User Experience (UX) has become one of the most important elements of any website that’s seriously looking to strive in an online setting. You don’t have to be a scientist to understand that some things simply won’t work.
As the internet evolves, so do we. Users have higher expectations by the day, and as an UX designer, you can sometimes face quite a challenge. Waiting times, long forms, confusing navigation, all of these elements can seriously impact the way your website generates traffic. That’s why you have to find the perfect way to address those UX challenges.
We’ve been working on UX design for quite a while now, and we can safely say – don’t panic. As with anything else, there are some basic, ground rules that can help you understand how to boost your UX. We’ve learned some of these things on our own mistakes, while others a result of a long research, but these 5 rules should help you fully grasp how to deal with UX. So, let’s not waste any more time, and let’s get straight to it.
1 – Stay in Touch With the Times
One of the things we encounter very often in our line of work is fear of risking. There were quite a lot of our customers that had a website for 5 or even 10 years, and those website were generating traffic and doing their job. In a situation like that, they started thinking their websites don’t need to be changed. Why would they, when they’ve worked great for so long?
As an UX designer, you have to explain to your customers that chances are they’re missing on a huge piece of the pie that might be waiting for you around the corner. The online world is changing at a rapid pace and the faster your customers adapt the better results they’ll have in almost any field.
The role of being an UX designer is not only to create UX for our customers, but to try and explain why we did something in the way we did. For example – after some researching we’ve found out that hamburger menus are old news. If they are not needed, we don’t need to include them in our UX design. This saves time, money and helps with achieving the greater goal. UX designers need to be constantly looking out for ways to be better if they really want to reach the top dog position.
2 – Offer Fewer Choices
During our first few years of UX design we’ve come across quite a lot of different requests. We tried to address every single one of those requests following the premise that the customer is always right. We soon realized that’s not the case.
When a potential customer lands on a website and sees too many options, they won’t be blown away by any offers; they just won’t be able to find their way to something that’s really relevant to them. In fact, what we learned on our own skin is that the more choices you have the worse conversion rates will be.
The fewer choices you offer to customers, the faster decisions they’ll make when it comes to whether they will stay on the website or not. This is why the number of choices affects conversion rates, and why you should always try to offer choices sparsely when designing user experience.
3 – Cut the Loading Times
We’re living in an extremely fast society, one that doesn’t plan to hit the brakes anytime soon. When it comes to the user experience design, you really have to stay on top of the market, if you really want to make a difference. Just 5 years ago, responsive design was thought of like a luxury, while nowadays, most of our clients call for exactly that – a responsive UX.
With the rise of smartphones, people are now using mobile devices more than their desktop computers for surfing and online shopping. More than 30% of users will give up if a website doesn’t load in 1 second, while this number goes up to 80% if the website doesn’t load in 3 seconds. Every second counts, which is why you’ll want to make sure pages load as fast as possible.
4 – Simplify
When you open Google’s homepage, what do you get? A search bar! That’s all. It doesn’t get any simpler than that, which is one of the reasons why Google is the leading search engine for a while now. We’ve learned that simplifying everything helps a lot. The users understand the purpose and the idea behind a website you’re working on as soon as they land on the homepage. The more we used to complicate things, the more people abandoned our projects, so we had to learn and adapt. Nowadays, professionals working for important web design agencies such as GWM from Australia will confirm that.
Just take a look at how dead simple Balenciaga’s online shop is. Don’t bombard your audience with information, just offer them a product or a service and you’ll be fine.
5 – User Reviews and Testimonials
One thing we’ve encountered in our UX design career is that more than 60% of all buyers won’t opt-in to buy a product before they read a review. Not having a review system on a website will make the visitors and customers leave and look for another source and as someone who is in charge of user experience, you must find a way to stop that. Some of the ways you can approach your users is to arrange some kind of benefits to users who accept to write a testimonial on your client’s products, as that’s also going to help your conversion rates immensely and immediately.
As UX designers, we have to focus on our focus groups. We must learn what drives them, what their basic needs are and how to make them understand that our UX design has everything they are looking for. We’re all focused on numbers, data, charts and whatnot, and in that process we tend to lose understanding for the people we’re trying to reach. Listen, learn and think about what you want to see in UX design, as all of this can help you truly understand the best way of approaching user experience.
*Cover image by Allure.
AUTHOR: LENA HEMSWORTH
Lena is Sydney based blogger who enjoys surfing the depths of the internet almost as much as kitesurfing. She spent a better part of her life working as an expert in web marketing, and now she is starting a new career as a freelancer.