User Experience: Life or Death of Your Digital Presence

User Experience: Life or Death of Your Digital Presence

It’s all about the experience.
User experience (commonly referred to as UX) may be the single most important feature of your website or software. Why? Because UX is how a user feels while interacting with your digital product. If it’s not easy to navigate, if it’s not simple to understand, if it doesn’t look organized, inviting and friendly, users simply will not come back.

Let’s talk about some of the biggest benefits of a great user experience:

  • Increased ROI
  • Positive Brand Reputation
  • Customer Loyalty
  • User Engagement
  • Conversion & Sales
  • Winning the Competition

Increased ROI

You’re in business to make money, right? With a well thought-out UX, your customers are going to engage more, buy more, and return to your eCommerce website/digital product more often. It’s as simple as that.
Here are some ways to improve your return on investment in the planning stages of your application:

Personas:

These are fictional characters based on field data research which represent different types of customers who might use the service or the product. Personas will help in understanding the needs of users, their experiences, behaviors and goals. By knowing what your customers want, you can create a user experience that gives them what they need.

Wireframes:

A wireframe is a low-fidelity guideline for digital products – it could even be in the form of paper sketches. Rapid prototyping can also be used. This method uses advanced wireframes with more visual detail and interaction. Wireframes allow you to visualize your end product and detect possible issues before committing to programming and development.

Usability Testing:

This is a technique for evaluating a product by testing it on end users to understand how easy the design is for them to use. Usability testing provides crucial data about how real customers use your system, by observing them as they attempt to complete tasks.

Usability testing lets you catch problems at early stages of development, so they can be fixed before implementing or mass-producing the design. It’s good practice to do usability testing on prototypes rather than finished products. Make sure to keep measured business goals in mind, and document improvements that have to be made in order to improve the experience.

Positive Brand Reputation

Let’s be clear: your product’s UX is a direct extension of your brand perception. No matter how much you’ve invested in your brand image, a poor UX can ruin everything. Imagine going to a beautiful, upscale restaurant only to find the restrooms are disgusting. In the same way, a sloppy UX can turn your customers away for good.

But let’s not oversimplify: User experience isn’t just about graphics or the way your digital product/website looks. It’s more about the functionality, ease of use and overall feel. So while most people don’t notice when Facebook subtly evolves their logo, everyone can tell immediately when the functionality of the Messenger app is updated.

Customer Loyalty

As our society becomes more digitized every day, our human interaction decreases. Think about it. Instead of going to the bank or clothing store, transactions happen online or at a kiosk. Less human interaction means less opportunities for companies to form face-to-face, human relationships. And this presents a challenge for building customer loyalty.

This is why it’s so critical for your UX – be it on desktop or mobile – to feel natural, enjoyable, and whenever possible ‘human’. For many companies, the primary point of interaction with customers is digital. Don’t make it feel cold.

And of course, your customers still desire that real human connection. That’s why customer reviews are so important. For many, reviews are the sole deciding factor when making a purchase. The tables have turned, and customers now have all the power. Make sure yours are happy.

As a matter of fact, your customers' and employees' minimum expectation related to user experience is shaped by the best possible user experience available in the market today.Click To Tweet

User Engagement

The best way to grow customer loyalty is to directly engage with people using your product. Your UX should be so amazing that your customers become advocates for your brand, telling the world just how awesome you are. Not only your website design, but your app design also matters equally if not more. As the world immerses more and more deeply in mobile apps and services, serving them in their “Mobile Moment” is absolutely crucial -Whenever your customer has a need, they should be able to pull up their mobile phone in that moment, instantly, and consume your service effortlessly.

Social engagement and referrals are critical, so make sure you plan this functionality into your UX. If you give your customers a quality digital product, a great user experience, and the tools for them to share their thoughts with the world, you will stay way ahead of the competition.

Conversion & Sales

Creating a successful UX is a complex task with seemingly endless options that need to be researched and tested with different personas, color combinations, page design, layouts and more. It can seem overwhelming, so where do you begin? Fortunately, there are some best practices that provide an excellent starting point:

Page Loading Speed:

Fact: Slow loading times can mean the death of your site, with potential customers unwilling to ever return. An ideal page load speed should be less than 2-3 seconds, but Google aims for under a half second. Ideally, a mobile web page should load under 3 seconds.

Images:

The web is becoming an increasingly visual experience, with imagery playing a more important role than ever before. Optimizing images is one of the quickest ways to improve speed, but there are other techniques as well:

Lazy Loading:

This is a process of loading images only when needed, helping to reduce loading times (Pinterest is the best example of this technique). There are variety of plugins available to implement this approach.

Blur-Up:

This technique involves displaying blurred versions of images for quick page loading, then replacing the images with the full version once ready.

Progressive JPGs:

Unlike standard JPGs which load from top to bottom, these load in at a low resolution and increase in quality until fully loaded.

Clear Calls to Action:

The call-to-action (or CTA) is your money-maker. Its importance cannot be overlooked. Your customers need to know what you want them to do, how they are supposed to do it, and most importantly: what’s the benefit to them.

Winning the Competition

As the famous marketer Kate Zabriskie said, “Although your customers won’t love you if you give bad service, your competitors will.” So if you don’t want your competition to steal your business, make sure your customers prefer your website or application by providing them with the best possible user experience.

Keep an eye on your competitors. What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong? How can your UX make you stand out and provide something unique and memorable? Even if you think your UX is amazing, don’t be lazy or complacent. Always strive to improve and continually raise your standards.

Conclusion

In today’s digital world, the brands with the best user experience win. Even if your digital product is the most advanced, revolutionary, and potentially world-changing thing ever created, a bad UX can absolutely destroy it before it ever has a chance.

Keep an eye on the ever-changing trends and technology. Really get to know what your customers want and need. Figure out a way to stand out and be different, and offer something no one else has. Make your user experience the best it can possibly be, and you will surely come out on top. If you need any help in making your UX amazing, you know how you can get in touch with us. We’ve won awards for excellence in design – We’ll make sure your UX is seamless!

Share Article: