If you’re designing and/or building a website or app, the most important thing to consider are the people who’ll be using it. Yet, this is often the thing that gets forgotten about or is seen an afterthought by many companies. But user experience, or UX, as it’s commonly referred to, needs to be right at the front of your thoughts when dealing with anything digital.
So, how do you do this? Start with your own experiences. Have you used an app you really liked because it does what you expect it to? Or have you visited a company website that was easy to navigate and clearly laid out? These are examples of good UX. Conversely, sites and apps where you have to click lots of times to do things or the journey around them feels unnatural are examples of bad UX.
You’ll probably use the apps and sites with the good UX rather than the bad ones. This is because good UX fulfils its customers’ needs and lets people do what they want to. They’ll stay loyal to these brands and keep using their products rather than look elsewhere.
So, what do customers look for in good UX? This will obviously depend on the product, but simplicity and ease of use are on everybody’s wish list, as is clear navigation. Accessibility for as many people as possible is important too (it’s actually a legal requirement in most instances), so take this into account.
Banking is one area where UX has become really important. Challenger brands, like Monzo and Starling, have developed apps that give users everything they need to manage accounts from their mobile phones. Their apps are packed with useful, convenient features people want and the more traditional players have been forced to catch up or risk losing customers.
That’s not to say design and content aren’t valuable though. Good UX actually depends on them. The key is how it’s organised and positioned, and how meaningful and important it is. Sites that are too complex or cluttered don’t work from a UX perspective.
Keeping things human helps create a connection with users, particularly when they’re doing something not very interesting. Personalisation plays a part as well, where the technology can recommend things for users or help them do something based on what they’ve done before.
Now, onto another crucial point. Today’s consumers want to do things quickly when it suits them, so having a site that loads rapidly is essential. There can be other factors, like an internet connection, that influence this, but making sure your site has a fast load-speed is another vital part of UX.
So, why is UX important for your digital tools? Well, it can help you stand out from your competitors, and help show you understand your customers and appreciate their needs. They want journeys to be frictionless and to be able to do what they need to do and then get on with their lives. Think about this before you start, and you won’t go far wrong.