How to create the most optimal User Experience for your customers is something that is constantly evolving. Just as the way people are using Search is changing (we explored how people are turning to Search Engines for ideas in this blog post), the customer’s relationship to your site changes as technology updates, search patterns adapt and the ways we use digital media evolve.
Just like the resolutions we come up with every year, to do more exercise, give up alcohol, or eat more healthily, a New Year’s resolution for your website has to be something you can follow through. And there are ways to make resolutions more feasible, and more attainable.
This recent BBC article discusses how to create attainable New Year’s resolutions, with research from several Psychology professors. The main four psychological motivators it highlights to make attainable resolutions are:
- Recover loss rather than win gains.
- Involve other people.
- Make resolutions public.
- Don’t rely on willpower – be meticulous and have a plan.
In the article below, we’ll discuss three resolutions to implement in 2018 to improve UX on your site, and how to make them stick.
Our three User Experience resolutions:
- Streamline the onsite user journey.
- Increase customer loyalty.
- Monitor analytics figures.
Resolution 1: Streamline the onsite user journey
You need to make the choice easier for users. Firstly, work out what functionalities on your site truly answer your user’s needs. Secondly, guide them through your site towards this. Thirdly, eliminate the elements of your site which don’t help you user on their journey.
If your user gets lead into and then lost in a vast About Us, for example, frustration may lead them to simply click away from you.
It’s called ‘choice fatigue’. The more choices we are presented with, the longer it takes to reach a decision. Trying to make a site full of functionalities to suit every user whim really can backfire, and send them cruising to the dreaded ‘x’. New year, new you – see through your customer’s eyes, and help them navigate the journey they intend to undertake onsite.
Recover loss rather than win gains
Frame this resolution with the motivator ‘recover loss rather than win gains’. This is a psychological trick to play on yourself. Humans are more disposed to follow a goal to retrieve previously attained successes, rather than aiming for previously unexperienced highs.
Look at your analytics. What pages experience the most traffic? Why? Where do users bounce? What pages accrue the most time onsite? Compare these figures with the journey you want your customer to undertake, and look at whether this can be streamlined.
Instead of aiming at an unachievable sales boost, look back. When did you receive the best traffic due to something you implemented? Did you write a blog post that received record-breaking blog traffic? Did you launch a marketing campaign that brought a surge of visitors? Look at these figures, and create a plan aiming to retrieve your highest natural traffic numbers, rather than aiming at unexperienced successes.
Sit down and look at site design. Work out how many functionalities you offer onsite, and whether they help your user reach their goal. Do too many nav bar options lead to confusion? Are you offering too many routes to the same goal? Implement big or small changes to streamline this process, and monitor your sales funnel, tweaking your processes and aiming at achieving those previous traffic highs.
Resolution 2: Increase customer loyalty
Businesses used to achieve a loyal customer base with relative ease. Deliver a good service with good product and Mr Shopper would continue to walk through your door, every day, week or month. With the surge in online shopping, customers no longer feel immediate loyalty to a product or provider. If a service is better, a site more navigable or a price lower elsewhere, that is where they will go. It is much harder to obtain repeat custom, and loyalty.
‘Us’ versus ‘them’ marketing techniques, of ‘launching’ marketing at a ‘target’ audience, all smacks of waging war; working your client down until they relent and purchase with you. We all know that shouting loudest is no longer the way to make the sale. Loyalty is accrued through customer respect– a happy customer is the best marketing technique, especially in the era of easily accessible public reviews and forum sites.
Involve other people/ make resolutions public
Customers now look to other customers’ reviews for whether to purchase with you, rather than looking solely at whose site is the most flash. You want your client onside; their excited participation and brand advocacy is the best salesman you have. Involving your client base may seem like showing them your Achilles heel – but showing them that you prioritise their experience leads to an empowered customer who feels respected, and heard, by your brand.
Research shows that making your resolution public means you’re much less likely to default on it. All the more so if you have made a public promise to your client. Before setting your goal, be sure that you can adhere to it.
Promise publicly to maintain or improve customer loyalty.
If you’re proud of your service and your clientele are too, push your reviews to the fore. It makes you accountable to keeping them high. If you have a way to go, promise publicly to maintain, and improve, customer loyalty by maintaining and improving their onsite journey. Not only are you making your resolution public, you are involving your customer base in your success.
Resolution 3: Monitor analytics figures
Dipping into analytics when you see a sales boom or dip can be misleading. Once you understand how your figures work day-to-day, you begin to see where those successes originate. Which figures are most crucial to your brand’s success? Does a boom in social referrals equate to sales? Does a blog post with a huge readership lead to client sign ups?
A regular interaction with the figures thrown up by Analytics can help you understand the route towards your goals. Set aside planned time weekly or monthly to delve into what your website can tell you about your user’s experience. Perhaps you’ll discover that your social channels are providing the majority of sign ups, and your sign ups are the market delivering the most sales. Use your data to set achievable, conservative goals.
Implement a meticulous plan
Without step-by-step progression, that resolution is a faraway, unachievable end goal. Sit down and plan a route towards it. Instead of saying ‘I want 10% more sales’, say ‘these are the figures I will isolate and explore, isolating the successes and failures. I will try to identify the elements that made successes successful, and emulate them. I will monitor this, reporting on subsequent successes and failures.’ Only when you can isolate what works for your site can you concentrate on delivering this in the best way for your client, and that demands an investment of your time.
First, explore Analytics to create a theoretical recipe for success. If you haven’t spent time with your analytics, this will likely be very theoretical. Plan time weekly to sit down with your figures, working out whether they back up or reject your theory.
For example, you might think it looks like social referrals are your most successful route to customer sign ups. Instead of a vague ‘I will create more successful social media, and thus increase sign ups’, your resolution should involve a meticulous plan, giving yourself the time needed to implement the process.
Isolate social media successes and failures and see if there are recurrent themes that seem to lead to success. Explore how successes align with sign up figures. If the most successful sign up rate is 1% of the most successful post readership, try to emulate the successes of this post, aiming at a 1% sign up rate per post on 25% of posts this month. Be specific. Be achievable. Plan time every week to achieve your goals.
Putting your user at the centre is what we do. For more help on how to improve your User Experience, get in touch today.