User Experience – What Is It and Why Is It Important?

You probably don’t recall the experience of the last app or website you used, as much as you thought you would. The content or functionality of the application is probably still fresh in your mind, but how you used it was not so memorable. And that’s ok!

If you recall it, you probably had a disappointing experience. An effective user experience should be seamless. Only when it is well-designed should it stand out, so you are forced to think, “Wow, this is great!”

The technological revolution has simplified countless tasks. However, competition among app and website developers is fierce. Several apps may perform the same task competently, but the most successful app is always the one that provides the best user experience.

This concept of UX (User Experience) is nothing new, but it’s becoming more and more important each day. No matter the type of application or website you are launching, UX is crucial to making sure the end-user has an enjoyable experience. In recent years, UX has become an integral part of the mainstream design agenda. 

Simply put, UX is the process of creating a website or app that makes navigation straightforward, making your brand more user-friendly. The design approach will combine various factors including research, psychology, business, and technology for optimal user experience.

It is essential not to underestimate UX’s importance. An estimated 30% of people won’t return to a website if the experience is poor, and with UX growing in importance, this percentage is likely to increase. Whether you are a large corporation with a long-standing online presence or a new company building its first website, UX must be considered carefully during the development of the website.

All businesses, be it brick-and-mortar businesses like your local grocery store or a large enterprise like HughesNet Internet, should take user experience into account if they want to ensure the success of their business.

In this article, we will mention what user experience is and why it is essential for your business, regardless of its size and industry. And a few other aspects of UX that a site owner should know.

What is User Experience?

A good UX gives users an easy time navigating a website, app, or device while considering their emotions, thoughts, and feelings as well. This approach focuses on the human experience, asking the following question: What will it be like to use your website or app? Can users navigate through it easily? Is it easy for them to find what they’re looking for? How quickly does it load? Does the content make sense to them?

UX dates back to the 90s, when a cognitive scientist from Apple, Don Norman, coined the term. UX gets its name from meeting the exact needs of the customer. According to Norman, that’s the aim of a great user experience.

UX is the intersection of business, technology, and people. Creating effective and efficient designs for your end-users starts with understanding them through user research. You should also fully understand your company’s goals by emphasizing each feature’s importance and use, and using the right tools to create a design that works.

The Importance of User Experience

By putting the user first, UX helps you save money, time, and effort throughout the design phase, helping you save money and time in the long run. Although UX is most commonly associated with websites, it can also be applied to apps or any service or product that creates an emotional connection.

What factors contribute to a good user experience? To put it simply, UX aims to answer four main questions:

  • How easy is it to use?
  • How user-friendly is it?
  • Is the learning curve short?
  • Does it work well?

Finding out what your business’s core values are can help you determine what is important to it. Regardless of why you are considering UX, whether you are looking for a quick return on investment, lower maintenance costs, or a more user-centric approach, there are a variety of advantages.

Business success depends on good design and user experience, but companies often overlook this aspect so they can focus on other tasks. It doesn’t matter how you optimize UX, its importance is undeniable throughout your entire design process.

An Overview of the User Experience Process

To develop a user experience, you have to undergo several steps. Below are eight basic steps to get you started:

Profiling Users and Creating Personas 

Identifying your audience is the first step in the process. Your customers’ perspectives can be incorporated into the experience. To begin, it is important to develop a user persona, an imaginary image of the ideal customer derived from existing data and market research. 

As soon as you have developed your user persona (or personas), you will know who your website is talking to. You can create a persona by analyzing your analytics and customer data as well as conducting interviews and surveys internally and externally. If you want, you can even talk to similar audiences to your current customers.

While developing your persona, you may want to consider the following common traits:

  • Demographics (age, location, family status, and occupation.) 
  • Motivations (fear, incentives, power.)
  • Personality (introverted, extroverted, creative.)

You should also collect any other kind of information that allows you to draw closer to your users.

The development of a persona should (and will) take a great deal of time. Multiple steps need to be taken in order to collect sufficient data for persona development. It is important to remember that they will evolve as your business grows and your customer base expands. 

Testing Interfaces

Whenever you are creating an interface, it’s best to collect as much data as you can. Make a comparison of user experience and effectiveness of different user interfaces, including the one you currently use. One small change could have a major impact on the effectiveness of your webpage.

