What is User Experience (UX)?

Sean Dilger
By Sean Dilger

As you read this blog post, you are having a certain experience. The text is evenly spaced, information is split into manageable sections, images are appropriately placed, and advertisements do not interfere with your ability to read the post. But imagine for a minute a different blog, you know the kind with a black background and flashing images and every time you scroll it triggers another pop up so you can’t even read what you clicked on.

In a nutshell, that is user experience (UX). It is how you feel about what is in front of you. The Power Digital blog gives you a sense of calm and ease while the other blogs described would cause most people to quickly abandon the site feeling frustrated.

When you think about the user experience of a website, there are many factors that contribute to how visitors will feel when interacting with it. While some of these elements may be more essential to the user experience, each is equally important to create a website that visitors want to keep coming back to.

Useful And Relevant

Your website must be useful and relevant to your users. Without the crucial concept, you will not have any users to visit the site.

Related: Understanding the Differences Between User Experience & User Interface

As part of your design, quickly clue visitors into what your site is all about. You will want to create a layout that appeals to your ideal customers which means you need to know who your customer is before they visit. This helps ensure the right people are staying on your site for the right purpose.

Functionality

Another key component of good UX is the functionality of your site. Can your users do what they want? You must make sure that your site is free from any bugs or glitches that obstruct your users from completing the tasks they want to. For example, have you ever filled out a contact form on a site to receive more information on a product only to click the ‘submit’ button and nothing happens? That’s a frustrating experience because the user has just taken the time to complete the form, but your site isn’t holding up its end of the bargain.

Usability

Similar to functionality is usability. The element is all about making the site as easy to use as possible and removing all barriers between the user and what they are trying to accomplish. The easier your site is to use, the greater the user’s experience. This includes a navigation that quickly gets the user to their intended mark.

For example, if you run a retail site but your products can only be seen after four or five clicks, you may want to rethink your UX. Bringing the products closer to the top of your navigation makes the site easier to use and removes barriers between your customer and their purchase.

Content

Visitors to your site must enjoy reading your content in order to become engaged with your site. Without engaging content, visitors will leave your site almost instantly. However, content does not only include written text, but images, videos, audio, and even the design.

Related: Top Practices in UI/UX Design

If there is too much going on, the visitor will feel overwhelmed and may choose not to bother with your site. Instead, try to keep the page simple and clean in design, using high quality images or short videos to help quickly convey your message to new potential customers. Also, use a clear call-to-action (CTA).

Responsive

In today’s mobile world it is especially important to have a mobile responsive design. This means that your site will adjust to the different types of devices on which it is accessed such as a mobile phone versus a tablet versus a desktop computer. Each device has different display ratios so what looks good on a desktop probably won’t look as nice on a much smaller mobile screen. Websites that are not optimized for mobile devices will result in visitors abandoning your site for another that is responsive.

Conversion

Finally, a great user experience will result in conversions. The website will easily lend itself to customers so they can quickly find what they want and take action. This could include buying products or services, signing up for a subscription or newsletter, or even just submitting their information in order to learn more about your company. Whatever the goal of your site, you must be able to influence visitors to do what you want them to.

The Importance Of UX

When you use a new product or service and it does not work the way you expect it to, or you find it frustrating to use, you probably don’t continue using that product much longer. Think of your website in the same way. Like you, your customers will not keep using something if they find the experience frustrating. Having a good UX helps to solve for this problem and can assist in other areas of your business as well.

Customer Loyalty

When customers have a poor or bad experience on your site, they will leave to find another site with similar products, likely your competitor. If your competitor provides a better user experience, that customer will return to their site instead of yours. You want to be the competitor in this scenario, luring new customers to your site with beautiful design and ease of use. When your site has the best UX available, customers will thank you by returning again and again, maybe even bringing friends along with them, creating a loyal fan base.

Conversion Rates

When customers can quickly and easily find what they are looking for, they are more likely to complete the purchase. It is as simple as that. Creating an excellent user experience allows your visitors to focus on their purchase rather than being distracted by irrelevant information, converting from visitors to customers.

Customer Satisfaction

On a similar note, great user experience makes and keeps your visitors happy. Happy visitors spend more time on your site, adding things to their cart as they go, and resulting in higher conversions. If you focus on creating the best experience for your customers and satisfying all their needs, they will feel relaxed and at ease while shopping on your site.

Wrapping Up

While user experience seems simple, creating the best experience for your customers contains many different components which are vital to your success. Without an exceptional UX, your visitors will never convert into customers. However, the user experience for each site will be different depending on the customer you are trying to serve. Be sure you understand your customer and what they are looking for as you consider the best design and experience to create.

Generally speaking, sites with a simple and clean design, easy navigation, and engaging content see conversions. Designing a site with these elements in mind is a great place to start.

Sean Dilger is an SEO Project Manager at Power Digital with a passion for all things digital. He was born in Ireland and moved to San Diego in 2015. Sean has many years experience in the digital space and has worked in email marketing, PPC, social media and of course SEO. Sean graduated college in Ireland with a Master's Degree in Marketing and Management Strategy.