User Experience / Is UX the most important part of website design?

Is UX the most important part of website design?

Andy Thorne
sticking post it notes on a wall

Are you entirely satisfied with your company’s sales performance? Perhaps you are perfectly content to let your potential new customers take a look at your website, then leave without completing a transaction. If that’s the case, you’re a very rare breed of business indeed!

Most organisations are constantly looking for new ways to get people to buy, visit, register, or enquire, and their website performance is crucial to their success.

Yet many companies are putting their faith in site designs that miss out on potentially the most important thing of all – UX.

What does UX mean?

photo of notice board with post it notes

In its simplest form, it refers to the way your visitors interact with your website, progressing to your desired outcome.

UX is a commonly used abbreviation of website user experience. In its simplest form, it refers to the way your visitors interact with your website, progressing to your desired outcome. They land on a page (often your Home page) and then UX is what stimulates them to respond positively. This is known as ‘Lead Conversion’.

All quite basic, but it’s amazing how many organisations short-change themselves on UX!

Website traffic v lead conversion

There are companies that invest heavily in a website that looks fabulous and throw even more cash at strong SEO, Google ad and paid social media campaigns. Then, they’re left scratching their head wondering why their lead conversion rates – and therefore sales – are so poor.

Let’s start with an important fact. Attracting substantial website traffic is NOT the same as having a website that performs brilliantly.

It’s no good getting the crowds to your door, if they don’t like what they see and instantly walk (or in this case click) away!

Consider your website analytics

image of graphs and website search results

The key to solving the UX conundrum is by studying the behaviour of your website visitors.

The key to solving the UX conundrum is by studying the behaviour of your website visitors.

Where are you losing leads? How long do they stay on each page, and where do the gaps and obstacles appear to send them away? Do you get them almost to completed sales, only to then have high numbers of abandoned ecommerce shopping carts?

All of these things are massive red flags that your UX doesn’t have sufficient priority in your website design.

Auditing website UX

Your analytics are an important starting point but a professional audit can also be crucial.

At Factory Pattern, we look at website user experience from five points:

1. Relevancy

Does the page meet user expectation – both in terms of content and design? How can it match what they want even more?

2. Value

Is it communicating value to the user? Can we do better? Can we increase user motivation?

3. Friction

What on this page is causing doubts, hesitations and uncertainties? What makes the process difficult? How can we simplify? We can’t reduce friction entirely, we can only minimize it.

4. Clarity

Is the content/offer on this page as clear as possible? How can we make it clearer / simpler? Could you implement some form of an infographic to help users receive important information quicker, we all know reading streams of text can deter interest. If so, visit Visme and check out their infographic design guide.

5. Distraction

What’s on the page that is not helping the user take action? Is anything unnecessarily drawing attention? If it’s not motivation, it’s a distraction – and thus it might be a good idea to get rid of it.

It covers the stress points – the sort of issues that create UX deficits.

How can you improve website UX?

mobile phone in hand

There are many points to consider when it comes to improving user experience on your site, with the rise of mobile phones making sure your site is optimised for this usage is vital to keep visitors.

Your website must be designed to load quickly and offer easy and quick navigation. Having all those impressive scrolling images, videos and infographics, pop-ups and whistles and bells may seem the height of creativity. However, if they slow customer interaction down, they’re costing you money every working day!

Content that’s wordy and full of jargon or packed with SEO terms, is also not the way to go for strong UX on your site. Your customers want the benefits and values of your product and service to hit them in the face! They want to read fresh, dynamic Content that interests, informs and influences them.

Do you have a responsive website that’s optimised for mobile phones? Around 50% of your potential customers (a figure that’s increasing) will access your site on their smartphone.

If your site is hard to read, tricky to navigate or slightly baffling on a mobile screen – that’s 50% of your potential customers gone in a heartbeat!

The clarity in your UX also extends to the last stages of your lead conversion steps. Many abandoned shopping carts are the result of confusing delivery terms or complex payment systems.

This is where a seamless and smooth structure for ecommerce websites is extremely important. It takes visitors straight through to payment, with your compelling selling propositions moving them along.

So how important is UX?

The answer to this question then, is VERY important, if you want positive responses and healthy business growth!

Without having UX up front and center in your website design, lead conversion is a pipe dream, not a fruitful sales funnel.