The Guide to Web UX
The phrase Web UX (User Experience) seems to be one wrapped in mystery. What exactly is it? How does it affect my website? How do I do it?
Well, it is simply improving the website experience for the user – and it’s not as complicated as you’d think to do. The basics are things that most people can do themselves. Here are the ten things to bear in mind when embarking on a web user experience project:
1) You are an internet user – so make yourself the first tester and be honest! If something feels a little clunky to you on your own website, it will probably feel very clunky to a user, so look at changing it
2) Get a good mix of people to test your site out – make it reflective of your audience. If you are selling heavy metal merchandise, don’t ask your granny to test it (unless she is a huge Metallica fan)
3) Keep the sample size sensible – many writers recommend no more than 5 testers. Any more than 10 testers and the opinions will start to become conflicting, and if you are paying then the cost will start to get pretty high
4) What is my website objective – bear this in mind when you are measuring the experience. Most sites will benefit from users spending more time on site, but not all – for example, if your site is there to provide information, having small amounts of time onsite would mean your users are finding their information quickly, not necessarily a bad thing
5) Speed is of the essence – in the digital age, people will rarely spend a lot of time looking for the answer to their question. So make sure that you have easy navigation to enable them to find it as quickly as possible – or risk losing the user to a competitor
6) Structure the site with the user’s hierarchy – how to internet users organise your product / service in their head? E.g. for shoes, do they think style, colour, price or brand first? An example of an industry which consistently gets this wrong is cash and carries – they organise their depots by manufacturer (e.g. Unilever), but retailers organise by product type (e.g. household cleaner)
7) Invest in a designer – unless you are a designer, you are going to need one to optimise your site
8) Every page is a landing page – make sure that the pages look consistent, because every page on your site is a potential landing page. For example, if you want to generate leads, have an enquiry form loaded onto every page on your website to maximise the chances of an enquiry
9) Copywriting is important – keep it punchy, to the point and unambiguous
10) Keep reviewing – user experience testing is a journey, not a destination, so keep measuring, testing and amending
What are your tips for web user experience projects? Leave a comment and let me know!