Why User Experience Matters When Creating a Website

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By Boris Dzhingarov

User experience (UX) is critical when designing and building a website. UX refers to how easy and satisfying a website is to use from the perspective of the user. It goes beyond just how the website looks visually, also taking into account ease of navigation, findability of information, speed and responsiveness, and more. Implementing UX best practices when creating a website results in happier, more engaged users who are more likely to take desired actions and become loyal, returning visitors.

Ease of Use

A website with good UX is intuitive and easy to use. Users should be able to navigate menus and find information quickly without hassle or confusion. This means using clear labels, putting things where users expect to find them, and having a consistent, simple layout and information architecture. Complex websites overloaded with features can overwhelm users, while websites with good UX guide users gently toward key goals and conversion points through thoughtful information design.

Page Speed

Site speed and responsiveness also fall under UX. Users expect websites to load quickly according to recent studies. Long load times lead to high bounce rates and abandonment. Optimizing images, minimizing HTTP requests, using browser caching, and other speed optimization techniques dramatically improve UX. Users enjoy seamlessly scrolling, tapping, swiping, and having pages react instantly to their actions. Delays and lag equals frustration for users and fails to keep them engaged. 

Findability

The ability to find information easily on a website is part of UX. Search boxes, site maps, menus, tags, categorization, and internal site search functionality allow users to zero in on specific content they want without having to hunt for it manually. Headings, title tags, alt text, and metadata also boost findability. If users struggle to find pages or content, they may leave the site altogether.

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Accessibility

Following web accessibility guidelines also falls under the UX umbrella. Users should be able to use and understand a website effectively regardless of disability or limitation. This includes screen reader functionality for the blind, color contrast for the vision-impaired, keyboard shortcuts for those without fine motor control, alt text for images, and closed captioning on audio/video, among other accommodations. Building accessibility measures into the early stages of design averts the need to retrofit later.

Consistency

Good UX requires consistency across a website. Once users understand how the navigation works or where the search box is located, things should not mysteriously move or change on other pages. Visual design elements should also remain consistent, using the same colors, fonts, button styles and recurring layouts. When style, terminology, placement of items, and page structure change unexpectedly on a site, users become confused and frustrated.

Intuitive Design

The old adage “don’t make users think” embodies good UX. Users should intuitively grasp what to do and how to use features and controls on a website. Icons should be instantly recognizable, buttons clearly indicate their functions, and directions should be minimal or unnecessary. Users want to accomplish their goals, not puzzle over functionality. Good UX anticipates and fulfills user needs through intuitive design.

Conversions

Ultimately, UX aims to guide users gently toward conversion goals, whether to purchase a product, subscribe to a newsletter, utilize a service, or download an app. This means removing obstacles that block the path toward the goal through design optimization. Having users arrive at high-value pages ready to convert begins with building anticipation and trust from the moment they enter the site. Good UX moves them forward by meeting needs and addressing objections at every step.

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Catering to Mobile Users

With a majority of web traffic coming from mobile devices, UX also entails responsive design and mobile optimization. Web pages need to detect smaller screens and rearrange layouts to prevent awkward appearance or tiny, unreadable text. Designing natively for mobile from the outset provides the best UX as it can account for touch targets, gesture-based navigation conventions, screen size variances, and device limitations. Separate mobile sites fail to leverage advances in responsive design and serve users poorly.

First Impressions Count

Users form an impression about a website’s credibility and usefulness within fractions of a second according to studies. Good UX aims to make that instant first impression a positive one to build confidence and spur users to dig deeper. A thoughtful, professional design helps establish user trust while sloppy or overly sales-focused sites breed doubts.

Optimizing UX bolsters the initial perception that users have landed somewhere valuable and makes them want to stay. This initial impression on average takes just 5 seconds to form. Given how quickly brains assess aesthetics, a clean layout, logical navigation, clarity of purpose, engaging content, and design cohesion help make that crucial first impression an overwhelmingly positive one. When users know within moments that they’ve arrived at a useful, valuable site, they will stay longer and engage more deeply.

Ongoing Iteration and Testing

Good UX requires continually optimizing based on user testing and feedback. Analytics provide insight into weak points losing traffic while heat map analysis visualizes user attention patterns. Armed with concrete data identifying trouble spots, designers fix and upgrade site UX iteratively. User surveys, card sorting, and eye tracking technology also unlock areas frustrating users. Establishing user feedback channels and directly watching representative users interact with the site often reveal UX flaws not otherwise apparent to designers and site owners immersed in the site daily.

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Final Takeaways 

In the highly competitive digital landscape, implementing strong UX gives websites and apps the best chance to:

  • Attract and engage visitors
  • Promote findability and usability
  • Build credibility and trust
  • Keep visitors from leaving quickly
  • Move visitors toward conversions
  • Cater to diverse needs and mobile users
  • Continually eliminate weaknesses and pain points  

By focusing intently on site visitor perspectives and expectations, UX designers craft rewarding, frictionless user journeys that turn first-time visitors into loyal community members. While good UX remains “invisible” letting users focus solely on tasks and goals, bad UX constantly exposes itself through user struggle and confusion. Prioritizing UX while building digital presences generates happier users who reward sites by contributing value in various forms over the long term. In turn, well-designed user experiences fuel successful, growing businesses and brands.