User Experience, or UX, can sometimes be written off as longhand for a visual aesthetic – or straight up web design. But it’s so much more.
Design that focuses on UX is about creating a website with one thing at the forefront of the mind – the website’s usability. The research shows that websites governed by usability perform leaps and bounds ahead of their competitors – with this study illustrating that 15 UX-focussed firms outperformed their competition by 228%.
“People ignore design that ignores people”, as Frank Chimero so aptly put it. So you need to focus on the people you want to interact with, making the whole experience user-focussed.
What makes a brand user experience focussed, you might ask?
- Seeing design as a facet that stretches far beyond the visual
- Prioritising ‘soft’ elements – making user enjoyment a KPI
- Selling experiences, not products
Yep, design should prioritise functionality and UX just as much as it prioritises those aesthetically pleasing sliders, fonts and layouts! Minimising the clicks to get to the goal is a crucial part of this, and the functionality of designing something that can be successful is subtle and nuanced.
Ditto, you sell an experience, not a product. For brand loyalty, you want to sell the reality of what it is to be a Mercedes Benz driver, for example, not to own a Mercedes Benz car. Every UX optimised site should be fixated on this level of user satisfaction and enjoyment, bringing on brand loyalty.
UX isn’t summarised only by usability, either, although this is crucial. User Experience works out how this specific page, or content, will satisfy your user’s needs, working out how your brand can convey its message.
Why would you invest in User Experience? Because of the significant benefits you could reap.
Increase your conversions
A website designed to funnel the appropriate user in prioritises your ideal customer and ushers them towards the sale. It is said that every £1 invested in UX brings an average return of £100 – a 9900% return – making it a no-brainer.
Decrease your bounce rates
Even good search engine results positions don’t guarantee you will get the right customers who’ll want to stay onsite. People bounce away from you for many reasons, but having a streamlined UX design process means you’ll identify lots of those reasons and combat them during the build. That ensures customers are kept onsite, and brought further and further down the sales funnel!
Avoid costly failure and redesign
Beautiful web design is not necessarily successful web design. Investing in user experience as part of your design process is the best weapon against project failure, and costly redesigns. User testing throughout construction means you’re more aware of what your audience wants and needs from your site, ensuring your launch will be successful!
User Experience should be part and parcel of every design choice you make with your brand, and the right decisions when it comes to UX can ensure a brand following that is happy, engaged, and most important – loyal.