Blog

Andy Thorne

User Experience

The best advice you’ll read about user experience

You only have one true boss; your customer. Whether that’s consumers or business decision-makers. Keeping them happy is the key to success, which is why this good advice about user experience is so vital.

Any ambitious organisation knows the importance of investing in high calibre customer service. It’s the only way to bring people back for more, and more often!

In the digital era, your customer service is even more important but it also starts to be measured at a much earlier point in your relationship with consumers or business clients.

That’s because from the second they click on your website, they start to evaluate how well you communicate, and how effectively you are at meeting their needs. This is known in website development terms as your User Experience (UX).

Is UX the same as the user interface (UI)?

They are different in crucial ways.

Your UI is reliant on having attractive web page designs, and the way you project your brand identity on your website. UX is about how your site engages and supports page visitors, to create a positive experience.

Next, here is some of the best advice on user experience you will ever read!

Familiarity works

illustration of established structures versus unfamiliar structures in user experience

Using well-proven page layouts and established digital design techniques makes sense.

As a highly creative design agency with a superb track record for producing truly bespoke websites, this first bit of advice needs some explaining. Using well-proven page layouts and established digital design techniques makes sense, as being experimental can lose you sales.

It’s a juggling act.

Making your pages unique to your brand, but also incorporating site structures and features that are familiar to contemporary consumers. It helps users feel instantly comfortable and ‘at home’ on your website.

Simplicity can be best

illustration of simple, minimum user effort versus complex user effort

The more complex your site is, the slower it is to load and the more visually bewildering it can be.

Cherry-picking web features with a strong track record doesn’t mean packing your site with all the best design options and plugins.

Users have notoriously short attention spans these days…

With so many techniques and tools for building websites, it’s way too easy to get carried away or to add in too many pages.

However, the more complex your site is, the slower it is to load and the more visually bewildering it can be.

This is especially true of websites viewed on small screens. You must optimise your website for mobile phones if you want strong UX.

Users have notoriously short attention spans these days and they must get to the page they need quickly and seamlessly, with minimum effort. Any ambiguity and over-exuberant design, and they click away.

Visual clarity wins customers

illustration of visual clarity

Clarity and brevity are important for improving user experience.

Following on from the above, look closely at each page, and the structure of navigational bars and drop-down menus.

Clarity and brevity are important.

Have you packed in too much content, and would more ‘white space’ highlight your brand statements better?

Also, make sure your Calls to Action, search function and navigational tools are instantly obvious and performing well. To reiterate, page visitors will not hunt for them!

User research is vital

illustration of user profile

Use UX analysis techniques to keep up to date with your users’ behaviour.

Don’t ever get complacent about the level of insight you have into your customers’ preferences and decision-making processes. Or imagine that customer-centric website designs mean you have completed your UX obligations.

User behaviour and thinking shifts and changes, so you must use UX analysis techniques to regularly evaluate your success. Don’t wait until your lead conversion rate plummets and you’re scrabbling around looking for UX blocks and gaps!

Maintain website flow

illustration of effortless page flows

Transitioning between web pages should be effortless.

This good advice on UX especially relates to eCommerce businesses, though it can apply to any site where you want to support a distinct action, such as registering or sending you an enquiry.

Don’t undo your good work to date with a complex payment or enquiry form, and a myriad of pop-ups and additional information.

Make sure transitioning between your web pages is effortless, and users reach your transactional page in a couple of clicks.

Then, don’t undo your good work to date with a complex payment or enquiry form, and a myriad of pop-ups and additional information.

The rule of thumb is that a smooth flow to the point where you ‘seal the deal’ makes lead conversion more assured.

One step to better UX

illustration of a graph

Use insights from analytics to inform your UX strategy.

How do you know if you are falling short on these UX priorities?

The biggest sign is poor sales figures or enquiry rates. Or, analytics that shows you’re losing website traffic too quickly. This is deeply frustrating and financially damaging if you’ve invested heavily in web design and SEO, and you’re leaking leads.

Fortunately, the solution is the best bit of advice we can possibly give. Bring in UX experts Factory Pattern to boost your ability to convert leads and to optimise your spending on attracting site visitors.