leave. If you have a high bounce rate, this may be one of the factors explaining why. Once you know your audience, find out what they expect to see when they arrive on your landing page.
When putting a design aspect in place, remember to question why you are doing that and what impact that will have on the user. If it’s not positive, or it’s going to hinder the website, don’t do it.
When thinking about UX, you also need to consider different mediums. Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, in October 2016, mobiles overtook desktop usage for the first time. With the increase in usage of mobile devices, websites have been forced to adapt. Website’s that aren’t mobile friendly will find they are negatively impacting their SEO. In 2016, Google announced it will punish people for not having a mobile-friendly website. Website’s that aren’t mobile friendly will see their SEO ranking lowered. This is definitely motivation to ensure you have a mobile version of your website in place, that it has responsive design and has a quick load speed. This will not only ensure your SEO ranking isn’t impacted, but it will increase the UX and increase your chance of having a conversion.
Keep up with trends
Website design is constantly changing as trends come and go, and it is no different for UX. What you need to include to have an amazing UX is constantly updating. In 2017, there are some things that are considered important if you are going to have a good UX:
- Conversational UI: conversational user interface applications are also referred to as “bots”, “digital assistants” or “voice controlled applications.” Think of apps like Facebook Messenger, Amazon Echo and WeChat. In 2017 we can expect conversational UI to become far more prominent, which will greatly impact UX.
- Augmented Reality: more businesses will be looking to take advantage of technology such as augmented reality. Users are looking for a completely immersive experience, and augmented reality can deliver on that. Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap are companies already investing in augmented reality, and we can expect this to expand throughout 2017.
- Mobile apps: with mobile usage becoming more popular, it will become more commonplace for businesses to offer apps as well as their website. Designers will have to produce user-friendly apps that are quick and seamless. OpenTable is an example of a company doing it right. Open Table adapts to the user. When making a reservation, it suggests places it thinks the user will like, based on their previous reviews and current location. It allows you to make and manage your reservations, all within the one platform. In 2017, we can expect more websites to expand and release apps.
So why should you even care about UX?
Your business’ website is all about the user, so you’re going to want the user to have the best experience possible. If you’re wanting to gain conversions and make sales, the best way to do that is have a good UX. After all, it only takes half a second for a user to decide whether or not they will stay on your website. You want to make a good first impression to ensure a user doesn’t leave and go to a competitor’s website instead. Someone’s user experience may be the deciding factor as to whether they stay on your website or not. If you’re wanting your website to be a success, UX should be a priority.