Don't Hope for a Happy UX—Build One Yourself
When attempting to create the user experience (UX) for your website, you want it to be enjoyable, easy, and ultimately repeatable for everyone who lands on your site. But how many engineers and testers involve clients at an early enough stage to ensure that this is what your site will deliver?
A “broken” UX can be fixed, although it’s often far more costly than developing your UX with the customer more involved during the build. As many of us have surely experienced, even a single negative experience with a frustrating website can be enough to turn someone off forever—no matter what promises of improvement you make to them down the road.
Smashing Magazine recently wrote about the invaluable need to involve potential or even existing customers into the build of your UX, and at a far greater level than just the design. A great looking site is absolutely important, but looking pretty hardly determines the complete UX that will be achieved. Imagine if your stunning, state-of-the-art office were full of employees who all looked like supermodels but offered horrific customer service. Stefan Klocek writes:
If you want to repeatedly deliver a great user experience, you need to go deeper than applying design to the surface. Your organization needs to understand and commit to making user experience a core priority. Executives have to support or advocate for the unique perspective that design brings; capable designers have to work for a user-centered approach; and a user-centered way of building things has to be integrated into the organization.
There are so many factors that go in to a positive UX; this is why the build must involve numerous departments within your organization, and those outside of it, who will provide you both the rants and the raves. Tamara Wilhite gives a fantastic list of just some of the factors that must be considered when looking at retooling or building a UX from scratch, including:
- Displaying prominent help resources
- Simple data interfaces
- Regular surveying of user expectations
- Early user testing
- Focus on earning the trust of your users, not just their business
While there are many analytics tools out there to measure how UX-friendly your website is, many of course use Google, who recently, and hilariously, offered a glimpse of what not to do to your customers.
The video's real-world equivalents of a poor landing page, site search function, and checkout process are funny to watch. But ask any user who has personally experienced any of these, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone laughing.