Touching on User Experience

User Experience, or UX as it is commonly called, is a buzzword that all web professionals are hearing more and more frequently, whether they know it or not. As the digital universe continues to expand, the importance of UX becomes more and more crucial. The fact of the matter is that you cannot afford to disregard the role of your user experience. The success of your website depends on it.

In this article, we'll give a high-level overview of what user experience is, how it affects your business, and what you can do to ensure your user experience is geared towards higher conversion rates and securing new customers.

What is User Experience?

User experience (UX) is the term used to describe the quality of a user's interaction with a company's product or service. The goal of UX is to create an enjoyable and efficient experience for users, which in turn leads to increased satisfaction and loyalty.

The most successful businesses are those that understand their customers and deliver excellent experiences for them. A good user experience is essential for any business that wants to attract and retain customers, as it will dictate how the user perceives your brand, how likely they are to continue doing business with you, and how often they will return to do business with you.

What is UI (User Interface) and how is it different from UX?

UI refers to the elements of a product that people interact with directly — the buttons, menus, icons and so on. The UI is what users see and use to navigate the application or website. The UX includes both the visual design and its overall effectiveness in accomplishing tasks for users.

The way I like to think of it is this: UI is comparable to the furniture in your house. Obviously you want pretty furniture that matches throughout your house. UX is about where you place this furniture, what the purpose of the furniture is, and how smoothly you and your guests interact with all of the furniture items in the house.

Why should you care about UX for your small business website?

Think of how annoying it would be if you were having coffee at your dining table, only to find out there was no room to set it down because of all the clutter. Or even more absurd, imagine if there was a sofa on top of your dining table.

First off, there's no place to put your coffee. Second, why is the sofa there? Lastly, where are you going to sit when you watch TV?

You see, a poor user experience leads to annoying experience for your users. Users could have difficulties navigating your site, performing intended actions, or will simply get distracted by unnecessary clutter. All of these things affect your bottom line in the form of a decreased number of online sales and prospects.

How can you improve your UX?

As a small business owner, it's likely that you don't want to spend tens of thousands of dollars each year on user testing and researching (yet, anyway). For this reason, I've identified things you can do today in order to improve you

Define who your customers are

This is marketing 101, but it's something that many businesses fail to do, especially when setting up their website.

Do your clients typically have visual impairments (i.e. the elderly)? You might need to increase the contrast between text and background elements, and possibly crank up the font size.

Do your clients typically use a mobile device (i.e. younger individuals)? You might want to focus on making your site scannable by providing catchy headlines that explain what you do and what you offer, and utilize smaller text to hit short-tail and long-tail keywords throughout your site. You might also want to take a much more minimalistic approach to design to improve load times on mobile devices.

While we can expand on this forever, the important takeaway is this:

Define who your users are and brainstorm how you can improve their experience on your site.

Identify their key goals

It's vital to understand what phase of the buying process most of your customers are in so that you can plan your site accordingly.

If you're just getting started, most of your customers are likely in the awareness phase. This means that they're not trying to be sold at that moment in time; rather, they want to access as much information about your business as possible before even considering your business. You want to give them something to

Things become different when you're catering to those in the consideration phase, or those who are shopping around for the best company to do business with. In this phase, your customers want to know as much about your services, your work/product quality, and pricing as possible. You also want this information as available and abundant as possible, so as to prevent them from getting frustrated and switching tabs to a competitor's site.

Again, you need to figure out where your customers are in the buyer's journey before jumping blindly into designing your site.

Design a logically-organized site architecture

This is where you put your brainstorming to work. Once you understand who your customers are and their intentions, you can then begin crafting your site architecture accordingly. This involves separating your site into purpose-driven pages, sections that highlight and answer the questions and concerns of your potential customers, and providing them everything they need in order to enter the next phase of the buyer's journey.

It doesn't need to be complex. Simple is best, but only when simplicity is backed by purpose.


Essentially, there is no concrete rule when it comes to user-experience; rather, your decisions should be dictated by the specific demands of your customers, their intentions, and how they respond to the information you're giving them. To sum it up, the key to developing a great user experience throughout your site is this: Brainstorm.