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Effective UX Strategies to Help Your Site

These days, your website is your brand and it’s important that your customers have a brilliant experience from the very first time they click on it.

Your site’s design could be great and lead to hundreds of happy customers. Or it could be a complete flop and the results of your work have gone to waste.

How can you predict which design decisions will work brilliantly though, and learn to avoid the things that don’t?

Many people would say that we can never know for sure – that design is based on intuition, creativity and luck. But, in reality, user experience design is more a science than an art, and relies on some quite rigorous research and tests.

Before we even put pencil to paper, we have to find out what will work best – and we do this by conducting deep research into who is going to be using the site.

Who is your customer?

A lot of brands don’t have a clear answer to this question and this is a problem. If you don’t know your main customer, you won’t know how to write targeted content, construct your brand or create a clear path-to-conversion. And after all, isn’t that what businesses is about?

To work out who your audience is, you could rely on guesswork. Or you could do the following:

  • Surveys and questionnaires to get a quick overview of who they are
  • In-depth interviews and market research, to dive deep into their requirements
  • User profiles, where you plan out a few case studies of who will visit your site

How will they use your site?

The next requirement that you have a clear definition of what your site is for. To collect email addresses for a newsletter subscription? To provide an e-commerce shopfront where customers can buy to their heart’s content?

In order to work out which elements on your webpage deserve greater prominence, create a story board. Map your customer’s progress from landing on the page to completing the final checkout. Make sure you cover every step in between and design your website to make this path clear.

As well as story boards, you can use the following:

  • Observing how customers respond to specific scenarios
  • Heat maps to see which part of the webpage they’re looking at most
  • Conducting usability tests

Test away

It doesn’t make sense to pour all your attention into the initial design phase and then let your website tick away by itself. Any good website relies on rigorous testing and data analysis, so you can really refine what’s working – and remove the elements that are underperforming.

  • A/B tests help you test which of two options performs best – which of two images will get more people to open the blog post? Which conversion button helps you receive more emails?
  • Google Analytics data helps you see how customers are tracking along the whole conversion path. Do you need to help them out in any way?

Through the constant process of refinement, testing and re-refinement, you’ll be well on your way to a stellar website.

By Nothing But Web

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