User experience, or UX, reflects how a user feels while visiting and navigating your site. Research shows that these emotions - whether they be frustration, confidence, freedom, happiness, discouragement etc.- all have a profound impact on conversion rates.
Every website has a UX and it is either helping you or hurting you.
Even more than that, users will subconsciously compare the UX on your site with your competitors and likely go with the site that makes them feel “better”.
What emotions are you looking to evoke from users in order to increase conversion?
It may go without saying that you want your user feel happy while visiting your website. Happiness drives action, whether that is a purchase, a social media share or filling in a contact form. Site design, including colors, images and clarity play a significant role in evoking happiness.
Smart and Successful:
The more a user is excited about the possibility of success the more likely she will take action. If your website is easy to use and the user feels like she is getting a great deal, doing a good deed, or making a smart decision, she will be more likely to move ahead. Alternatively, if your website is hard to navigate or gives too much information, this makes users feel overwhelmed, frustrated and incapable, resulting in a loss of user confidence and most likely their business. One study showed that 57% of shoppers abandon a site if they have to wait more than three seconds for something to load. Make sure your site is clean and easy to navigate, with clear calls to action that encourage the user to see the value offering and feel like a “winner.”
Consumers are suspicious and justifiably so since all businesses have some sort of agenda. One of the greatest inhibitors to conversion is lack of trust. Consumers are protective of their personal information, their privacy and certainly their wallets and any experience that threatens their security in these areas will result in site abandonment. Be transparent, clear and honest with your content and make sure your site is easy to navigate in all directions. If users feel they have gone down a path they can’t exit from easily, especially on an e-commerce site, they will just leave.
Informed and Educated:
You want your users to feel that they have a true understanding of what you are offering. Growth is a powerful human motivator and if you are teaching users with valuable content they will feel inspired. This is also a reason that user reviews are read by 85% of consumers before they make a purchase online. A user that feels informed about what she is going to purchase will more likely go through with it. Studies show that consumers respond positively in particular to visual components such as photos, video, graphs and infographics or stories such as case studies or testimonials.
This one might be a little surprising and should only be employed by businesses in certain sectors. Studies show that empathy builds trust and is an effective way to move a consumer to action. Economist and pioneer in the field of neuroeconomics, Paul Zak conducted a study on the effects of sadness on human behavior. He concluded, “Our results show why puppies and babies are in toilet paper commercials. This research suggests that advertisers use images that cause our brains to release oxytocin to build trust in a product or brand, and hence increase sales.” If your service or product can tap into this human tendency, use images and storytelling to create empathy.
To create your UX work backwards.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What are the actions you want to acheive - a sale, download, subscription form, call?
- What does the user want?
- What is the value you offer?
Once you know the end goal, design the flow of your site to directly meet both the user and the business objectives.
Here are a couple of other resources on the topic of UX:
On his Digital Marketing Blog, Jeff Fuhriman does a great job of giving some insight on how to assess if Poor User Experience is Slowing your Conversion Rate.
Check out this great infographic by Vouchercloud that speaks to Consumer Psychology specific to e-commerce that can be helpful to anyone trying to improve the UX of their website.