In 2016, our basic human needs are as follows: oxygen, water, food, the internet. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit extreme, but you get the point. Over the past twenty or so years, our society has become so interconnected online that we practically consider the internet to be what Maslow would call a physiological need. This means every business needs a solid digital presence to stand on, and that starts with your website. Your website could be flashy and sophisticated and the eighth wonder of the world, but if it isn’t user-friendly? Good luck.
As a digital marketing agency, we’ve seen some of the best and worst websites money can buy. You’ve probably heard the words usability or user experience thrown around before. Both refer to this highly important notion that for a website to succeed it must be intuitive and easy for your prospects to use. Sometimes, to determine whether your site meets this standard, you need to take a step back and allow another set of eyes to reveal what you might be too close to see.
Equipped with some awesome user experience tools, we’ve had a fun time learning what potential users think of our clients’ websites by navigating those sites through their eyes (literally). Here are the top five tried and true lessons we’ve learned from our user experience research.
- User experience (UX) testing can open your eyes to broken or missing website functions you may have missed. In a recent UX test we conducted on a landing page redesign, we discovered not having a “Refresh Filters” button really stumped users who wanted to refresh their search. We also discovered that the site content was not updating for other languages. These are two functionalities the company’s IT department had not thought of prior to pushing this page live.
- You can learn a lot from your competitors. UX testing on your competitors’ websites provides quality and valuable insights on how users view their brand, company and website. This may also shed light on areas you should focus on improving, such as forms, filters, navigation, content, images, etc.
- When it comes to content, sometimes less is more. Too much content on web pages may be why your bounce rates are high and you’re losing customers. UX testers complain time and time again that pages have too much content or a poor layout. If the page is not organized in a way that is clear and easy to understand, users don’t know where to look and will leave before taking whatever action you want them to take.
- Pop-ups are roadblocks to conversion. In a UX test on a medical device company’s website, we learned most users were confused by what the company thought was an informative pop-up about prescriptions. Instead, users struggled to complete the task to purchase the product. This company had to determine a different form of communication to ensure users know they need a prescription for certain products.
- Website visitors want to see the “big picture” when viewing your products. In a UX test on a flooring company’s website, many users pointed out that up-close images of flooring pieces are not enough to encourage them to purchase. They need more inspiration, like photos of how the flooring would look in a kitchen or an office to really get their wheels turning.
User testing unlocks target audience insights and opinions that are truly invaluable to your business. If you take the time to listen to potential website users’ thoughts on your site’s user experience, you’d be floored by what you can learn.
Interested in seeing what your prospects really think of your website? Contact us to learn about a UX engagement!