The online user experience has changed dramatically over the past decade and users have become more discerning with higher expectations of websites. Yet just ten years ago, some business owners thought they may not need a website at all. Now, no matter whether you run a cake store or a high-end consultancy firm, an online presence and a well-designed website is a must.
There has also been a clear shift in terms of what matters when designing and building a website. It is not just about creating a website that looks good, although, that is of course an important element for an effective website that attracts visitors and converts them to customers. Your website needs to be informative, optimised for search engine use, and it needs to provide an incredible user experience – fast and easy to navigate. Continue reading to discover what else is important.
What is user experience (UX)?
UX relates to the overall experience a person has when they are using your website, from the moment they land on your homepage (or any other landing page) to the final action they take on your site, whether that is buying a product, signing up for an event, downloading a document or simply calling your business for more information.
Why is user experience so important when it comes to website design?
A good UX is critical because it makes sure that your website is fulfilling the needs of the user. It aims to provide a positive experience that will ensure that users become loyal advocates of your brand.
Think about how frustrated you feel when you visit a website on your smartphone, only to be met with a web page that is incredibly difficult to use and read. You can’t click on the icons, and you need to scroll for several minutes in order to get to the bottom of the page. This can be enough to make you hit the back button and look elsewhere. This is a poor user experience, and it can cause great harm in terms of how your brand is viewed and, of course, your conversion rates.
User experience also makes a difference because it helps people to stay on your website for longer. This obvious benefit being that the longer someone is on your website, the more likely they are to convert.
Not only this, but user experience also offers benefits in terms of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) i.e. the process by which visitors find your website through Google (or other search engines) in the first place. If people leave your website quickly because the user experience is poor, your Bounce Rate is going to be high and Dwell Time low. This is something that will impact your position in the search engine result pages. Google will view this as a negative and you will find yourself dropping down the rankings. On the flip side, if you offer a great user experience, this can help your site to triumph over your competitors.
Final words on why user experience matters with website design
As you can see, UX plays a critical role when it comes to the success of a website today. If your website is not easy to use and does not offer a pleasing experience, not only will users get frustrated, but it is going to hurt your search engine rankings as well. This is why you need to do everything to make sure that your site offers an exciting, enjoyable, and easy experience for your users. You can work with a website design company to achieve this if you don’t know how to do so yourself.