First, the basics:
What is UX?
UX Stands for “User Experience.” It encompasses every way that your end users (customers) interact with your business. This includes your website, and your product—whether it’s digital or not. However, UX is most often associated with digital products and services.
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There are many sub fields of User Experience.
- Research: answers questions such as who is really using your products/services? What are their goals? Are your assumptions correct? What are their goals and thought processes? How can you improve our understanding of your users?
During this process you gather data and analyse it. Quantitative research answers your questions with numbers and statistics. For example, you’ll find that X percent of users found your contact form. X percent of users were confused about what your website is about (trust me, sometimes users can’t tell!)
Qualitative research helps you learn the motivations, goals, opinions and develop hypotheses about your users. For example, you might find that your actual target market is very different than what you thought it was. Maybe university educated women with high incomes are most interested in your business, and not low income men like you thought would be.
- Usability: is concerned with how effectively users can accomplish their goals, and how satisfied are they as they do? Can your user easily buy your product, or is it difficult to find out where to enter their credit card details? If you want your users to contact you first, how easily can your phone number be found?
- Interaction Design: Determines the placement of components and how users will interact with your product or website. For example, an interaction designer will determine where to put the website menu, and the best place to put your call to action.
- Visual Design: communicates the look and feel of your product. It hints at the purpose of each component. It helps users connect with your brand and your business. Images, colors, and relative size of each portion of the website all impact how your business comes across to your users.
There is a lot more to UX, but this quick overview is a good place to start. Remember, UX includes the user’s emotions as well as their thought processes. Don’t worry about causing your user to burst into tears of happiness, but he or she should feel positive when interacting with your product or website.
Why should you focus on UX?
UX is often associated with large companies that have large budgets. But UX is just as important for small businesses. Yes, you are busy and already have too much to think about.
But hire a UX designer. Do it now. After your technical team this is who you should find immediately. You won’t be disappointed.
Your business is dependent on customers. If they don’t have a good experience—or worse if they have a bad one—they won’t return. Readers won’t convert into customers. Without great UX, you lose credibility very quickly.
Jozef Toth, Senior UX/UI Consultant at Pfizer compiled statistics essential to know:
- ESPN.com revenues jumped 35% after they listened to their community and incorporated suggestions into their homepage redesign.
- 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
- First impressions are 94% design-related.
Don’t forget that if you’re still a new brand then you haven’t built up invaluable brand loyalty. Potential consumers are still unsure about your products and business. UX is a large part of that recipe.
Make your UX great. Your competitors are doing it. Don’t lose; win.