‘Experience’ has become the buzzword in almost every area of business today. From customer service to experience, events to experiential events and user interaction (UI) to user experience (UX), it is the quality of interaction that is of paramount interest.
Any action that a visitor takes on a website or mobile app falls in the category of UX. People use apps to ride to work, order food, buy groceries or medicines, pay bills, do banking and a lot more. During the 1990s, the early days of the internet, the focus was on making everything ‘user friendly’, which has now changed to ‘usability.’ Data reveals that1 the year 2017 saw 197 billion app downloads and this number is expected to cross a mind-boggling 352 billion by 2021. While there are millions of apps and websites in each category, majority of the users prefer sticking to a handful of them. For example, Facebook is the most preferred social media app with a penetration of over 81% and Amazon was the most popular among the millennials with 35% users sticking to it.
There is no lack of options in either of these domains, but what cultivates a followership is the quality of interaction on a particular platform. What the above data of app downloads doesn’t reveal is the fact that as many as 28%2 of the users delete an app within the first 30 days of download. In terms of websites, UX becomes even more crucial as estimates indicate that3 88% of users are unlikely to return to a website after a bad experience. However, it is possible to retain users by paying attention to some design principles.
Focus on action
While designing the UX, the information a user might seek or the actions that might be taken, need to be considered. Minimize the response time or the steps needed to complete an action. The attention span of end-users is very short, and most users are unlikely to take more than 3 to 4 steps to complete any action whether a purchase or any other interaction.
Personalization no longer remains about welcoming a user by addressing them by their name or other basic personalization techniques (these impress only 7% of users). There is a need to seek user feedback, rating upon the completion of an interaction. About 62%4 of consumers want special offers, privileges and discounts based on their past purchases or interactions. This is, however, subjective to the industry and the audience you are targeting.
Draw blueprints and wireframes
Make sure to plan and preview the look and feel of each of your webpage, any screen will present. This can best be done on a whiteboard or a notepad. Visualize what all actions can take place on a screen/page and what kind of information or support would make a user complete the desired step. For example, for an ecommerce site selling mobile phones, it would be better to provide users with filters like price range, brand, colour, screen-size, RAM and memory, that would narrow down the search results to the precise category.
Testing and user trials
The age-old process of trial-error and rectification is perfectly applicable to the process of designing a robust UX as well. There are several techniques to do it and a highly popular practice is to opt for A/B testing. Create two or more action-flows and after repeated testing or limited user trials, feedback and actions need to be evaluated to find out which option is more user-friendly and can be incorporated as the final interface. Even if you don’t have the budget to spend on extensive trials, make your team, friends and family test it and seek open-ended feedback that would be crucial to improve the performance.
The fact is, one doesn’t need to be well-versed with technology or spend big budgets to create a compelling UX. What is important is to anticipate user behaviour, reviews, and performance-related data and incorporate these elements into achieving desired results.