User experience mistakes and how to avoid them
A user’s experience should be one that they enjoy over and over again. However, a successful product is developed on the understanding of knowing what a user’s needs, wants and motivations are.
Simple UX mistakes that could be affecting your conversions:
Not understanding the audience
There is a strong case that poor conversion stems from not fully understanding the audience interacting with the product. Many businesses have thrown money at design without having first justified the reasoning for the product existing in the first place.
The right type of product should be simple, interesting and in line with the business objectives. It should provide the customer with everything they need, simply, efficiently and without frustration.
How can this be addressed?
Analysing the market share and the customers within it requires time and thorough examination. Hiring a UX consultant will help define the processes needed to research that data. There will still be a need for an agency or team to perform the tests and action those results.
A UX discovery phase should be addressed by various experts in the fields of marketing, customer services, search marketing, social marketing, product development, IT, and design.
Not being transparent and providing confidence to buy online.
A small content change can make a surprising difference between a sale and abandonment. In a scenario where a clever marketer has come up with the idea to relabel a shopping basket of a DIY website to ‘Toolbox’, users have become instantly disconnected from the checkout process because they don’t recognise the term replacing ‘shopping basket’.
Two things now happen. The user who has buckets of patience, time and a willingness to explore may discover that you’ve tricked them by changing the name of the shopping basket. But the majority of users will be frustrated because they cannot find the basket. They will now make a decision whether or not to abandon their purchase for a site that offers a simpler and more transparent user experience.
Much of this is applying a common sense approach to linguistics. In the real world when we go shopping we use a basket or cart, we then proceed to the….toolbox? It doesn’t sound right does it? No it doesn’t.
When we think about buying online consider the experience of shopping offline. Make the shopping experience feel familiar and use industry standard terminology that works. Your checkout isn’t a place to be fanciful, it’s the funnel to convert your users into revenue. The simpler it is, the more transparent your experience is, the greater chance of returning visitors and higher conversions there will be.
Poor first impressions
It’s important that first impressions count, when a user lands on a site they should be immediately engaged by the dialogue created. Failure to engage users by not providing the right tools and messages often frustrates the user to the point they leave and possibly never come back.
- Look at how navigation works; is it clear enough, can the user find products quickly?
- Does the site search provide functionality to auto-suggest products as they’re typing in their query?
- Is the experience customised for users who have an account with you?
- Does it provide insight in to what other users buy and what products are seen as most popular?
These are just some of the basics to look at when trying to make a good first impression. Be accessible, be transparent and above all, listen to what users are saying about the product.
Radicalisation vs evolved innovation
We’ve all heard that change can be bad, and most often, change on mass can be seen negatively. It requires your users to become familiar with a new product, which often causes some frustration and in the worst case, complete abandonment.
Not all radicalisation is bad. If research has been done and a ‘well informed’ product is launched, it can still be expected that a short term dip in conversion may happen shortly after launch. This is because users need to familiarise with your product. Some may leave and come back later when they have more time to look over what you’ve changed. Others may dislike mass change and decide to leave. The best form of radicalisation is retaining elements and process, so that you don’t completely alienate users.
The best kind of changes are often delicate and are built on improving what is already there. Evolving what we have through user testing and A/B testing allows us to gradually enhance the user experience. This is based on active customer feedback to safely experiment with improvements that will not jeopardise conversion rates.
Value users, listen to what they are saying, justify design decisions by surveying the marketplace, be transparent, and offer good customer service. Don’t make rash decisions that could impact conversion. Take small steps by adopting tested techniques that provide fruitful results. By changing the way you approach design you’ll produce better products, better results, and higher conversion rates.
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