If you’ve ever visited a company website and been frustrated by its poor design, then you likely know exactly how important the user experience is for a consumer.
Badly designed websites render it difficult to find the information we’re looking for. Poor design may make it nearly impossible to navigate a site successfully. And since we often visit business sites to find out more about products and possibly to purchase, bad UX design can really hinder the success of your business.
And this is true regardless of the size of the company. In fact, small companies are often more dependent on keeping their repeat customers happy. So good UX design can be even more important for your small business website.
Let’s talk about some of the specifics.
We may think of user experience as being dependent on a specific aspect of a website. For instance, did we find what we were looking for? Were we able to read the text content on the site?
But there’s more to it than that. Several different components make up the overall user experience on any given website.
At the minimum, they include:
- Visual design. This involves everything from your company logo to your color palette to the layout, and beyond.
- Written content. Text content on your site should be understandable, to the point, and, ideally, engaging or even entertaining. Above all, it should communicate effectively with your customer.
- Interactive and video content. More and more frequently, consumers expect some aspect of interactivity or video content on a website. This increases engagement, as well as being one of the most effective ways to market.
- Usability. The usability of your website can make the difference between whether your visitor continues to search the site, or whether they just back click right out of there. A broken or otherwise unusable site, or even one that is difficult to navigate or just doesn’t make sense, will have a big impact on conversion.
- Accessibility. This aspect of UX addresses design for all users, including those who may have disabilities. For parameters on accessibility, take a look at Web Accessibility In Mind.
If your small business website fails in any of these aspects of good user experience design, it could greatly reduce the number of visitors who actually stick with your site long enough to become buyers.
Each of these points should be addressed in good website design, and as a whole, they make up the user experience—whether good or bad.
As a consumer yourself, you likely understand why a website should strive for good design. But what are the benefits of achieving it? Let’s look at two specific end-goals for UX design.
Any design should be company-wide. That means that the design for your company or brand should be harmonious, it should have flow. It should make sense in the context of your brand.
That being said, UX design often starts before a consumer even arrives at your site.
At any point of interaction with a customer, whether it’s through social media or through an ad on another site, should be designed to drive traffic to your website. So the UX of your marketing should fit in and flow with the UX design of your site, to create continuity.
That means that your ads should meet the same visual, understandable, accessible, and user-friendly standards of your site itself.
By giving attention to UX from the ground up, you’ll drive traffic, giving your site’s user experience design a chance to shine.
A well-designed UX is great for the customer. But it’s also good for the business.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a moment. If you were visiting a website, would you be happier with a site that was well-designed and easy to use, or one that was apparently indifferent to the user experience?
Obviously, we would rather use a site that was designed for our convenience!
Ease of use is a big factor in turning a visitor into a buyer. But another factor directly addresses conversion.
A well-designed website leads the way for the visitor, making it easy for them to take the next step on the buyer’s journey. It also opens up opportunities for lead generating, such as through the “Contact Us” section or a landing page.
UX design is just as important for your success as it is for the user.
It isn’t really good for any kind of design to be “static,” and it’s definitely true of UX design. The needs of consumers are constantly changing. So the standards of good UX design have to constantly change, too.
Websites come and go, and so do small businesses. It’s absolutely vital for your small business to keep on the cutting edge of good UX design, to keep your customers happy and to give your company the best shot at success.