What is UX Design?
User Experience Design (UXD or UED) can be described simply as improving how a user feels when interacting with your digital product. It’s very dynamic and includes a multitude of different factors – such as User Interaction Design (UI), graphic design, information structure and architecture, usability and human computer interaction.
UX design is not just about designing products (digital or physical) for easy use – it’s also about providing and improving value for the user. By taking into account the needs and frustrations of the individual user, better user experiences can be created. This increased usability leads to happy, loyal visitors who are more likely to return and recommend your site to others. Conversion rates jump dramatically once this symbiotic relationship is established.
UX design is about designing with data, and creating a better user experience by improving:
- Ease of use
What is UX design is a great question, and one you’ll hear discussed in digital marketing circles for a long time to come.
Why Focus on UX Design?
It doesn’t matter what your application or site looks like; if people don’t know how to use it, then there’s little value in it.
UX design is suitable for all types of businesses – big or small. Our UX designers work with a variety of pure-play, omni-channel and freemium retailers, and understand that every branded site has its own unique UX requirements.
UX design is important because – if done correctly – it can propel a business forward. A well-executed UX design provides site visitors with an interaction-rich experience, and motivates them to visit again. Conversely, a poorly executed UX design leads to lost business opportunities and a poor Return-on-Investment (ROI).
UX design is an absolute must for complex sites – it’s a win-win proposition. Users win because they enjoy being on your site and getting what they want – increasing the likelihood of further visits. You win because your site meets its sales or lead generation targets.
There’s little doubt that well-designed sites increase sales and customer loyalty. UX design, which is based on scientific research and analysis, helps you understand what motivates your target market – and what turns it away.
What’s the Difference Between UX & UI?
Due to their many similarities, UX and UI (User Interface Design) can be easily confused with one another.
User Interface Design (UI) refers to the visual look and feel, as well as the presentation and interactivity of a digital product. UI design is focused on how a digital product looks and functions. It’s ultimately responsible for the visual layout of a digital interface, the graphical elements on the screen, and the site’s eye-pleasing aesthetics.
In contrast, UX design covers all aspects of the user interaction process (as well as contributing to the visual features of a site). UX design tracks and analyses every single user journey: how the user discovers your product; the steps or activities they perform on your site; the behaviours and feelings they exhibit whilst browsing your site, and the impressions they take away.
UX design and UI design are dependent on one other to achieve a smooth, easy-to-use and visually-appealing design. UX without UI means you’ve got a basic frame on your house, but it’s not well-designed and cohesive. UI without UX means you have stunning colours and intricate details, but your front door leads to your toilet.
Now that you know what’s what – what is UX design? and what is UI design? – you can focus on getting the right conversion strategies for your site.
How UX Improves Conversions?
The UX design on your site determines whether your site converts or not. As mentioned previously, UX design should provide value – whether it’s the time a visitor spends on your site, whether an enquiry is made, or whether an item is purchased.
It takes less than 50 milliseconds for a user to decide whether they stay on your site or not. Consequently, it’s important that visual design is not swept under the rug. Let’s take a look at three case studies, where enhanced UX design led to higher conversion rates
- ASOS Checkout Abandonment
ASOS noticed a high rate of checkout abandonment on its site, and wanted to turn browsing visitors into paying customers. Prior to implementing an effective UX design, users were forced to complete a complicated and invasive registration process. After an in-depth UX review, ASOS was advised to replace this process with a faster, less-invasive one (after clicking on a link, users were only asked for their name, email address and password choice). This simple change in UX design reduced the cart abandonment rate by 50%!
- Veeam Struggled with their Words
Making sales from content writing can be tricky at the best of times. By changing a single word in the navigation menu, Veeam was able to increase its click-through rate by 161%.
- Vidyard Added a Video on Their Landing Page
Vidyard saw a 100% rise in landing page conversions when they added a new video to their page. This approach won’t work for all pages, but it demonstrates the need to understand your target audience.
These examples demonstrate that good UX design can increase conversion rates and improve usability.
Where Would I Use UX?
To gain the most out of UX design, we must first consider where its application might reap the greatest rewards. UX design is ideal for complex systems, start-ups and larger projects with longer timeframes.
Complex systems require greater UX design, to ensure that users can access what they need easily. Versatile sites, interaction-rich applications and ecommerce sites all have complex architectures which require good user experience design.
Start-up companies frequently use UX design to compensate for a lack of marketing resources, especially when launching new digital products which are “novel” in concept.
Lastly, larger projects with longer timeframes require more UX design – due to the high number of iterations. A larger project could involve a complete site overhaul or major tweaking to remove any conversion blockers and improve conversion rates.