User experience (UX) design is the hallmark of how well you meet your target audience’s needs and have great website conversions.
It’s challenging to define UX design in a nutshell. That’s because it encompasses so many factors that work together to create an overall impression. Not only does UX impact your customer’s emotions, but it also drives their actions once they land on your page.
First, focus on a handful of factors, such as driving the right kind of traffic to your site. Then, create a user-centered page that embraces the needs of your typical customer and turns them from browsers into buyers.
Think about the journey they take once they land on your page and move them toward the next phase of the trip, guiding them carefully where you want them to go.
Conversions aren’t always easy to come by. The average conversion rate for e-commerce is 2.86% globally. If you narrow the choices down to U.S.-based sites only, the numbers are closer to 2.63%. Theoretically, out of 100 visitors who land on your page, less than three, convert into leads.
What if you could hit those numbers every time, however? Maybe you’ll go even higher than 2.63% and find the magic formula that draws them into action. Fortunately, there are several things you can do that improve your chances of hooking visitors.
What is UX Design?
User experience (UX) design is the process design teams use to create products that provide meaningful and relevant skills to users. Ux design involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability, and function.
1. UX Design and Answering Their Questions
People who go online to seek your brand likely have a problem they’re trying to solve — called a pain point. Spend time thinking over the issues your customers have. For example, if you own a boot store, one segment of your customer base might need safety shoes for work. What types of questions would they ask? Perhaps things such as:
- Where can I find steel-toed boots?
- What are the best work safety shoes?
- How do I know if shoes meet safety standards for work?
Start with the questions you can brainstorm on your own and plug those items into Google. Within the search results, you’ll see a “People Also Ask” section. Similar queries will clue you into other problems your target audience has. You can also look at the questions people have asked when they phone in or email you. Provide solutions to their problems, and they will move a step forward into the buyer’s journey.
Pain points tend to tie into emotional issues, so dig a little deeper into the worries the person might have. They might be scared that if they don’t buy a pair of boots that meet the safety standards, they will lose a toe or be injured and unable to work. Stress the safety features of your footwear to ease their concerns.
ProFlowers does a great job of answering the question upfront of “what should I get someone for their birthday?” Then it breaks it down further by where you live or the occasion you are sending flowers for. For spring birthdays, it uses light and airy-looking flowers and the CTA of “Shop Birthday.” Note how it taps into the underlying emotion of worry about whether the friend will like their birthday gift. ProFlowers takes the fear out of the equation by offering beautiful arrangements everyone loves.
2. Utilize a Mood Board
Show off the personality of your brand through a mood board. Planning what colors, word choices, and images you’ll use helps you paint a picture for site visitors. A mood board tells your unique story as a brand and makes you stand out from competitors.
Use keywords to start the board, putting them in the center, and then add colors and images that tie to those words. Think about the visual point of view of your stakeholders. How does a specific buyer persona react to a particular feeling?
You may even want to create mood boards for each phase of the sales funnel. What mood are people in when they first hit a landing page? What is the shift in emotions as they move through the process? What colors and words match each point?
3. Offer Help Along the Way
Have you ever landed on a website and were genuinely interested in a product, but you had a question or two? You aren’t alone, and your site visitors likely have several queries about your offerings. In addition to answering the common issues they already have, you should also offer several ways to get in touch with you.
Millennials might prefer to use live chat, for example, while baby boomers might prefer a good old-fashioned telephone conversation. Understanding your audience allows you to offer the types of communication most desirable to your target demographic.
In a survey of 1,000 consumers in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Singapore, 82% said an immediate response to queries was very important or important to them. Artificial intelligence (AI), such as chatbots, goes a long way toward engaging your users until you can get a live agent on the line to answer their specific needs.
Using AI may reduce wait time for customers and also save you money as the robot collects basic information or answers common concerns that crop up repeatedly. You’ll not only be more efficient, but you can also save your live agents for specific questions the robot is incapable of answering.
