Myth #1 Website Design – Your Customer Will Like Whatever They See: User Experience Doesn’t Matter
Once upon a time, when companies built their websites, all they really had to do was get a website up and running. However, these days, just about everyone uses the internet, and every single website out there has at least a few competitors. In our e-book, we discussed myths about website design that hinder companies. Here, we’ll take a look into the reasons why user experience truly is important to a company’s success.
What Exactly Is the User Experience?
User experience, often abbreviated UX, is the way someone feels when they interact with a website. Some of the factors that influence the user experience are controllable either by the designer or developer, and others are simply a matter of user preference. User experience consists of all of the following:
- The overall design and look of a website;
- The site’s utility, or how well it fulfills the user’s needs;
- The type and amount of marketing on the site;
- The way the website performs in terms of speed, loading times, and navigation;
- The ease with which the website (and pages within that website) can be accessed;
- The website’s overall usability; and
- The overall human interaction.
Creating a good user experience really isn’t difficult. It’s all about designing a website that is aesthetically pleasing and “clean”, easy to navigate, filled with the right information in the right places, and not weighed down by third party ads. When a company can do this, people who come to the site are more likely to stay on the site.
Why Does User Experience Matter?
Imagine a consumer who pulls up Google on his or her smartphone and types “local auto repair”. He or she clicks a link on the results page, and then waits 30 seconds for the website to fully load. After the site loads, that individual can’t find the information he or she was searching for in the first place. Odds are good that this person will leave the first site and click another one of the search results. This is exactly why a good user experience, and a good customer experience, is vital to a company’s success; it keeps people on the page, helps them find what they need, and ultimately converts them into buyers.
The Perfect Example of a Bad User Experience
A few years ago, when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, millions of people flooded the virtual “Marketplace”, or the website through which they could search for (and subsequently purchase) the healthcare plans best for their needs. Of course, according to the vast majority of people who used that site in the first few months, the user experience was downright terrible. The website crashed in the middle of the application process, the entire site was down for much of the time, and people waited ages while navigating between pages.
Assuming that a customer will like whatever he or she sees is detrimental to a company’s success. It’s very important to focus on the overall user experience when designing a website. Otherwise, visitors are likely to leave a site and check out the competition, instead.