Know What Youâ€™re Dealing With
Successful site design revolves around the user experience. The user experience expert needs to understand three basic concepts to get the most out of his or her site: usability, sales, and branding. After all, the whole point of your site is to get people impressed enough to want to convert and to make it easy enough for them to do so.
In this three part series, weâ€™ll help you get started on your path to becoming an expert.
Three Parts to the User Experience
The user experience is composed of three equally important parts on which you should focus.
a. Layout/Design: Visitors need to be able to easily navigate your pages. Otherwise, theyâ€™ll leave. Therefore, you need to focus on key components that make up a good, usable web design. As nicely explained in a Designshack article, simple layouts often make up the best looking websites. Although going for the intricate and impressive design can reap its own rewards, it might not be worth your time or investment, as visitors to your site are probably just looking for an easy navigation path.
b. Debugging and Reducing Errors: Find out which are the most and least engaging web pages on your site. Knowing where your visitors are actively spending their time, for how long they are really engaged, and which pages they abandon could make or break your business. You could reveal conversion steeling bugs and expedite the web page optimization process on your site. Find and correct usability errors instantly, increasing your conversions and maximizing your return on investment.
d. Site Features: The addition of site features can increase your visitor interaction level with your site. This great article from Smashing Magazine advises on how adding the power of persuasion to your features can entice visitors to initiate engagement.
e. Physiological Triggers: Not all web users are web designers. Therefore, judging a good site is not always an obvious fact, rather a subconscious opinion, which can be expressed through the ease and frequency with which visitors navigate your site. This can be triggered through color, form, space, etc. Have a look at this thought provoking Abuzeedo article.
Making a great sales pitch is a product of both killer instinct and acute cleverness, which should play out on your sales/conversion web pages. The content should motivate customers to buy without a desperate plea. The visual of the call-to-action button should be clear, obvious, and to-the-point, encouraging visitors to go that one click further. Copy and the flow of information needs to feed into the visitor motivation, providing information, excitement, and reassurance when and where needed.
Your visitors need to be inspired to browse, convert, return and spread the word. So facilitating this process for them should be one of your primary objectives. And, your design should be at the root of your branding strategy.
Decide the shapes, colors, content, even typography you want your business to adopt as its own. Your design and branding efforts should communicate the positioning you want in the market and appeal to the segment(s) youâ€™re targeting. The ultimate goal is persuasion, so keep in mind that your site has to cater to your visitorsâ€™ tastes and not your own.
Now that weâ€™ve recapped what the user experience is all about, stay tuned for the next segment, detailing what to do with what you know
About the Author
Billy is a UX and UI consultant at ClickTale working with some of the internetâ€™s largest websites. His clients have ranged from small business and non-profits to Fortune 500 companies. Billy is a New York University graduate with advanced degrees from NYU and Texas A&M.