At its most fundamental level, UX (user experience) is concerned with improving the way we experience systems. Websites designed with UX in mind can be shaped and influenced by questions such as:
- When users interact with sites, how do they feel?
- Is it possible for websites to anticipate and fulfill the needs of users?
- What can be done to make a website's experience more meaningful for users?
Human factors play a central role in UX, so everyday interactions with web pages and interfaces feel pleasant and enjoyable.
UX has become an increasingly important consideration in web design because it impacts conversions, customer loyalty, increased traffic, and revenue. Websites built according to UX principles stand out in the jungle that is the Internet, effortlessly enticing visitors with easy-to-navigate interfaces that are engaging.
What is UX?
Irrespective of whether you've planned it or not, user experience design always happens. The interaction of the user with your webpage is the result of a decision made by someone. User experience is the way that users interact with your website. The process of UX design determines the experience that the user will have.
Amazon's success has been attributed to its excellent user experience thanks to Jeff Bezos's investment in the first year of Amazon. With a value of over $10billion, Mike Gebbia attributes AirBnB's success to its user experience.
UX design means paying attention to the needs of users. A great UX design aims to create web interfaces that enhance the user experience by being useful, easy to use, and pleasant to interact with. Ideally, the design aims to generate positive feelings in the users. The user should find value in what you're offering them.
UX, as applied to a website, refers to creating appealing, functional, and easy-to-use websites.
UX design has the following benefits:
- Improved design leads to more referrals
- Customer acquisition costs are lower
- Fewer support queries mean lower support costs
- Enhanced customer satisfaction results in improved retention
- A better understanding of customer needs as a result of usability testing
- A greater share of the market
While user experience has been a buzzword in the digital world for some time, questions such as:
“Why should I invest in UX?
“What does UX design mean for my business?
“How will my business benefit from UX investment?
These are still questions we often hear.
Let's take a look at the core benefit that investing in UX design can provide.
It can be extremely cost-effective to invest in UX design upfront
There is always a certain amount of risk involved in any new project your business undertakes. Nonetheless, by focusing on research, analysis, and testing, UX design and design thinking set you up for success from the start.
A growing number of companies are realizing that preventing usability issues before they arise is much less expensive than fixing them later with product redesigns or bug fixes. Changing the design of a website is easier than changing its development - and therefore cheaper.
Typically, less than 20% of bugs found in sites are actually problems. The rest are usability issues - many of which could have been resolved during an initial prototyping stage (which is a core aspect of UX design).
In the long run, it can save you money and enable you to build a website that is set up for success, drives conversion, and engages with your target users.
How exactly does prototyping work? Here's what you need to know...
All About Prototyping
In UX design, prototyping is an important step. Prototypes are "mockup" versions of your final product that are used for user testing before the launch. The purpose of this is to reduce the amount of wasted time and resources associated with not testing a website thoroughly before launch.
Now let's see how this can contribute to cost reduction...
Receive More Accurate Estimates
It is costly and time-consuming to make large-scale changes to development after a site is launched. Unfortunately, this happens when a UX design is not a part of the process. As developers scope and test all features, designs, and information architecture at the prototyping stage, they can provide better estimates of the time and costs required to complete the project - avoiding unpleasant surprises at a later stage.
Getting Your Content Right
The importance of content is well known. When great content is paired with great design, the results are even better. Similarly, the quality of your content can have a significant impact on your conversion rate. Taking care of this early on in the prototyping stage will help you ensure that your content is relevant even before your website or app is released to the wider public - again saving you and your company time and money.
User and Usability Testing
It is a process of testing a product's usability with real users in order to identify any roadblocks or friction they may encounter when interacting with it. When a number of people are working on a single project within a business, it is crucial to test users outside of this inner circle.
Often when you are close to your own website, you can become too immersed in it and form biased opinions about which features you think are necessary. However, you are not your users! Your user will likely think differently and move around your website or app than you do.
That's why you should test your content, product, and interactions with small user groups outside of the inner circle. The objective of user interaction research is not only to identify users' interactions with your own product but also to spot any potential friction before any development begins, during the prototyping phase.
While you may think that improving your customer experience was good enough, get this!
When you provide a great user experience to your users, you increase the likelihood that they will complete conversion tasks on your website or app, and you can even change lives. Let's take a moment to consider that. As a result of your simple and intuitive interactions, your end users' lives are made easier. Additionally, if your app or website makes things easier for your customers to accomplish their goals or solve their problems in the fastest possible manner, this will leave a lasting impression - one that they will happily share with their friends and family.