Samsung offers a wide range of products and extensive tutorials on its site, as well as product manuals. However, there may still be some situations that require additional help in getting a product repaired or set up. Samsung’s virtual automated assistant introduces itself and gives the user a list of selections to get started. As you interact with the bot, you’re offered choices through image boxes. When you get to the stage that you need additional support, Samsung connects you with a live agent called a Samsung Care Pro, who greets you by name.
4. Implement Marketing Automation
No matter how your salesforce goes about gaining new customers — online or offline — you need some systems in place that analyze trends and automate some of the repetitive tasks. Utilizing marketing automation increases sales by 14.5% on average. In addition to tracking campaigns more effectively, you can also target the exact audience you’d like to reach.
You can see how implementing software that automates several marketing processes would speed up the time between campaigns as well as make each one more effective. For example, by utilizing a web-based marketing automation system, you can automatically handle inventory, fulfill orders, and track how effective specific segments of a campaign were for your brand.
Automation allows you to get orders out more quickly and efficiently. Even though it might not directly affect the UX of your webpage, it does impact the experience the customer has when placing an order with your brand. UX is about so much more than just the elements on a webpage. It should embrace every aspect of your firm and any interaction the customer has with you.
5. Keep Forms on Point
Have you ever started to fill in an online form and realized it was lengthy, and you just didn’t have the time to spare? Perhaps it asked questions that seemed intrusive and unrelated to the topic. If you want your site visitors to convert into leads, keep forms short and to the point. Collect only the most vital information. For example, if you run a service targeting other business owners, you might ask for a name, title, name of their company, and an email. Gather only enough information for you to do some research on your own and reach out to the user.
However, numerous studies show that the quality of the fields is much more important than the length of the questionnaire. Keep questions specific and related to the task at hand, and you’re much more likely to succeed. In one study, a form with 15 fields had 109% more conversions, while one with only 10 dropped to an 87% increase. Asking more questions isn’t always the wrong choice, but what you ask can distract from the purpose of the information collecting.
Planning for your death or that of a loved one is a sensitive topic. Dignity Memorial does an excellent job of offering soothing colors and words to its audience. The form is simple enough to gather basic information but still includes the details a funeral planner needs to help the customer choose the right memorial service.
6. Test Your Headlines
People’s first impression of your website starts before they land on your page. Your headline appears in search engine results, and the user decides whether or not to click on the link based on the impression of your H1 header and a short description. If you already have an excellent reputation in the industry, that might slightly impact their decision to click on your link.
Spend time concocting the best headlines possible. Make sure they contain the words the person is likely searching to answer the overriding question they have. Try different versions of the headline and do some split testing to see which performs better for you. Make changes as needed to increase clickthroughs and conversions.
Going Beyond UI Design
The tips above should get you started on excellent UX design. However, you need to go much farther than merely creating a friendly user interface (UI) for site visitors. UX, at the core, is about the experience of the user. It starts from the first minute, they interact with your website and even beyond the point where they place an order with your company.
Step back and look at your website through the eyes of your average customer. While the UI does impact the UX, they are two different concepts. Bad UI can make the overall experience a negative one, so you still need to pay attention to your interface. However, a user-centered approach digs much deeper into the psychology and behaviors of your users.
Create buyer personas for each audience segment. Once you understand the likes and dislikes of your users, you will be better equipped to offer a site that meets their needs. If most of your customers are Gen-Z, then the colors and language you use will need to be fresh and young. Know your visitors inside and out so you can speak to them on their level.
Consider the Why, What and How of Product Use
UX designers have to consider more than just the look of the site, however. You also should think through the ways people use the product. Why does the person need to buy what you’re selling? What will they use it for? How easy or difficult is it to use?
If you can’t answer any of the questions about the product line, survey current customers to find out what they love about it and learn how they use it. The more information you have on your client base, the better you’ll be able to meet their desires and gain loyal fans.
