Ready to design a website that intuitively engages your users? It’s all about user experience (UX). Read on for tips and tricks that will take your UX design to the next level.
User experience and usability
We have made it to the final one of our four pillars of modern search engine optimization (SEO). Here are all four for a quick reference:
By this point in the four-part series, your website should be well on its way toward visibility in the search engines. But even if your technical SEO is spot on, your domain authority is at the top of the charts, and your writing covers relevant topics, if your webpage is difficult to use, you are not going to get the results you want.
So read on to learn all about creating a high-quality user experience so you can make sure your customers have positive interactions with your brand.
What is user experience?
UX, or user experience, refers to how a user interacts with a specific app or website. So UX designers aim to create an interface where each aspect of someone’s experience on a website or app works intuitively.
A great user experience design will have a coherent, well-structured flow of buttons and clicks and often doesn’t draw attention to itself at all. Instead, it provides a space to showcase the intended brand, increasing purchases, social shares, brand awareness, or whatever the desired result for the company.
UX designers give visual definition and structure to the ideas, articles, or products in a website.
Most of the time, end-users see only the graphics and visuals of the user interface. But a high-quality UX design begins with step-by-step plans and flow charts that help to craft the content.
What are the components of user experience?
To get a better sense of user experience, it’s helpful to break it down into specific parts. These five aspects of UX all work together to comprise a high-quality experience. Each plays a vital and complementary role in establishing the overall user experience.
Information architecture or IA refers to the organization of the content within a webpage. It’s the basic blueprint of UX and the backbone of your website. Whereas visual design refers to the components of a website that the user sees and engages with, IA encompasses the flow of information under the surface.
Two different visual designers could take the same IA components in dramatically different directions, so the UX designer needs to make sure all design elements align with the brand’s overall vision for its website or app.
1. Interaction design
How will users interact with a website or app? A good interactive design considers both the goals of the platform itself and those of the intended users. It then merges those two, so users get whatever they need from the platform they’re visiting.
Interaction designers often use wireframing to organize the key components of their project to make sure the ideas from the website are well-organized.
2. User interface design
User interface or UI design is another subset of UX and interaction design. It primarily refers to the graphic design of the interface. Basically, what does your website/app look like? Whereas interaction design focuses more on the overall flow of a user on an interface, the UI consists primarily of what the end-user will see. In a sense, it’s the opposite of the information architecture because a website’s UI is completely visible to users.
3. Visual design
What does your overall brand esthetic look like? Is it easy to look through with a clean and simple design, or is it overly cluttered and complicated? When designing a website, aim for a clean UX design that lets your content shine through.
Visual designers consider the overall brand identity and intended users in their projects. So they incorporate specific colors, patterns, and shapes to create the right look. So the visual design of a baby clothing company would have a vastly different look than one for a medical technology firm.
It might seem counterintuitive, but a hallmark of good visual design is that it doesn’t draw attention to itself. If websites were paintings on a wall, the design would be the frames, not the paintings themselves. Most of the time, great visual design is easy to use and relatively uncomplicated.
When new users come to your site or app, are they able to answer your call to action without much interference? Do they have positive encounters from this experience? Is it easy for them to click where they’re supposed to click? When designing a product, you need to consider these factors as part of the overall usability.
Are users able to navigate your website without using the help desk? A website with good usability indicates that all of the other UX components work well together.
How can UX be measured?
Companies can use countless metrics and analytics to measure the quality of their UX. Still, before we get into those details, it’s helpful to define your top objectives for your website. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Improve your relationships with customers? Drive more sales? Make sure you start with your main guidepost first, and then you can hone in on the UX metrics to make sure you’re achieving your goals.
That said, here are a few of some commonly used UX metrics for web pages. To have maximum results, focus on the results most relevant for your brand.
User experience metrics to test before the launch
Testing your new website or app against these metrics before you launch a new design can greatly impact its overall success. It’s much better to identify problems with a small testing group than it is to wait until you’ve launched your product to the masses. That way, you can rework any elements of your design before users can get a bad first impression.
- Task success rate: Do users do what they’re supposed to? If they’re supposed to “click here,” are they able to accomplish that type of simple task?
- User error rate: If users have difficulty completing simple tasks like entering their name and address, it might be time to rework your UX design. You want the UX experience to be relatively seamless for users.
- Time spent to complete a task: How much time do users take on specific tasks? Faster times usually indicate simpler UX.
- Search vs. navigation: In an easy UX design, the navigation should lead users where they want to go, so they don’t need to use the search button as often as the navigational tools. This ratio will vary significantly depending on the website or app, however. For example, many people come to a shopping site with a specific purchase in mind. In those cases, specific searches might generate more sales.
- System usability: A system usability scale consists of 10 questions where testers can let you know how easy or difficult it was to use your website or app. If you receive a low score, it might not be a bad idea to improve usability engineering.
User experience metrics to consider post-launch
If you’re pretty confident that you’ve worked out your UX kinks in testing, and your product’s ready to go, here are additional indicators of a positive user experience.
- Conversion rate: After someone comes to your site, how likely are they to follow your call to action or make a purchase? The higher the conversion rate, the better your UX.
- Net promoter score: How likely are users to recommend your site and services to others? Better UX means better scores and more social shares — and future customers.
- Retention rate and satisfaction: How happy are users after they visit your website or mobile app? Are they referring your site to friends and family and coming back as repeat visitors?
Why good user experience matters
If a user has a great experience on your website or app, they’ll come back and tell their friends about your brand.
A user-friendly website that’s pleasing to the eyes and easy to navigate will help you generate the results you want. As a result, you’ll generate more high-quality leads and reach more people. Excellent UX, along with technical SEO (part 1), domain authority (part 2), and relevance (part 3), will propel you to the top of search engine results.
Mastering SEO techniques
Thank you for following our series on modern search engine optimization techniques. We hope our insights will put you on the road to success, and your content achieves page 1 rankings.
If you need assistance or feel like you’re not seeing the results you want from your web performance, be sure to contact Rellify for a consultation. Our expert teams will work with you to ensure your website connects with the right audience and you see the results you want.