User Experience (UX) is how a user feels when they interact with a product. A user’s feelings could be affected by so many parts of their interaction with your product, so it is important to make them feel as good as possible at every touch point.
Imagine yourself as a diner at a nice restaurant that has poor sound-proofing. The food might taste good and the service might be impeccable, but if you can’t hear the people you came to chat to, it’s an expensive dinner alone. Not an ideal experience. The same holds true for digital products like apps and websites. If you’ve built an online store with beautiful products at affordable prices, you’ve won half the battle. But let’s say you only offer 2-day returns and 37-day shipping, you probably aren’t going to have many customers.
UX goes broader than just how the product looks and feels. It considers every aspect of what you’re communicating to your audience, how you’re communicating it, and tries to optimise it for their context. If we were to continue the example from above with the online store with poor shipping and return policies, UX design would uncover these pain-points systematically. The UX design process would start by building empathy for customers by speaking to them, observing their interactions, analysing behavioural data, developing hypotheses, and constantly testing improvements to the product.
A poor user experience can have detrimental effects on so many things, so it is important to be mindful of each of your product’s touch-points. Here are a few examples of how a poor UX experience can affect your product and therein, your bottom line:
1 – Bad checkout – an unnecessarily complicated checkout experience can lead to cart abandonment, with 25% of shoppers leaving websites because they felt that navigation was too complicated. http://www.eystudios.com/2016/09/2016-state-ecommerce-cart-abandonment-recapture-statistics-infographic/
2 – Poor mobile experience – people now spend around 45% of their time on their smartphone, vs 37% PC and 18% tablet. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, there is a strong chance your ideal customers won’t find you. This is truer today, with search engine penalising sites with poor mobile usability. https://yump.com.au/2016-australian-mobile-statistics-how-digital-is-increasingly-a-mobile-first-experience/
3 – Untrustworthy site – If you’re asking people for personal information such as email addresses or payment details, and your site doesn’t look trustworthy or isn’t secured by SSL, there is a strong likelihood that your users won’t leave you with the information you were banking on. http://www.eystudios.com/2016/09/2016-state-ecommerce-cart-abandonment-recapture-statistics-infographic/
4 – Too many boring emails – You are sending your customers email from a server that has what is essentially a spam score. If you send your customers boring or irrelevant emails and they start marking you as spam instead of simply unsubscribing, they are affecting your server’s spam score. This trains spam filters to reject your emails, making it even harder for you to communicate with your audience! http://www.digitalmarketing-glossary.com/What-is-Spam-score-definition
5 – Poorly written content – Search Engine Optimisation is not a farce, it is a seriously powerful marketing tool. It relies on well-written content that clearly addresses a certain topic. Though the information housed on your site might be gold, if it isn’t written in a search-engine-friendly way, it may never reach your audience. https://unamo.com/blog/seo/30-important-google-ranking-factors-beginner-know
UX takes into account much more than simply the look and feel of the site – it extends into often forgotten paradigms.