Looking to Improve UX? Start with Website Design
The user experience (UX) is one of the most essential components of your website. When you get it right, UX meets customer needs simply and intuitively, reducing friction and making your website experience more satisfying and less frustrating.
In other words, your customers can find what they need, do what they want, flow seamlessly through the customer journey, and complete transactions smoothly.
Unfortunately, many websites fail to provide the UX customers want, which can cost your business.
Many companies focus more on how a website looks than how it operates. While both are important, website design is critical to providing a customer-centric experience in today's consumer demand.
Your site can look great, but you risk losing sales if it doesn't offer a robust customer experience. Many minor, easily fixed technology snafus stymie the user experience, the Baymard Institute said. Among their findings were the following:
- If a website takes more than three seconds to load, 40% of visitors will leave.
- Nearly a third of customers say they’ll leave a brand they love after just one bad experience.
- 90% of app users say they stopped using an app due to poor performance.
For eCommerce sites, consider this: only 1% of online consumers say eCommerce sites meet their expectations on every visit. That leaves much room for improvement.
The value of providing a great customer experience is undeniable. Forrester Research reports that a frictionless UX design can increase conversion rates by up to 400%, affecting all your inbound marketing efforts.
So, how do you improve UX? It starts with sound web design and an intense focus on delivering an exceptional user experience. A best practice approach is what's known as growth-driven design.
Growth-driven design (GDD) is a website design strategy that provides continuous performance improvement. Incorporating feedback on user experience, A/B or multivariate testing, and evolving digital strategies helps optimize performance over time.
Traditionally, websites took months to build and didn't undergo an evaluation or refresh for several years. Even if things could be improved quickly, they often took a backseat unless there were obvious flaws.
With a GDD approach, sites are refined throughout the year, allowing continuous optimization and UX improvements.
The Benefits of Growth-Driven Design
Growth-driven design provides multiple benefits, including a faster return on your investment. It has scalability, which means your site can grow at the same rate as your business grows without making drastic, time-consuming, and expensive redesigns.
Faster Go-to-Market and ROI
GDD allows you to launch more quickly and deliver on your UX goals. Not only can you go to market faster, but you can also see a return on your investment more quickly.
While good website design incorporates data points, growth-driven design uses data as a foundational element in improving user experience. From initial design and launch through user experience, data guides optimization rather than assumptions or personal preferences. This dramatically reduces your risk by ensuring you are focusing on the right things.
Data can help you prioritize what to work on. For example, if you see that customers abandon carts at specific points in the checkout process, you can isolate problems and fix them. While it sounds simple, it takes an experienced web design company to analyze the thousands of data points and focus on the highest priorities that lead to improvement.
Avoid Costly Site Redesigns
GDD also means you don't have to do a costly site redesign. Your website stays current with the latest design, technology, and optimization techniques. This creates a consistency in the user experience as visitors return, rather than a jarring experience from a complete rework. Changes happen over time but provide the continuity of experience.
Align with Search Engine Algorithms
Google updates its algorithms several hundred times yearly, including some that impact search and search engine results pages (SERP). Can you afford to wait a year or two to leverage algorithmic changes?
GDD considers the impact on your site, allowing you to incorporate changes to stay on top of emerging trends.
Better Design Creates Better UX
The best designs combine functionality with appeal. While some web designers focus on creating a beautiful website, others focus on usability. In reality, it takes both.
The best website design includes vital attributes that drive UX:
- Utility: the site is useful and meets customer needs.
- Usability: customers can find what they want quickly.
- Desirability: customers like the way a site looks and feels.
- Brand Experience: the site reflects the brand and engenders trust.
- Consistency: sites should provide a consistent experience for users
- Intuitiveness: users should be able to navigate and use your site easily.
Robust website design also requires an intense focus on aesthetics, content, engagement, user interface, and visibility to deliver on these key attributes.
How a site looks also plays a significant role in UX. Studies show that people form an impression of your site within 50 milliseconds. That's five-hundredths of a second! If your site doesn't appear high quality, inviting, and trustworthy, you've lost the battle before it even started. You may never get another chance to entice customers to your site.
GDD also helps guide aesthetic choices by testing different strategies.
Here's a real-life example. A website that sells artwork, Medalia Art, used A/B testing on various images. The data unexpectedly uncovered that showing pictures of the artists rather than their work improved conversions by 95%. Selling art by showing artists rather than the artwork seems counterintuitive, but the data tells the story.
Content also needs to be created with user experience in mind. It ensures you write customer-centric copy that delivers relevant and helpful content for visitors. This requires a deep understanding of your customer's needs and behaviors to craft content that meets their goals.
This also hits the high notes with Google's recent algorithm changes, including the Helpful Content Update and the December 2022 E-E-A-T changes to its quality rating guidelines. Good UX can help fuel good SEO as well.
Your site must also engage visitors to hold their attention and direct them throughout the customer's journey — driving them toward conversion. You need to provide a seamless UX at each touchpoint and drive them to take action.
When they are ready to convert, you must make it as easy as possible to complete their action, whether to schedule an appointment or consultation, buy a product or service, or interact with your customer success teams.
Some web designers overlook the critical role of the user interface (UI) in the overall user experience. UI design is crucial to seamless navigation, providing the technical foundation for responsiveness, efficiency, and accessibility. The UI also guides users throughout the site for a seamless experience.
Even if you have created a great-looking, user-friendly website, it still must be seen to be effective. Your design should incorporate search engine optimization strategies and allow for enhanced visibility for both your inbound marketing and outbound marketing efforts.
How is Your Website Doing?
Creating an exceptional user experience for your website starts with the design and requires data-driven decisions to improve performance continuously.
If you want to see how your website performs on key metrics impacting the user experience, try our free Website Grader. If you'd like to discuss your website design and learn growth-driven design strategies to improve the user experience, connect with one of our web design experts.