Why User Experience Design (UX) is Important for Your Business
This article on user experience design was updated on July 23rd, 2020.
User experience design is centred around how a visitor feels when interacting with a website, app, or product. It goes behind the scenes, past the visual elements, to strategically plan how your audience will interact with your website in order to accomplish desired outcomes, like gaining information or making a purchase.
The ultimate goal is to create an experience that’s quick, smooth, helpful, and enjoyable. This is how you can drive conversions and repeat visitors. User experience is now a key part of your SEO, too. Google and other search engines look at ranking signals such as security, page load times, and mobile friendliness, which are all a part of creating an optimal user experience.
The bottom line is that if you don’t design for usability, you miss opportunities by ignoring the unique needs of your audience and the core purpose of your website. “Design” in this sense isn’t as much about beauty and the visual elements as it is about how a person is empowered to interact with your website. For every moment a user spends on a page, the user experience (UX) design impacts their overall opinion of your business through their experience. Ultimately, it will create or lose conversions.
What impacts user experience?
Some factors that impact UX include:
- human-computer interaction
- utility and performance
- information architecture
- content strategy;
How easy, efficient, and enjoyable is it for a user to find information and complete tasks? That’s what makes or breaks a user experience.
Why is user experience important?
UX keeps your audience front and centre
Whether you are creating a brand new site or redesigning your old site, it’s easy to get caught up with exciting new additions. You can lose track of the reasoning behind adding additional content and functionality.
UX design is all about purposeful structure and content. By keeping the user experience in mind, you are designing for your audience and your targeted goals. You avoid designing a website that’s beautiful, but useless to the people trying to use it.
UX helps you get to the top of search results
Google’s main priority is delivering a satisfying user experience from the results it offers. That’s how it maintains its position as the world’s leading search engine – because it does the job well. And that’s why Google uses website data like dwell time (time spent reading a page) and navigation behaviours to decide how easy to use, relevant, and well-designed your website is. This profile is your site’s user experience in the eyes of Google, and it will weigh this against other sites’ user experiences.
UX converts – it’s funnelling without funnelling
The big picture outcome is a conversion. UX has a lot to do with how a user moves through the path from landing on your site to either converting or exiting, which is tied into their impression of your business gained through their experience. UX design is about empowering a user to choose their path to conversion based on their needs and preferences.
UX creates trust and credibility
People conduct research before trusting a business, whether it’s to make a purchase, contract a service, or educate themselves on a topic. You need to reinforce your brand’s credibility through content that showcases your expertise and human side — and the user experience of your website needs to help people find that content and engage with it. With all the content noise out there, audiences have increasingly limited time and attention. If they have to work too hard to figure out who you are and if you’re trustworthy, they’re likely to bounce back to the search results and pick someone else.
UX builds a solid framework for your content
If you’ve got a poorly framed house, no amount of attractive decoration and comfortable furniture will make it a pleasant place to visit. In this case user experience is the framework, while design and content are the decor. If you’re putting in the work to create engaging content, you have to set it up for success with intelligent design and user paths to find that content — and interact with it. You need to create an ideal environment for your intended guests, show them your fantastic hosting skills, and send them away satisfied with the experience.
Every website has a purpose. For most business websites, that purpose is to drive leads, make sales, and provide informative content that showcases your subject matter expertise. User experience design connects the dots between a person and digital product, while providing an understanding of how content needs to be managed. Good UX design helps your website do its job well.