What Is User Experience and Why Should Businesses Care About It?

What Is User Experience and Why Should Businesses Care About It?

By now, you have probably encountered the term “user experience” being thrown around online in countless articles and blog posts.

With the way people talk about user experience or UX for short, it also appears to be one term that entrepreneurs should pay particular attention to, especially if their business has an active online presence.

If you own a business and want to know what user experience is and why you should care about it, read on.

UX In A Nutshell

A term coined by cognitive psychologist and designer Don Norman in the 1990s, “user experience” generally refers to how a person feels when using a product, service, or website.

If people find a product to be incredibly easy to use, receive exceptional customer service, or get the exact information they need from a website, then it’s safe to say that they’ve had a great user experience.

If they got the opposite of all that, they just went through a bad user experience, which doesn’t bode well for any given business.

While the term user experience applies to just about anything we do in life—from driving our car to cooking a microwavable meal—more recent references to it tend to focus on the online aspect of things, specifically on the quality of experience users have when exploring a website.

Qualities of A Website That Provides Great UX

For a brand or business with an active online presence, enhancing the user experience of visitors to their website should be a priority.

Internet users these days typically want the websites they visit to have the following qualities:

  • Simple to use
  • Fast-loading pages
  • Easy to navigate
  • Plenty of white space
  • First-rate, relevant content
  • Highly functional interface
  • Engaging calls-to-action (CTA)
  • Well-designed and written headlines
  • Uses own images instead of stock photography
  • Consistent web page design across the site
  • Zero 404 errors
  • Responsive and mobile-friendly

Ideally, a website should check all of the boxes above to ensure a great user experience for anyone who drops by. Anything less, and you run the risk of ruining their user experience.

When visitors have a bad user experience, they will be less likely to continue exploring your website. That pretty much obliterates your business’s chances of getting the conversions it needs.

Even if your company offers the best products and services in your industry, a visitor who has had a less than ideal user experience browsing your website won’t have any qualms dropping your site and moving on to another business, your competitor, perhaps.

UX Design

Fortunately, all of the above—and more—can be achieved through UX design.

This user-centric design process aims to enhance the usability and value of a website or app to enhance the user experience.

In UX design, the needs, behavior, and motivation of users will be studied, analyzed, and considered throughout the entire process, all to ensure that users will get nothing less than a positive experience when exploring the site.

What Great UX Design Can Do For Your Business

In a world where the user experience has taken center stage, every business needs a solid UX strategy if it wants to enjoy the following benefits:

Improved SEO

UX will be a Google ranking factor in 2021.

With its new algorithm, Google will judge and rank web pages based on users’ perceptions of their experience interacting with them.

Google will measure user experience using a new set of metrics called Core Web Vitals. If these metrics determine that your pages are primed to provide great user experience for your visitors, Google will reward your site with higher rankings in search results and all the benefits that come with it, including increased organic traffic and more leads and conversions.

Enhanced Brand Reputation

First impressions matter in business and good UX design provides you the best chance of putting your best foot forward whenever a user comes visiting.

When they browse your pages and find the pages fast-loading, the navigation smooth and easy to use, and the content useful, relevant, and answers their questions and solves their problems, they are bound to have an enjoyable and fruitful experience. Visitors will deem your brand trustworthy enough to consider your products and services.

Increased Sales

Let’s say that your company sells footwear, and your website has a search filter that allows potential customers to search for shoes according to size, gender, type, brand, etc.

On the other hand, your competitor has zero search filters, which means customers have to manually search page by page to find a product that will suit their preferences.

Then again, do you honestly think that customers will even bother to do that with your competitor and not leave it right away?

With your search filters leading to a much better user experience, you stand a better chance of getting their business, which means you’d be on track to reach or even surpass your sales goals.

Better Customer Retention

Is your website responsive and mobile-friendly?

If it is, then mobile users—who have long outnumbered desktop users—who have visited your website before will likely drop by again because their user experience the first time around was topnotch. The buttons are large enough, the menus are simplified, the search feature is intuitive and straightforward, and the text is large enough to read.

All these enhance the mobile user experience, and that should help make them come back for more.

There is no doubt that having a website that provides an amazing user experience can impact your business positively.

Still, we should keep in mind that UX design can be a tedious process. It will take some time, effort, and considerable resources for any one website to transform into a user experience juggernaut. You may need to partner with an agency that provides services like UX design and full-stack web design.

Then again, with all the benefits that come with being able to provide the best possible experience for anyone visiting your website, making UX a priority will be all worth it.

About the Author

Sarah Munn is the Outreach Manager of Phoenix Web Design, a web design company based in Phoenix, Arizona that specializes in creating bespoke and responsive websites that will surely grab people’s attention. When not writing content, she spends time with her grandparents and giving back to the community.