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If making money and providing top-notch services and products is important to your business then how users interact with your website or app should mean everything.
You've probably seen the acronyms UI / UX before and if you haven't, it's about time you learned them. They may just be the must integral part of any web or application design philosophy and have a profound impact on how users interact with your products. In other words, as a business, UI / UX directly impact your bottom line.
User experience, or UX, describes the "human-computer interaction" (HCI), or more simply put, you guessed it, how users "experience" your website or application. From a design standpoint, the UX process involves creating products that provide meaning experiences that evoke a generally subconscious emotion from the user, the goal being to leave a lasting impression that keeps them coming back from more.
User interface, or UI, refers more specifically to how designers and developers create that experience through the use of components or visual cues, and this is typically where people get confused regarding the difference between the two as from an outside perspective, they appear to be one and the same.
While UI designers are more so focused on how the application interface will look, UX designers are generally more concerned with how the interface operates. Is it fast and responsive or slow and clunky? Is the layout intuitive and easy to navigate or is it difficult to understand the functionality? Users typically have deeply trained expected behaviors and breaking away from logical expectations can often have disastrous results. This is why good UI/UX designers work with the knowledge of well-researched user trends in order to create optimal experiences.
Before getting into what makes a good user experience and without delving too deeply into the pool of UI/UX statistics, let's discuss what would generally be described as a bad user experience.
Imagine if you will that your business has a simple eCommerce page with a product image above the fold, advertising that for a limited time only it has a reduced price in order to entice users to purchase it. This is a great, often used marketing tactic, providing immediate value for any potential customer when they arrive on your landing page. Now, what happens when you can't find the button to add it to the cart? Users are finicky and typically impatient. When they can't find a call to action where they expect it, they generally lose interest and move on. This is a potential sale as the user couldn't easily navigate to the product to add it to their cart, even though they had genuine interest in it.
Now imagine that the user did manage to navigate to the product page and add it to the cart, but in order to access their cart and continue through the checkout process they have to navigate through an array of nested menus. This is extremely unintuitive and likely to lead, once again, to a lost sale as the user has no idea how to complete the transaction. These are extreme cases as it would be shocking to encounter a site so poorly designed, but it drives home the point. The harder it is for a user to perform any action, the less likely it is you'll reap the benefit of that action.
Conversely, imagine if instead of being instantly confused by the lack of actionable items, there were a properly placed button on that landing page that linked to the product page. The user already has genuine interest in the product so in turn, after arriving on the product page, they encounter a big "Add To Cart" button above the fold and then subsequently upon clicking that button see a notification rendered displaying the product having been added to the cart. the item being added to the cart. Boom, they're ready to go! This is much more streamlined process to follow. To build upon it further, once the item is added to the cart, perhaps the cart could slide open from the side showing the item has been added with a big "Checkout" button, enticing them to complete the transaction. All of these steps have improved the users interaction with your website and thus experience with your business, leading to a sale that otherwise could have been so easily lost due to poor design.
By analyzing user trends, designers can build sites and applications based on the expected actions of their users. What have we already learned about intuitive design? It leads to higher conversion rates, and in turn that means what? That's right - more money in the bank for your business.
Now, not all actionable items are for products or eCommerce transactions. These are a more tangible, quantifiable item to track, but there are plenty of other ways that user experience can influence your overall business revenue or sales. One of the most simple examples is a contact form. Having a poorly designed contact form makes it difficult for users to get in touch with you, and if you rely on forms for inbound marketing then you're immediately losing potential clients the second any one of them has an issue sending you that form. This concept is the same for mailing lists, social sharing items, literally any actionable item on your site. If it's important to you in terms of bringing in more business, it needs to be easy to access and interact with, otherwise users will be off to your competitor in search of a better experience.
Simply put, every action a user attempts on your website or app has a ripple effect on how that user experiences your business, and a poor experience doesn't generally lead to an increase in conversions. Remember, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
This is a simplistic ideal, but it rings true when it comes to user experience. If users generally have a bad time while trying to navigate or interact with your site or app, that reflects directly on your business. People love ease of access. When you call a business over the phone, you want to immediately talk to someone and more often than not you'll encounter a series of prompts to get you where you need to go, but the more prompts you go through the more frustrated you'll become, as the business has made it difficult for you to access their products or services. If by the time you finally get where you need to be you've had a miserable experience, if you haven't already given up completely, how likely will you be to actually make a purchase or use the services of that business? Not darn likely... The same logic can be applied to digital products - the harder they are to use, the less likely users are to want to use them again. For businesses that rely on repeat customers or word of mouth, this is devastating.
There are plenty of methodologies that can improve the overall user experience of any site, but our recommendation is to implement UX/UI best practices right from the start by hiring a top quality developer. At Adrenalize Digital, we excel in creating intuitively designed, highly functional web, mobile and hybrid application suites that achieve optimal user experiences right from the get go. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help transform your business today!