By now, surely you’ve heard the spiel on how important UX/UI (a.k.a. User Experience/User Interface) is for your website. However, UX/UI is always evolving, and we are continuously seeing new trends that can enhance your digital platforms. One example that is changing the UX/UI game, is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs). AMPs are lightweight, stripped-out mobile versions of traditional web pages, which speed up load-times and optimize mobile versions to provide a much better user experience. There is nothing worse than waiting for a website to load on your smartphone, or arriving at a page where the text and imagery is microscopic. If you’ve ever experienced this, it’s probably because the version you were viewing was made only for a desktop. This, of course, is the worst-case scenario for a website but surprisingly, many of these still exist on mobile, even though its 2017!
UX/UI is the experience an individual has using a website or computer application, in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use. More often than not, these aspects are either overlooked, or worse, developers and web designers overdo it, resulting in an unpleasant experience for the user.
User experience is the most important aspect of digital marketing. A large part of digital marketing focuses on finding the right audience, and targeting users with ads specifically tailored to them that will eventually lead them to your website. Often, large portions of marketing budgets are spent on paid search, SEO experts optimizing your website, paid advertising on social media, sponsored ads on high traffic volume websites like TripAdvisor and Expedia, and countless other ways to reach people through their smartphones and computers.
While spending a decent chunk of change on digital advertising is usually necessary, you want to be sure you are investing critical time on your website and user interaction as well. You could be receiving thousands of visitors to your site, but if the user experience is subpar, the majority of those visitors will leave your website, some just as quickly as they got there. A study in 2016 from impactbnd.com found that users are 5 times as likely to abandon a task on a mobile website that is not optimized. Another scary statistic from that study found that 79% of the consumers studied said if they didn’t like what they found on one site, they will actively search for a different one.
These are statistics that will destroy your bottom line. The silver lining here is that there are many ways that you can evaluate and improve the user experience on your website. Research is always step one. Go through your website’s analytics and evaluate trends in visitors to your website (this is a crucial step, so if you are not familiar with this, click here). Analytics will allow you to drill-down to individual page-level statistics and identify exactly which pages users are leaving your website from before completing what they intended.
Next, you’ll want to check out what your direct and indirect competitors are doing on their websites. With just a quick surf around the web, you will find that there are many digital marketing and digital research websites with endless amounts of content regarding user experience, website design, conversion optimization and more. Econsultancy.com is a great resource for everything digital, specializing in user experience information.
Overall, remember that the most important part of your website is the visitor accomplishing the goal you have set out for them to achieve. Simplicity is, and always will be, key. The structure of your website should mentally guide your visitors to the end goal without too much thought or friction. Keep things easy and simple, where visitors can easily navigate to the pages they are most interested in, or can utilize a search box to pinpoint exactly the information or product they need.
Lastly, make sure to A/B test as much as you can. Test different copy, messaging, calls-to-action, order of menu items, imagery, and even the color of layouts to see what people respond to best. Make sure you have a good sample size to test with, and don’t freak out if you don’t see results immediately — Rome wasn’t built in a day.
A positive user experience will not only build brand loyalty, keeping customers coming back to your website, but will also allow new customers trying your website out for the first time to remain on your site, instead of looking for something easier or more familiar, increasing your chances of conversions and ultimately reaching your end goal.