An essential part of your business’s online platforms is the user experience (or UX) a visitor goes through every time they visit your website or app. Determining what kind of UX your website visitors have is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to convert a visitor into a customer. A strong UX will work to boost conversions, and you are in control of the strength of that UX.
Many businesses find it helpful to hire a UX designer, but even if you decide to hire someone to do this, it’s a smart idea to get into the ‘great UX mindset’ yourself. To do this, you need to think like a potential customer instead of a business owner.
“Rule of thumb for UX: More options, more problems.”
— Scott Belsky, medium.com
As a potential customer, what actions would you want to take on your site or in your app? Are you looking for information? Do you enjoy watching videos? Are you someone who makes comments, researches products or services, or makes purchases? Write these actions down on separate sticky notes.
Arrange your actions/sticky notes in the order potential customers would do them (AKA a user flow). You may need to make duplicate sticky notes since some actions can happen multiple times on your site or in your app.
Make sure each action can be completed in five steps or less. For example, to make a purchase, a visitor would need to:
It’s smart to do this exercise even if your website is live. To help, ask a friend to go through your website and give you feedback. Use sticky notes to write down actions that your website currently has, and any actions you need to add.
Now, use different coloured notes to map out what feelings or emotions you want people to have when they complete an action. For example, when someone lands on your homepage, you might want them to feel welcomed, excited, and curious. Or, when they make a purchase, you might want them to feel satisfied and happy.
Your UX can evoke these different feelings via a combination of shapes, colours, navigation, content, and/or sounds. The right mixture of elements depends on your brand’s identity, voice, and style, as well as who your target audience is.
You’re now ready to sketch out how each page or frame of your website should look. You can do this using a whiteboard or a notepad. This will help you get a better sense of what actions need to happen on which pages, and what elements need to be on each page to help people complete those actions.
For example, if a spa wants people to choose their preferred treatment category from the homepage, the sketch of that page needs to include buttons to all four categories: massages, waxing, body treatments, and facials.
You can use the UX flow you created on your sticky notes and sketches as an outline or plan for building your website or mobile site.
You’ll probably need to hire both a designer and a developer to help you out with the website, unless you’ve got some serious coding skills. As Dr Ralf Speth, CEO Jaguar, said,
“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.”