What is UX and why should you invest in it?

Simply having a website is no longer enough to succeed online. If you’re not providing a good user experience (UX), you could be losing customers without even realising it. Here’s a quick overview of what UX is, why it’s important and how you can invest in it.

If you want to grow your business online, you need to have a good UX. The way you present information and the features and functions you offer on your website can impact the way customers perceive your brand.

According to surveys, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive and 44% will leave if there’s no contact information. Almost one third (32%) of people will leave a brand they love after a single bad experience.

We spoke to two experienced UX designers – Jess Knollmeyer and Chris Cotton – about the basics of good UX and how small businesses can get started.

First of all, what is UX?

If SEO is all about getting people to your website, then UX is about making sure they know what to do once they arrive. Basically, it’s about making it easy for them to make a purchase, find a phone number, or perform some other action to convert into a customer.

“UX is understanding and empowering the needs of your customers through your website – ensuring your website is effective, easy to use and offers a pleasant or even delightful experience,” Knollmeyer explains.

What are examples of good UX?

While every business is different, there are some universal principles of good UX that pertain to any website. Here are some must-haves, according to Cotton:

  • The home page should include a short, one-sentence summary of your business so users know they are on the right page immediately.
  • The navigation should list out all of the services you offer (without subcategories if possible) to quickly communicate what your business does.
  • You should minimise the number of clicks it takes for the user to achieve what they came to do.

How can you tell if you need to improve your UX?

Many small businesses use website templates, such as Wix, Shopify and Squarespace, which have generally been vetted by design experts, so you’ll only run into trouble if you choose the wrong template for your business, or if you start adding a lot of custom features.

Some signs that you might have a UX problem are if multiple customers ask you for information that is available on your website, or if they drop out of your funnel before reaching the end. Looking at the bounce rate alone isn’t necessarily a sign of bad UX, according to Cotton, since it might simply be about price.

What steps should you take to improve your UX?

“Talk to your customers, continuously,” says Knollmeyer. “Speaking with customers regularly through surveys, reviews, chat, support tickets, et cetera, can be a huge lens into their ever evolving needs. You can also learn a lot about your customers by seeing how they engage with you online through marketing data and website analytics.”

You should also ditch the idea that UX is a once-off project.

“All too often, a website is invested in once and after it’s live, the expectation is that the work is done and the asset will produce returns. A smarter and more effective approach understands that UX should be cyclical – a continuous feedback and improvement loop,” she says.

How hummpro can help

Hiring a UX designer or agency can be costly (a weeklong project could run you $10,000, according to Cotton), so it’s important to undertake the decision carefully. Unless your website is driving significant revenue, or you have very specific needs, you might be better off sticking with a template like Wix or WordPress, which you can pay for with hummpro .

But if you think the return on investment in UX will be worth it, you can always use hummpro to help cover the upfront costs and get 30 days interest-free before you need to make a repayment.

Don’t let access to finance stop you from improving your UX – download hummpro.

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