How to Learn UX Design
If you already know how to create websites, you might wonder what the difference is between regular and UX design. The answer lies more in psychology than the actual work itself. UX design digs deep into your users and centers everything on their needs. No longer are you designing just for yourself, but you’re also planning for a defined audience segment.
Learning UX design doesn’t require years of schooling. Most UX designers have a background in web development but add UX expertise to their list of skills through study and practice. There are plenty of free online classes that go into the details of designing for the user experience. You can also learn by studying examples of other pages with excellent UX.
Find a skilled UX design and ask them to mentor you. Learn everything you can about the way they think. How do they dig into the psychology behind the design? Reading articles on psychology and paying attention to what makes people tick can also help you develop a better eye for UX.
Finally, test everything. If you try a specific color with an audience, track how well it performs compared to another choice. Do A/B tests on language, placement, color, and even features on the page.
Why UX Design Is Important
With UX design, your goal is to fulfill your customers’ needs. You might not hit the target with every single webpage you design, but you can certainly improve on a basic page. Take the customer on a journey from curiosity toward becoming a lifelong customer.
Improving customer experience results in satisfied buyers who are likely to buy from you again. Since a current client is worth more in sales than a new one, creating excellent experiences for them seems like a smart move for any type of business.
Take away the excuses people have to not do business with you. Send them through the buyer’s journey without giving them time to think about exiting. Your conversions will increase, and your losses will decrease.
Other UX Factors to Test
Sometimes the little things about your site are the ones that make a significant impact on visitors. Some additional things you can try that might improve conversions and make your site visitors happier include:
- Add live chat. Millennials, in particular, like a fast response and prefer not to speak to someone directly. Live chat is the perfect solution for those who need an answer but don’t want to waste time on hold.
- Include trust factors. If the user trusts you, then they’re more likely to respond to a specific offer. Add trust seals to your site that show your authenticity. Include organization memberships, your BBB rating, and any certifications you hold.
- Integrate with social media. People love to shop online, and social media is making it easier than ever before, so integrate your efforts. Post an ad on Facebook that links to a shopping cart on your site. Offer a freebie if they sign up for your newsletter. Make it easy for people to share your specials on their social pages.
- Move stuff around. A rule of thumb says to put important things above the fold, but this doesn’t always hold. Some audiences want information before you throw a call to action (CTA) button at them. Try moving things around to different positions and study heatmaps to see what people respond to.
Wrap Up on UX Design
Figuring out good UX for a website isn’t an easy process. It requires careful consideration, ongoing testing, and getting to know your customers. If you learn to enjoy the process of creating the best user experience possible, then you’ll find joy in tweaking the little things on a page that makes a big difference in conversion rates. Spend time testing out new ideas and see which ones your site visitors respond to best. By doing so, you will likely boost that bottom line.
Lexie Lu is a web designer, digital nomad, and UX fanatic. You can find some of her work on Marketo, Website Magazine, and Business.com. Feel free to check out her blog, Design Roast.
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What is UX design?
User experience (UX) design is the process design teams use to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. The UX design involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability, and function.
How to learn UX design.
If UX is the experience that a user has while interacting with a product, then UX Design is the process by which a designer tried to determine what that experience will be.
Follow these seven steps to becoming a UI/UX designer. Tips & resources to help you get started.
1. Familiarize yourself with UI principles.
2. Learn the creative UX process.
3. Develop your eye for design.
4. Read design articles every day.
5. Learn the latest web design tools.
6. Build your design portfolio.
What does UX design mean?
For a long time, the design has been associated with graphic design (e.g., the look of a product). As digital technology and our expectations about digital interactions have increased, we have begun focusing more on “the feel” part of a design, also known as the user experience.
Why is UX design important?
User experience is important because it tries to fulfill the user’s needs. It aims to provide positive experiences that keep a user loyal to the product or brand. A meaningful user experience allows you to define customer journeys on your product that are most helpful to your business success.