In recent years, there’s been a push to gift experiences for the holidays over physical items. With increased knowledge of the importance of sustainability, many families opt to take a trip together, or buy local, rather than ordering more stuff from Amazon.
In the world of web design and digital marketing, your end-users want a good experience over gifts as well. Sure, you can offer a coupon code for your products and services, but if your website doesn’t provide a good experience, they won’t get that far. By giving the gift of user experience, you’ll not only gain traffic but clients.
User Experience Honeycomb
Understanding what your end-users need and value is critical in crafting your content, selecting images, and every other aspect of your design. User-centered design should fulfill a need, be easy to use, and be desirable to look at. Peter Morville represents this through his User Experience Honeycomb:
- Useful: Your content should be original and fulfill a need
- Usable: Site must be easy to use
- Desirable: Image, identity, brand, and other design elements used to evoke emotion and appreciation
- Findable: Content needs to be navigable and locatable onsite and offsite
- Accessible: Content needs to be accessible to people with disabilities
- Credible: Users must trust and believe what you tell them
One of the best ways to determine if your site is user-friendly is to test it with an end-user! Each element placed on every page has a function. Calls to Action should be in obvious places. Navigation should be simple. For a web development team, that means sharing the site with a few strangers before launch. By giving them specific tasks to perform on the site, it can give you a good idea of how easy to use it may be for customers.
User experience is very statistics-based, and everything you need can typically be found in a Google Analytics report. By analyzing your data, you’ll find which pages receive the most drop-offs, which links are clicked most often, and even which search terms are entered on your site.
Experiences for People – Not Just Search Engines
This is exactly why it’s important to design for people when building a new website, rather than just search engines, and continue to test and analyze. The gift of a great experience for your users doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and planning. But when you get it right, your users will value that experience much more than a branded coffee mug.