How to Optimize Your User Experience
You Can’t Afford to Ignore UX Anymore!
Whether you struggle with finding the time to optimize it or you’re stuck trying to get other key players in your organization to see the return on investment, user experience (UX) is no longer something that can fall on the back burner. According to a study by the Temkin Group, 84% of companies surveyed expect to increase their focus on customer experience measurements and metrics.
The International Organization for Standardization defines UX as “a person’s perceptions and response resulting from the use of a product, system, or service. The user experience is a consequence of brand image, presentation, functionality, system performance, interactive behavior, and assistive capabilities of the interactive system, the user’s internal and physical state resulting from prior experiences, attitudes, skills and personality, and the context of use.”
One of the essential steps in improving the UX of your website is to understand the user’s problems. This means being able to clearly identify and articulate problems in the user’s experience so you can begin the process of generating ideas to solve each problem.
So, how can you improve your website’s UX? We’ll break down our approach to doing this with our very own analysis method called the Interactive Analysis, as well as the steps we take during the UX design phase to deliver an improved end result.
An interactive analysis involves analyzing technical website data (site analytics and SEO data) and contextual website data (UX) to gain a holistic understanding of how visitors are interacting with a website and all of its elements.
We analyze the front-end and back-end build of a website to understand inefficiencies in the technical build of the site, the effectiveness of metadata, and the content strategy in place. Fixing these inefficiencies can enhance the UX by helping the website to load faster, which in turn, allows it to be discovered easier by search engines.
Website Analytics Audit
We review existing website analytics, using Google Analytics for example, to understand the raw numbers of traffic and demographics. This information will tell us which web pages, or elements of web pages, are most crucial to examine and adjust to get the maximum results from a site.
User Behavior Analysis
We evaluate user behavior through heat maps, user video recordings, and click-through funnels to understand the contextual side of the data we collect from the site analytics. With this information, we can determine patterns and effectiveness of specific pages and website elements. Taking this approach before making any changes to the UX of a website eliminates the guessing game of wondering if adding a form here or removing a paragraph of text there is the right decision.
Once we’ve gathered the data, analyzed it, and formulated ideas of improvement, we then move into our design phase, where we apply what we’ve learned by developing a series of designs to test our assumptions.
This is our approach to UX design with a high-level view of the steps we take to create a more engaging end product. Our goals in the UX design phase are to:
- Establish an end goal for the user. This can be to download premium content after filling out a contact form, purchasing a product, requesting a quote, etc. It’s important that every website has a goal for a user to complete to help gain new leads or customers.
- Develop a buyer’s journey. Once the end goal has been established, we then develop the desired journey through the website to connect the user with the end goal. As we develop the buyer’s journey, we take into consideration the aesthetics of the pages the user will visit through the journey. We want to make sure that the layout is simple, clean, and concise to prevent the user from losing interest.
- Create a sitemap. Now that we know our buyer’s journey through the website, we develop a sitemap to arrange the website’s pages in an order that’s supported by the data we collected during the interactive analysis and in line with our established buyer’s journey.
- Create wireframes. After creating the sitemap to get an idea of the big picture view of the website, we narrow our focus in and layout what key pages will look like with wireframes. Essentially, wireframes are empty boxes that represent page elements and are arranged in a certain way to layout a webpage. Similar to the sitemap creation, our wireframe layouts are guided by the data collected during the interactive analysis.
The combination of UX analysis and UX design creates an essential balance that’s needed to create a user experience that’s not only enjoyable for the user but also produces quantifiable results to improve business.