Often times businesses, especially small ones, rush into launching and lose sight of a key ingredient, the user experience. Even launching your newly redesigned website without investing in user experience can bring disappointing and underperforming results. And if the results were great, imagine that they could have been significantly higher if taken the time to invest in user experience. That’s because doing so sets a foundation for getting the best possible results off the bat. And by results, I mean sales and signups galore!
A few thought provoking questions
Prior to trying to make a business case for user experience, I want to ask you something. What would you do if you could convert more visitors and prospects? What would it mean to you to be able to reach, help and influence more people with your products and services? What would it mean for your business to get more revenue?
At the end of the article, I pain an exciting picture with data that will help put these questions in perspective.
What is user experience?
First things first, lets define
The term is often used among tech companies to refer to how a user uses an app such as Netflix or Bumble. It also refers to all the aspects of a person’s experience while interacting with a company including its services, not just their websites. However, for the sake of this article, let’s keep the focus on the websites and landing pages.
When talking about the experience, I mean the whole shebang! It’s the emotions, attitudes and also perceptions a potential lead experiences on your website (regardless if they are a new or a returning visitor).
This poses a big concern. When you’re not actively thinking about it, you’re not investing in an optimal user experience. This could be detrimental in getting you higher signup rates for your free webinar or your paid services and products.
User experience is dynamic as it is constantly modified over time due to changing usage circumstances and changes to individual systems as well as the wider usage context in which they can be found.Wikipedia
User experience is a strategy
I want to make something clear. User experience is basically a strategy. When you’re investing in user experience, you’re making sure you put your best foot forward. That doesn’t mean you’re one and done. Your ability to scale and improve your metrics is going to start at a significantly higher scale. As the above quote from Wikipedia says, user experience is dynamic.
Nothing in the online world is ever constant. Sadly, just because your last launch did well doesn’t mean your next one will too without taking the time to consider the user experience again. People’s views and needs continuously shift, and something seemingly small can have a meaningful effect on your numbers.
Investing in user experience for non-tech companies
I’d like to think I made a big deal out of user experience already. But let’s talk about it in terms of small companies instead of tech ones that sell online products like SaaS. Investing in user experience is just as important for small businesses – period. All that matters is that you have an online presence for it to be relevant to you too. Any company with a website or even a single landing page needs to consider it.
The term usability is often used alongside user experience. Usability refers to the degree to which your site can be used by a customer to achieve
Unfortunately, that is an immensely simplified explanation. There are a lot of moving parts that go into creating a highly converting user experience.
What factors matter for improving the user experience?
To provide the best possible user experience for any target audience, a designer would look at a variety of things. First, we start with big picture stuff and the overall flow of traffic. For example, did you know that homepages are no longer considered the most essential page? That’s because traffic flows from so many different pages of a site. Even content heavy sites like BuzzFeed don’t get most of their traffic through their homepage but through shared links.
Another example when a homepage is not the first place a visitor lands are companies who are heavily active on social media. Or companies that invest in organic search results. They are most likely promoting specific pages such as blog posts or landing pages. That means that the flow through your website needs to account for that journey of a visitor. Putting a lot of effort into your homepage instead of where the visitors actually end up hurting the user experience.
Again, the overall user experience is different for someone who clicked on an Instagram ad, than someone who clicked a link in a newsletter, then someone who searched on Google, than someone who typed in the URL directly and so on…
Moving into the micro level
Once we’re done looking at the big picture of your traffic flow, we move into the details. And, there are a lot of those to consider. It’s the structure and content of the website, the tone, and wording, the actual flow and design of individual pages and section.
Of course, this is a simplified list. It all boils down to decluttering the distractions and making the path to a visitor’s desired information the easiest. This holds true no matter the goal of your website. Whether you’re running a blog and want more emails in your email list or selling your coaching services. Prioritizing the design of the pages and decluttering is a big aspect of user experience. So is improving the usability of your site and campaigns.
However, it’s important to note that to get the best results for your business a strategy needs to be designed specifically for your business’ needs and that of your customers’. It’s a thorough process that takes a lot of brainstorming and planning. There is no one size fits all which is why I’m not providing any specific solution here. It varies all case by case basis.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to optimizing your sales funnels to direct traffic through your website to all the right places resulting in better customer/user experiences, higher customer loyalty and, all in all, better business results.
Leveraging your current traffic
It all boils down to higher revenues and reaching even more visitors because you’re leveraging your current amount of traffic. By investing in user experience, you don’t necessarily need to invest in getting more traffic to improve your business results!
Making a business case for investing in user experience
Now that you understand the reasoning for this let me finally paint a picture by using numbers and data. Forrester Research found that a visually well-designed website alone can raise conversion rates by up to 200%. While a website with thought out user experience can result in conversion rates going up by 400%.
In his book, Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach, Robert Pressman wrote that “For every dollar spent to resolve a problem during product design, $10 would be spent on the same problem during development, and multiply to $100 or more if the problem had to be solved after the product’s release.” Pressman is saying that for ever dollar invested in user experience returns $10 to $100. And those numbers seem to be consistent among experts – including Peter Eckert:
Every dollar spent on UX brings in between $2 and $100 dollars in return.Peter Eckert, Dollars and Sense: the Business Case for Investing in UI Design
Additionally, it’s good to know that 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if it takes too long to load. 38% of people stop engaging when the content itself is too long. When content is unattractive another 38% of people stop engaging. All this according to Adobe’s State of Content report.
89% of consumers purchased from a competitor following a poor experience. While 68% give up when they think a company doesn’t care for them. If those to data points aren’t a case for user experience (even branding), I don’t know what is!
As you can see, I’ve got plenty of data to back up my claim. (There is a lot more out there!) Investing in user experience stops your company from leaving valuable leads and revenue on the table.
As you can see, investing in user experience can have a significant and positive impact on your business. So let me ask you again, what would you do if you could convert more visitors and prospects? What would it mean for