Over the past year or so, discussing UX with peers and colleagues we are constantly hearing of organisations that value UX but they simply don’t have the time or money to invest in a full UX approach.
Although this can be an issue it has no single right answer as this approach relies on the design team to craft a user interface that looks nice and works well enough… and yes, there can be expertise drawn from the greater team but they’re often not the ones who will be using the site.
A core component of a user’s online experience is the user interface’s visual design, although it’s not THE user experience it can heavily influence the trust users associate with a brand. The User Experience is the whole set of parts of the product, which gathers many duties and responsibilities for the website designer. UX design is slightly more scientific than UI design which takes a more artistic approach to the project.
In the past year I have been researching and evaluating various UX approaches particularly within some enterprise solutions dictating a lot of the UX, giving restricted opportunity for improvements. These types of improvements can sometimes be skewed toward business needs and not listening to its users. For ecommerce merchants, it’s important to know the difference if you are planning any type of redesign of your online store.
Here are some elements that might impact the user experience of your online store:
- Visual appeal – Colors, branding, imagery, layout
- Search and navigation – Ability to find what you are looking for quickly
- Site map – How the site is categorized and grouped
- Content – Quality and quantity of text, images, videos that are associated with products and product categories
- Ease of use – Can users easily navigate across the site, in and out of the cart, create shopping lists, find shipping costs?
- Availability of help – Online chat, email help, self service accounts
- Performance – Is the site fast?
- Payment options and process – Do you offer several payment methods, can users store credit card information, checkout with PayPal Express or other 3rd party payment systems?
- Shopping cart – Is it visually appealing? Is shipping info available?
- Image features – Zoom and pan, alternate images?
- Personalization – Is the store delivering personalized content?
- Merchandising – Are promotional items well displayed and available, using best-seller lists, cross-sells, and up-sells?
The reality is the user experience is exactly that, how a user is impacted by every single element of your website. Well designed websites with great navigation and performance are a fantastic start, but if you are missing core components such as a missing shipping estimator in the shopping cart, you may lose buyers to a poorly designed site that does includes one.
For a more in depth discussion on User Experience contact us or call us on 1300 624 368