Many people develop their websites with the notion that a good website is one that’s pretty to look at. Soon after their websites go live, they are hit by the realization that a beautiful website means almost nothing if it’s frustrating to use. In many cases, it’s because they didn’t put much thought into the website user experience.
User Experience – What is it?
User experience (abbreviated UX) is the overall experience users get when using a product such as a website, app, software, program, or system. Specifically, notes how easy and pleasing it is to use.
When designing and developing a website, designers and developers must implement a website user experience design. This is generally a user centered design that incorporates several elements, including:
In simple terms, usability refers to the ease of access and use of a website. For your website to be usable, it has to consider the following:
- Navigability: Your website should be easy to navigate. It should have a clear menu structure and the ability to navigate between pages quickly and efficiently.
- Findability: This refers to the ease with which information on a website can be found. You want users to easily find the information they’re looking for on your website.
- Readability: This is a measure of how easy users can read and comprehend the information on a website. You have to take into consideration aspects like font type, font size, line height, line spacing, contrast between the text and background color, subheads, bullet points, and sentence length, etc.
- Learnability: This is a measure of how easy users can become familiar with and competent in using the user interface on the first contact with a site. It should be easy for users to recall the user interface when using it on subsequent visits.
There are certain products that have attained usability goals, but do not do well in the marketplace. For instance, smartphones and tablets are replacing traditional cell phones. Why? Because the smart devices are providing more value to users than traditional cell phones do.
Mobile phone users want to do a lot more with their devices than just make calls. They want to surf the web, play games, watch their favorite TV shows, and use instant messaging. Here, we’re referring to the value aspect of user experience.
A website that doesn’t bring in value by meeting user needs doesn’t offer a good user experience. Therefore, you should ensure the content on your website adds much value to viewers’ lives. The content must provide answers to their questions and suggest solutions to their problems.
Online experiences can be frustrating for people with different levels of disability. To make websites accessible to such people, website developers should follow the accessibility standards. This is to ensure that the hearing impaired, visually impaired, and motion impaired can easily access the website and benefit from its contents.
Another important aspect to consider when designing your website is load speed. A page that takes too long to load is less accessible, and thus not user-friendly. Therefore, you should ensure that your website loads quickly to enhance the user experience.
The responsiveness of your website is another aspect that determines its accessibility and user-friendliness. A responsive design is one that allows a website to be accessed on different devices. Considering that users are using different types of devices to browse the web, it’s imperative that you make your website design responsive.
The trust and reliability your website provokes in your visitors plays a part in the overall website user experience. Privacy and security are perhaps the two biggest concerns for online users.
Therefore, you should address these concerns by adding security features on your website and having easily accessible policies pertaining to these concerns. Visitors are more likely to have a relaxed and pleasant user experience when interacting with a secure site than with an insecure one.
Visual design plays a crucial role in reshaping the user experience design through visual elements like layouts, spacing, colors, graphics, and videos. Besides adding to the aesthetic appeal of your website, they also make it more interactive.
Now to the important question – why does user experience matter? Well, there are many reasons why, and the following statistics tell it all:
- 40% of Visitors Will Abandon a Website that Loads Slowly
- 88% of Visitors Won’t Return to Your Website After a Bad UX
- 32% of Visitors Will Leave a Beloved Brand After One Bad UX
If you’re struggling with designing and/or upgrading your application’s user experience, let us know. We can help!