If you ask most business owners what the most valuable part of their business is, they are probably inclined to say something tangible. Maybe it’s the building, the computers, the stock, or perhaps they say it’s the team.
One element most business owners will forget to value is their website. The company website can be incredibly lucrative if designed well.
An ongoing project
It’s easy to think that once a website is up and running, then the work is done. It might seem that people should be able to find what they need, to buy products, and to make contact.
However, this is untrue.
In our experience, as an Orange County Web Design Agency, we know that constant tweaks and improvements based on feedback are essential to ensure a website is meeting customer needs. This practice is called user experience (UX) testing and design.
However, when people hear the term UX, they can be intimidated by what is involved. Here are three of the most common misconceptions people have about UX website design.
1) It’s too expensive
Some smaller businesses may think that they lack the resources to be able to do proper UX research to know what their customers are doing on their website.
But today, with tools such as Hotjar and Google Analytics, it is incredibly easy to get a read on how your visitors are using your website. These user observation tools will make it clear what your site visitors are doing on the site, how they are using it well, and where they drop off the site (known as a site exit).
You can’t put all your customers into a room and watch them use your site, but you can let online tools do the work for you. Many of these tools today can help you create incredible insights into how to better support your customers. Best of all, many of them are free or incredibly low cost.
2) It’s time-consuming
When you set out to do some research on how visitors use your website, it might seem like it will take too long. It might appear that the time would be better spent working on sales or improving products.
However, remember that everything worth doing takes time.
You can’t expect to gain all the insight you need from one user, or from a single day of observation. It takes time and several iterations to get a website just right. It is better to take the mindset of getting consistent feedback over time. This approach will help to show trends and ensure any changes you make are valuable.
3) It’s too complicated
It might seem like UX is a highly technical part of website design, and that it isn’t worth learning. It is true that UX is its own discipline and specialty, but you can still take charge of small improvements on your own without needing a robust background in the work. At its core, it is about what your customers like about your website. What parts work, and what parts don’t.
Your UX research can be as simple as some observation over time or doing some surveys. Or even asking some of your best customers what they think can be improved. Anyone who cares enough to buy your products will also likely be willing to give you feedback, so be sure to ask.
Feedback comes from the outside
If you were a restaurant owner that had no customers, it wouldn’t make sense to sit alone in the restaurant blaming others. You’d have to go out and ask the people in the local neighborhood why they don’t like your food, or what is keeping them away.
It might be painful to hear the truth, but it is the only way that you can improve.
Most business owners will have visitors to their website who never buy, or click away from the site. If you don’t bother to understand why this is happening, then you are essentially ignoring reality.
Good UX starts with helping your customers get what they need. You must understand how they use your site, why they are coming back, and what they value the most. With proper feedback, you can tweak the site in more effective ways to make it even more valuable to your business.