User Experience, user-centricity and personalised content are just some of the buzz words floating around the digital design space, but what do they mean in practice? As users demand a more streamlined online service, businesses must not only understand the importance of these concepts, but also how to apply them in practice.
The user experience and user-centricity
Two thirds of consumers won’t purchase from a brand if the content is not relevant to them, or the website is poorly designed*. With that being the case, the user experience (UX) is now the most important factor for your business.
Every company has a website, so your website needs to fulfil your user’s needs better than your competitors. You need your customers to stay your customers.
Before UX was the centre-focus of web design like it is now, websites were a challenge to navigate and struggled to meet their users’ needs. For a blast from the past, take a look at one of lastminute.com’s former websites.
The retired design leaves much to be desired – and ultimately makes it difficult for the user to navigate.
With good UX design, your users can enjoy seamless interaction on your site that fulfils their needs easily. When visitors have a good experience with your site, they’ll see value in it and your business, and they’ll be more likely to return.
Therefore, if you want your product to be successful, it’s important to invest in good UX design. With users demanding more personalised content, a user-centric website which tailors the experience to its user is more important than ever.
So, how do we create a user-centric website?
- 1. Firstly, know your user.
The desire with creating a user-centric website is to provide the optimal experience for your user.
You therefore need to find out who your average user is, and the content, features and functionality they want.
Try creating a consumer profile – a functional ideal customer based on real data collected from your existing users. Take a look at the demographics, behaviours and wants of your existing users and utilise this to tailor their experiences.
- 2. Design with simple navigation and visibility in mind.
It’s important to ensure that consistency is maintained in your design so that it’s easy for your users to access the information they want. Your users should ideally never be more than three clicks away from what they are looking for.
- 3. Accessibility.
The design of your website needs to be accessible so that those with visual and cognitive impairments can access the information they desire quickly.
- 4. Utilise calls to action (CTAs).
A call to action is a prompt on a webpage which invites a user to take a specific action, such as ‘subscribe to our newsletter’. This kind of tool can increase the level of engagement your user’s have with your services.
- 5. Ensure your website is mobile compatible.
A huge amount of web traffic is now occurring on a mobile device. To home in on this market, you need to figure out how your website is going to look and function on a smaller screen.
- 6. Encourage feedback and use this to constantly update your website.
It’s important that your website contains feedback channels for your users, as it’s important to allow them to provide a vehicle for them to communicate with you when their needs have not been met.
One idea is to include a chat box function on your site, where users can easily contact you.
This feedback should then be utilised to continually make iterative adjustments to your site, guaranteeing it is always up to date with your user’s current wants and needs.
However, it’s important not to over-ask for feedback! Your users don’t want to be bombarded with prompts to contact you on every page they access. Ensure the feedback you are asking for is meaningful.
Overall, the most important thing to get right is the basics. As our Client Services Director, Salvo Profita, states “UX is often made unnecessarily complex. You are building a product – in this case a website – that people will use. To ensure an excellent UX your guiding principle should be to identify what visitors want (or more accurately, what visitors need) then meet that need as quickly and efficiently and simply as you can. Get this right, and then – and only then – go over and above.”
The UX ultimately connects your users with your products. Although other channels of communication (social media, TV, etc.) can be beneficial tools to connect with your audience, your website is the channel where you ultimately have full control over your users’ experience.
Harnessing this potential and creating a user-centric website will put your business in the best stead. It could ultimately be the difference between increased onsite engagement and increased bounce rates.
The important thing to keep in mind is to place usability above style.
How we can help:
Our team of experts here at ClerksWell can identify your specific business needs and where we can help you with your website’s UX design.
For any help or queries you may have or how ClerksWell can help you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here or call us on 020-7689-8800.
* 2018 Adobe Consumer Content Survey