What Is UX (User Experience)?
User Experience (UX) is the term to describe how someone feels and thinks as they interact with your business at each and every touchpoint along their journey—from seeing your brand for the very first time to writing a review about your product or service. It’s the combination of aesthetic appeal and functional ability and it’s up to you to determine the most effective balance of the two for your business.
Why User Experience Matters
UX plays a large role in leaving a first impression for your brand, especially online. For example, you can have the best product in your category but if you don’t have a helpful experience on mobile then you are impacting how many people can discover the quality of your products or services.
The term UX is commonly heard in discussions about a website or mobile app, but it truly belongs in conversations about nearly every aspect of your business. UX impacts your audience’s satisfaction, engagement, conversions, sales, and returns—driving your reputation and bottom line.
Each interaction has the ability to influence someone’s experience. It’s up to you to shape the experience for your audience. You ultimately decide if it’s going to be a negative or positive experience.
Positive user experiences are likely to become repeat users, loyal to your brand.
And the result of a negative user experience? Well, they’ll be looking up your competitor in the blink of an eye.
6 Questions To Ask About Your UX
- Does the user care? If your content, product, or services have no purpose or clear benefits to the user, they’re not likely to engage with you.
- Can the user find you when they need you? When it comes to your online presence, there’s a direct tie to SEO tactics here—UX is becoming more important in SEO than ever before. But it’s also about how you communicate with someone at the moment in their journey when you can help them answer their questions or meet their needs.
- Can the user understand your value proposition immediately? Within seconds of interacting with your business, someone should know who you are, what you do, what you stand for, and how it benefits them. If the value proposition is missing or vague, they’ll move on.
- Can the user easily accomplish their goal? People won’t stick around if your website is hard to navigate, your product is difficult to use, or your support team is impossible to reach. Someone should be able to use the product, complete a task, or find information on your website without assistance.
- Can the user access all of the information and functionality? It’s easy to assume that users interact with the world the way you do, but this assumption can lead to an experience that works well for some and is terrible for others.
- Is the user happy about the experience? It doesn’t matter how fresh, relevant or innovative your product or service is—a user will move on unless you can spark that positive emotion.
How To Improve The Experience
In order to improve UX, you need to start with the “user” in the equation—who they are, what they need, what they value, their abilities and their limitations. Knowing your user will help you build out the experience that they need and expect from your business.
Understand Your Target Audience And Their Journey
UX is all about your target audience and the journey they’re on—if you don’t have a solid understanding of these areas, then this is where you need to start. Research is the key here. Leverage existing and secondary research to kick things off, then go even deeper by interviewing the real people who purchase your product or service.
Do you know enough about your target audience to write a persona? We’ve put together a questionnaire to get you thinking about how much you know about your target audience. You might be surprised how easy (or how hard) it is to answer the questions.
Analyze The Data
Use data from tools like Google Analytics or your CRM to identify what content or features your audience is interacting with when they’re on your website, how your audience characteristics are evolving over time, where people are dropping out of the funnel, etc.
Sometimes there isn’t always alignment between what your audience says they want, would do or value most vs what they actually do to show you what they value most. It’s important to look at what the data is telling you so that you can gain a stronger understanding of your audience and identify insights and action items to improve their experience.
Introduce User Testing
UX should be incorporated into each stage of your audience’s journey, including and especially during testing. Maintaining your UX efforts during the testing phases will help you determine if your actual users can use your product or website intuitively. Testing from a UX perspective is called usability testing.
Usability testing involves providing individuals from your target audience with specific tasks to complete with your product or on your website and having them speak their thoughts aloud as they try to complete the task. By observing the subjects’ behaviours and listening to their thought processes, you can gain valuable insight into what’s working (positive experience) and what’s not (negative experience).