What Is User Experience?
User experience (UX) refers to the set of behaviors that consumers display when interacting with a website. Several factors influence UX, from website design to form design.
More specifically, user experience defines users’ impressions of your website or other application based on how easy and pleasant it is to use. When you improve UX, you create a more desirable place for customers to interact with your brand.
When you improve user experience, you reduce friction between your website and your target audience.
For instance, if you streamline the checkout process, visitors will find themselves more likely to buy your products. They don’t feel like they have to jump through proverbial hoops to buy products or services they desire.
I’m known for creating simple, easy-to-navigate websites that focus specifically on conversions. I post a ton of content for free on my blogs, but I also provide plenty of opportunities for visitors to get in touch with me, give me their contact information, or set up a meeting with my team.
Here’s the homepage for Quicksprout:
You only see the information necessary for users to navigate to another part of the site or convert on the offer.
UX best practices often involve paring down the information you present to visitors so they don’t get distracted or confused. However, this doesn’t mean you have to take a minimalist approach to web design.
The Importance of Improving Your User Experience (UX)
When you improve user experience, you help guide your website visitors through the conversion funnel. Customers encounter fewer obstacles on their way to make a purchase.
The conversion funnel turns prospects into leads and leads into customers.
A prospect visits your website for the first time. He or she might read a blog post or poke around the main navigation pages. If that person has a favorable impression of your business, he or she might follow you on social or sign up for your email list.
Once you have the prospect’s contact information, you have a lead. You can begin nurturing that customer toward a purchase by providing exceptional value through tips, advice, discounts, and free tools.
If you haven’t taken the time to improve user experience, however, your prospect or lead might grow cold. He or she decides not to give your business more time — or money — because of friction that person encountered while navigating your website and other online presences.
Why is User Experience Important?
Writing for The UX Design Collective, UX design experts Caio Braga and Fabricio Teixeira say, “Businesses need to drastically change to deliver value for users earlier, faster, and more clearly.”
According to Braga and Teixeira, consumers have come to expect immediacy and ease of use. They’re easily frustrated by obstacles like product backlogs and feature update announcements that never come to pass.
User experience goes well beyond a pretty web design. If your website doesn’t give users what they expect and help them make choices that are best for them, you’ll likely lose revenue.
More importantly, brand credibility and recognition have become increasingly important among consumers. They look for things like social proof even if they don’t know what it’s called. Failing to publish testimonials and other evidence of brand popularity can hurt you.
UX has also become more granular. Adding just one unnecessary field to your checkout form can result in abandoned shopping carts. You have less than one minute to hook your visitor, but even if you’re successful, you can lose the sale because of UX obstacles.
User experience is important because it provides insights into what customers want and expect from your website. Failing to deliver can prove disastrous for your brand, so you have to pay attention to the smaller details as well as the big picture.