Google’s Optimize platform is an excellent tool for testing interfaces. You can create two groups of website impressions by using Optimize and then display different versions of your pages to each group. After you have a sample size large enough, you can determine which version outperforms the other, and make the corresponding modifications.

Consumer Surveys

Conduct interviews with current and prospective users to determine the most efficient method of designing the site. Due to the subjective nature of the user’s experience, it is best to study and interact with them directly to obtain information. A page element that you thought was working may not be apparent to the user, which is why seeing how users interact with the site can be helpful.

Diagram of User Flow

Create a flowchart explaining how users should navigate your website. Decide the way you expect users to interact with the site, and compare it with the way users actually use it. This is where user personas come in handy — by knowing who your site’s users are, you can tailor your site to suit them better.

Furthermore, you can make use of a variety of analytical tools to understand how your site is being used immediately. The MouseFlow platform, for example, has the ability to track a visitor’s mouse location at any given moment on a webpage. In addition, heat maps can be used to view which parts of a page are receiving the most attention.

After learning how your site is used, you can change almost anything. Websites that put the user experience first are the most successful.

A Sitemap

Following a thorough study of how visitors expect to use your site, a detailed plan is necessary. The first step is to build sitemaps for the various pages you will be creating. Essentially, a sitemap outlines how web pages are arranged on a site.

By generating a sitemap, you can better envision how a user will move from one point to another, as well as the number of clicks it will require. As opposed to making structural adjustments after the site has been built, a sitemap lets you weed out subpar ideas, as well as outline the pages that need to be designed and written. Using a sitemap increases the effectiveness of web development.

Prototypes and Wireframes

It is just as important to pay attention to the visual aspects of your site as the structure of it, which is why you should create wireframes, a visual representation of the skeletal structure of a web page, to see how it will look and function. An effective visual website framework eliminates any possible usability issues even before a page reaches the screen of the computer. In turn, your company can save time and money on future updates.

Design Patterns

A pattern ensures consistency and allows you to determine the most effective layout. When using UI patterns, for instance, selecting the appropriate elements (e.g., modules, menus, slideshows) results in better user experiences.

Style tiles is an important tool for maintaining UI consistency. Style tiles depict how modules are designed on a website, from font sizes to colors. It includes everything from buttons to type layouts to interactivity. Style tiles make it easy for a user to navigate the entire site, helping them better understand the site’s components. 

Style Guides

The consistency of a brand is essential to creating an unforgettable user experience. Style guides provide a framework for designers and writers to work within to create content and design, as well as secure alignment between brand elements and the owner’s goals.

Be sure to make it easy for anyone who is working on a new website to access your style guide. A page element that is out of place will draw attention to itself. Consider creating a style guide if you don’t already have one.

User Experience vs. User Interface

The terms UX and UI often confuse even among industry experts, and the distinction between the two is often blurred. So, how do User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) differ? To simplify, UX is how you make the user think and feel about your design, while UI is how the user interacts with it, its functions, and features.

People tend to see UX vs UI as a dichotomy, but it is actually UX and UI together. They go hand in hand rather than against one another. UX is designed with the user in mind, while UI focuses on features first. UI is the place where the journey ends, whereas UX is the journey itself.

UI refers to how an application or website looks, feels, functions, and interacts with a user. A lot of attention is paid to ergonomics, anthropometry, and haptics, to determine the design, interface, transitions, kinetics, and even individual micro-interactions.

To design a successful final product, UX, and UI should both be considered, as each caters to different user requirements, making it important to take them both into account when designing for users. In other words, if something looks great but is difficult to navigate, it has a great design (UI) and bad usability (UX), but if it looks great but is difficult to navigate, it has great UX but bad UI.

To Sum Up

A good user experience is crucial to the success of any business, especially when the market is so competitive and overcrowded today. In today’s world, it can’t be overstated how important it is to get UX right, as it allows you to reach your full capabilities while keeping customers happy. There is a lot to know about UX design, but with proper guidance, you can drastically improve your business and its website.

To implement any form of strategy that will have an impact on your online presence, you need to have a reliable internet connection in place like the one offered by HughesNet Gen 5. It will ensure that all your systems are up and running and will help you implement your strategies more effectively.

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