UX design and business goals should never be at odds when it comes to creating an effective application. But, implementing the right UX design to create a seamless experience for the user that also helps with conversions can be a challenge, especially if you aren't collecting the right information to understand which elements work best. Read on for useful information on marrying UX and conversions.
Ensuring an effective user experience for your application is vital to building a project that satisfies both clients and potential users. But there's still a gap between designing effective user experience and ensuring potential customers convert through UX design. There are many ways in which users can be motivated to engage further with a company or a brand, but that may seem counter-intuitive to creating a seamless and usable journey. Likewise, teams may favor a simple user interface and experience, bypassing potential conversion opportunities.
How User Experience Factors into Conversion
User experience is an integral component of your company's overall customer experience, so it's crucial that you do it correctly. Your site or application's interface and usability go a long way in giving users confidence in your product or service. For example, potential customers may interact with your company through different channels and have vastly different experiences with each touchpoint,which could cause them to lose confidence in your brand since the user experience should be as seamless as possible.
In that sense, effective user experience design should exhibit the following characteristics, as envisioned by Peter Morville & co:
Your site or application needs to be helpful to your user.
An application's success should be directly tied to your business goals. Meaningthat while it's important that it delivers value to the end-user, it should also deliver value to the company in the form of improved customer satisfaction or profits or any other relevant business. Often, teams may find themselves at odds when structuring their design to benefit the user over the company's business goals or vice-versa. While these two should complement each other in order to arrive at a successful user experience design and application development, holding one over the other may generate ideological differences.
That´s where the usefulness of user experience testing can be fully realized.
While we like to think people are highly rational, often decisions are driven by their emotions. For this, user experience design teams may create a set of personas or profiles that help them understand their users' behavior, personalities, and preferences. They can also identify these users' emotional needs, such as a desire for security or empathy, or their fear uncertainties and doubts. When an application or site can accurately respond to these needs or mitigate concerns, users are more likely to want to engage with the application or brand further.
In creating these personas, you will want to consider things like the persona's personality, influences, technology expertise, UX goals, preferred device, and their relationship to the brand or product. The more realistic this persona is, the better you'll be able to respond to their perceived needs and tastes. However, also remember that it's still important to execute other types of tests.
Ensuring an Application is Easy-to-Use
Users nowadays tend to be highly demanding and don't suffer poor UX gladly. Ensuring a frictionless process for your user to achieve the desired result will directly impact the chances that a user reengages with your application. Here's where testing your usability is key. Getting feedback from users directly will go a long way in defining which elements need to be improved. You can do this through interviews, polls or numerous other options.
However, for more accurate insights on how users interact with the application, it's often better to run user tests (moderated or unmoderated). These tests can pinpoint where users hit snags and how to make their experience as frictionless as possible. Another tool that can be used is A/B testing, though these are better for when there's a single variable being tested at a time and will yield more accurate results if your application has a larger number of users or impressions.
Contributing to the Overall Customer Experience
Your user experience is just a small part of your customer's overall experience. He or she will form an idea of your company drawing from several touchpoints that don't always end with your application or site. Some of these touchpoints may include customer service (via phone or online chat terminals), social media, or in-person locations. What's important to consider here is that your application or site needs to be in this customer journey to aid in converting. While an application can be functional, easy-to-use, and respond to a user's emotional needs, it might all be for naught if it doesn't provide the customer with the information they need at the current point or if it doesn't provide a clear path to the next step in their journey.
Overall, companies that invest in user experience testing stand to gain 83% from 10% spent on these trials and processes. Despite a seemingly high cost, good usability and user experience testing can be a gamechanger for companies, especially for those wanting to capture new business and convert leads. However, it's vital for user experience design teams to have a clear idea of what metrics will impact conversion to determine an app's effectiveness.
For instance, taking a success rate metrics a sign of good conversion is highly misguided. While a good percentage of users may have completed an action during testing, you may have to further analyze this number and apply a binomial distribution to arrive at an accurate conversion rate. Likewise, analyzing task completion metrics may be a bit more tricky than just looking at the literal time it took for users to complete a task.
Mostly, it's important to see what problems may arise during the completion of the tasks: are there any specific steps users are stopping at? Are the instructions unclear? These are the types of questions that need to be understood in order to identify the places where an app could be losing business.
There are many tools and tests that can be carried out in order to improve both usability and conversion rates. In doing so, organizations stand to gain more customers and increase revenue through conversion-focused UX testing and careful user experience design that complements their customers' journey.
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