User Experience: what is, its guidelines and how to apply it on your website
User Experience, or UX, has been one of the most mentioned terms in the world of Marketing and the corporate sphere as a whole. It deals with how users interact with a company’s product or service, as well as with its channels during their buying journey.
We have a very scholarly concept here, right? But, as we know, the practice involves some adjustments and customizations, especially when considering the different market niches.
Consequently, this requires a deepening of the concept, understanding its importance, and even knowing the expected trends in the coming years.
Thinking about the essential information you need to apply these ideas to your business, we have organized this content in the following way:
- What does User Experience mean?
- What is the importance of UX?
- What guidelines does User Experience bring?
- How do you apply UX to your website?
- What are the reasons for using User Experience on your site?
What does User Experience mean?
User Experience (UX) is about how people interact with a product or service, whether in the online or physical worlds.
This includes relationships with the company’s channels, browsing its website, receiving the product, and even the possibility of triggering after-sales actions.
Here it is worth reinforcing an important fact: every company offers a UX to its customers — the difference is if it is relevant or not.
In other words, if a company’s website is not responsive, if it takes too long to load information, or if the buying process is bureaucratic and confusing, the client is experiencing a UX that they would rather forget — and will probably do so.
But if they find a site customized with their latest searches, with the information they need on the first screen, and that offers quick shopping solutions with no extensive registration, they will have a much more satisfying User Experience.
Another fundamental point that helps to take this concept to different market segments is to understand the user and the experience separately.
By doing this individual analysis, it is possible to map the user’s characteristics and needs and then apply this information to create an experience that meets and exceeds their expectations.
What is the importance of UX?
The user’s perception is the key to success. On a scale of relevance, they can assess if a site or product is useful, has differentiated value, or is pleasant to use.
Let’s look at a very practical example: a pineapple is useful for people, as it can be eaten. However, the fruit has a thick peel, full of thorns, and difficult to cut.
A supermarket that offers the minced fruit will add value to the user’s vision — in this case, the consumer. To that, it will increase the value of the product once it also needs to invest in other resources, such as its labor force.
Besides, to offer mint, lemon scraps, and other accompaniments next to the pineapple stall will change the experience and, therefore, the consumer’s perception of the product’s consumption.
The same happens with sites, channels, and processes offered by a company to its clients. They can be useful, add value or, at the highest level, do all this and also add a relevant experience to the user that makes them loyal and causes them to promote what they have experienced.
In the Digital Marketing world, UX in the structure of websites, e-commerce, and blogs is essential for the user to remain in the domain for longer and, in fact, consume the content, products, and services offered at the address. But what are its basic guidelines?
What guidelines does UX bring?
Some experts credit Don Norman, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, as the inventor of the term User Experience in the 1990s. In this video, he explains what UX is and what are its guidelines.
In this approach, UX embodies all end-user interactions with the company, its products, services and processes, and considers:
- the feelings and emotions provoked in the users since the experience is a personal one;
- what the channel, product, or service represents in the user’s journey and the context in which they are experienced;
- the evolution of the experience over time, since, besides considering the external moment, it should also be relevant to be positively registered in the user’s memory.
The use of these guidelines allows us to take the User Experience strategy to several business areas in different segments and, mainly, to put the user and the customer in the center of the actions.
Do you realize that UX is a customer-centric positioning concept? So, how to apply these guidelines and concepts in the business website to cause all these listed effects?
How do you apply UX to your website?
To create an efficient User Experience strategy for your business website, you need to think about design, mobile responsiveness, upload speed, and other features that interfere with the way the user navigates through customized content.
In this case, we also need to take into account the User Interface (UI), that is, the interface that the user sees and with which they interact. It should be simple to browse, even if there is an infinity of complex codes and programming behind it.
To evaluate the User Experience provided to the public, a checklist can help. Consider whether the product, process, or website is:
- useful, meeting one or more user needs;
- easy to use, without processes or barriers that make it difficult to work with;
- accessible in all platforms and languages;
- easy to find, considering its visibility in search engines and also the architecture of internal information;
- desirable, valuing aesthetics and attractive experience.
A good way to understand UX in a website is to imagine how it would be if Netflix were a difficult platform to navigate if it didn’t have the content suggestions that consider your latest choices and the possibility of creating filters for children’s content, or even if it didn’t organize the movies by category.
In the Netflix platform, both a beginner user and one who is already a regular consumer of its contents can navigate easily, without the need of a complex guide, right?
This is one of UX’s points on the site, which is also followed by:
- quick loading: since when users search for information, they have urgency in the answer — otherwise, they can search in another address;
- content scannability: ensuring that the user can choose between reading in the proposed order or browse through the highlighted titles and information in the way they prefer;
- attractive visual: that organizes the information so that users can easily conduct themselves according to progress;
- responsiveness: since the user can decide to access the content from different devices, such as smartphones, desktops, or tablets;
- relevant and objective content: without elements that take the focus away from what matters to the user.
Without a satisfactory user experience, SEO strategies, creation of the marketing funnel, among other actions for content optimization, may have their results compromised because the user will not have the interaction necessary for that.
In other words, the User Experience must be part of the Content Marketing strategy of your site, either in its design or in what it presents as information.
What are the reasons for using User Experience on your site?
With a User Experience planned to be relevant to the blog’s visitor, you will start noticing some results.
Increased organic traffic
The effects of UX on the site happen practically in cascade, starting with the increase in organic traffic.
A well-structured content with relevant information will attract more users. The search engines’ algorithms will identify their differentials and, consequently, emphasize the site through a better ranking, for example.
Increased visitor’s time on page
With content that triggers positive feelings, solves the customer’s pain, or even surprises them, such as the pineapple example, the time spent on the page and the ability to nurture the potential customer increases.
Besides being a ranking factor for the search engines, this is an experience that allows the customer to absorb more content and buy what is being offered.
If the user absorbs the contents and sees themselves aligned with your differentials, they will decide to buy the product.
This result is multiplied by many other potential clients, because each one, in their own way, passes trough that satisfactory experience.
We can still notice two other interesting results with the use of UX.
One of them is resource savings; since the interface’s configuration, the website’s tools and content will be customized according to what is relevant to the buyer persona. At the same time, the user’s perception of value will increase.
At the end of May 2020, Google announced that its algorithm would be modified by 2021 to value metrics focused on User Experience.
This reinforces the importance of having a fast, responsive website in the mobile version and has interactive and relevant content that promotes a unique reading experience.
In other words, besides focusing on the structure of your business blog or website, you must also consider the whole experience, right? More than ever, your company must build its strategy around content experience.