User experience design is a customer-centric approach that ensures site visitors enjoy their time on your website as much as possible. However, amid all the other advice for creating a site that converts well and meets your audience’s needs, UX design can sometimes get pushed to the back burner. This year is the time to focus on UX and make it a top priority.
In a Dun & Bradstreet and AdWeek joint study on business-to-business marketing, researchers found 43% of those surveyed felt it was vital to offer a consistent customer experience. While CX and UX are two different animals, they often work closely together to deliver an optimum experience for site visitors. You can’t offer excellent CX without high-quality UX.
While you should continue to create a personalized and positive CX, designing for good UX should become a focus in the coming year and beyond. Here are six reasons you should care about the UX of your business and how to implement powerful changes.
1. Embrace Changing Technology
If you haven’t noticed, technology is changing at a faster pace than ever before. Artificial intelligence advanced by leaps and bounds in 2019, with machines able to learn and start thinking more like humans. The Internet of Things hit around 26 billion connected devices in 2019 and is on target to reach 52 billion by 2023.
If your design doesn’t already account for devices such as Alexa, Google Home and other voice-activated speakers, now is the time to consider how people gather information via these tools. Stay on top of tech trends so you are aware of the next must-have invention and how it might impact your business model. Each type of business will experience different effects, depending on advances, so it’s vital to have smart people on your team who can look forward to where technology might go next.
Happy Chicks Bakery in Cincinnati, Ohio, has a website that lays out all the categories of baked goodies they offer. This approach allows voice search to pull up a specific query, such as “bakeries in Cincinnati that make wedding cakes” or “bakery near me.” They also include their name, address and contact information at the bottom of the page. So, a user who tells Alexa to find the phone number for Happy Chicks Bakery will easily find the information needed. The key is focusing on categorization and clear information.
2. Offer Filter Options
Customers often land on your page looking for one specific thing, but many businesses sell a variety of products. When you include filtering options, you allow users to easily navigate to the exact item they want. Clothing retailers often offer this type of filtering by color, size or style. However, it works for nearly any type of product catalog with more than a few items.
Think about how your users are most likely to narrow their choices. Following the path they currently take through your site might give some insight into how to structure your filters. You can also look at the keywords that brought them to your digital doorstep for further insight. Even ordering history offers clues to filter categories you should include.
TAJ Flooring features filtering options to help the user get to the type of flooring they most desire. Note how users can search by product collections to find something that matches what they already have. However, new customers can also search by colors, product type or product size. With each filter, the selection pictured changes.
3. Go Mobile
This year should usher in around 2.6 billion smartphone users around the globe. More and more people are using smartphones for internet searches as data becomes cheaper and access gets faster and more reliable. If you haven’t already optimized your site for mobile, there is no more time to delay. Go ahead and work on the user experience for your mobile users this year.
Put yourself in the shoes of the average user. You pull out your smartphone to look for a local or global business. You navigate to your browser, type in your search query and find what you think is the perfect match. You click on the link, and the entire page is garbled and the text so large you have to scroll endlessly to see anything on the page. What would your response be?
Most users will exit from the website and find a competitor who does offer a mobile-friendly option.
4. Cut the Clutter
As your site grows, it’s natural to have a lot of competing elements. All the information might be valuable, but you have to stop and ask yourself if it ties into your current goals as a brand. Each page of your website should have a specific purpose that moves visitors through the sales funnel.
If the goal of a page is to convert the person into a lead, everything there should move the user toward signing up for a free quote, mailing list or some other magnet. Cut mercilessly anything that doesn’t meet the goal of the page.
Wyze offers a motion detection Wi-Fi camera. Notice how their landing page with details about their cameras repeatedly emphasizes how first-time users can set up their new cameras. Everything on the page is informational, and they have stripped away all clutter. The single call to action is “get started.”
5. Highlight Your UVP
What do you bring to users that no one else out there does? What makes your business unique out of all the other companies like yours? If you can highlight your unique value proposition effectively, you answer the user’s question about why they should do business with you.
A good UVP says more than just that you’re great at customer service or you guarantee your work. Dig down into the core of why you started your business in the first place. If you can’t find a solid thing that makes you stand out, it may be time to develop new approaches.
Arnold & Sons Plumbing does an excellent job highlighting their unique qualities on their landing page. They focus on the things customers care about, not just their history. Note the points about 24/7 service, upfront pricing, a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, warranty and background checks on employees. These are issues customers may be concerned with, and they lay them out as part of their benefits.
6. Solve Pain Points
Customers care most about how you can solve their problem. Your site is going to be much more usable if you use it to answer questions the user has. Think about the reasons people call you, as well as what they search for to find you online. What are their questions, and how can you answer them?
You should become the go-to source whenever a client wants to know something. Establish yourself as the expert in your industry through a blog, video tutorials and a live chat feature. Go out of your way to fix things for your customers, even if it isn’t something that should be your responsibility.
There are many examples of this level of user experience through brands such as Zappos, which overnighted shoes for a woman who ordered the wrong size, or Whole Foods, which went out of their way to deliver food to a customer unable to come and get groceries in person. Show your customers you care about them as individuals, and you’ll develop loyal fans.
Put Yourself in the User’s Shoes
Ensure your site is user-friendly by putting yourself in the mindset of your buyer personas. What do you see as you move through the pages? Does the copy immediately answer your questions? Are there any aggravating features? What about unnecessary clutter? You should also ask some of your top customers for feedback. With a little attention to detail, you can create a strong UX design that attracts, rather than repels, new clients.