31Jan
By: Justas Markus January 31, 2017

What is User Experience (UX)?

User Experience (UX) is every aspect of the user’s interaction with a product or company that contributes to the overall perceptions and satisfaction of using it. The perceptions left in the user’s mind encompass everything from how they feel when they’re using it, to how well they understand how it functions, to how they feel when they’re interacting with it and how well it meets their needs and expectations.

Why is User Experience (UX) important?

User experience is the overall experience that a user has with a product, so it makes a huge impact on the performance of the product and ultimately, the bottom line. It focuses on understanding users, their needs, values, abilities and limitations to improve the quality of interaction that a user has with a product.  

There are several benefits often ascribed to UX:

  • Increased conversion rates. Good user experience rests on solid user research. User research helps to uncover user personas that are utilized to map out the user journey and structure the information in a way that would make sense to a target user. You can think of user research as a more focused type of market research, which concerns itself with targeting the right audience and tailoring the whole experience to a certain segment of potential customers. Knowing user expectations and gearing the whole user experience towards meeting and exceeding them automatically contributes to increased conversion rates.
  • Improved customer retention. If users feel that your site completely understands their behavior and makes their interaction and navigation smooth and enjoyable, they will continue coming back because why would they want to go anywhere else? Helping your users reach their goals quickly and in the most delightful way possible significantly reduces the churn rate and builds loyalty.
  • Customer referrals. Customer recommendations are one of the most powerful selling and marketing tools available. However, besides focusing on enhancing the user experience of their site or product and utilizing the right incentives, businesses have little control over this aspect. Satisfied customers who enjoy your products or services will most likely recommend them to their friends or leave positive reviews online. Delighting your customers in every step of their buying journey will ultimately help you generate more potential customers.

What makes for a good User Experience?

When it comes to creating an enjoyable UX on an eCommerce site, there are several important aspects that stand out:

  • Easy navigation (information architecture). User research will help you determine which categories are the most popular, so you can create logical structure of categories and subcategories to help shoppers find what they need faster. It’s also important to place the essential information (product price, description, color/size options, image and video gallery) above the fold on a product page and use the rest of the page to provide additional information, such as product reviews, shipping options, etc.
  • Adequate support. Ensuring a customer support agent is always available to answer customer’s questions and provide personalized support will increase customer satisfaction and help you reduce the bounce rate. Chat bots that utilize predictive technology can also be extremely handy and enable you to anticipate shoppers’ needs and deliver timely guidance during critical moments.
  • Hassle-free checkout process. Checkout page is the highest drop-off point on eCommerce sites. Sometimes it’s due to shopper indecisiveness, but more often than not it’s a result of a cluttered and complex checkout process. Minimizing the number of steps required to complete the purchase and offering the right selection of payment gateways are often the go-to solutions for checkout optimization.
  • User-friendly return policy. The service you provide after a purchase occurs is in a way even more important than the seamless buying experience. It is one of the main factors that will determine whether a customer returns. If you’re focused on wooing your shoppers with one-click purchasing, the returns policy should be just as simple and straightforward to maintain customer’s satisfaction.  

Ways to measure User Experience

If you’re not measuring user experience, you don’t understand the usability issues hindering your site’s performance. If you don’t understand them, you can’t improve. There are a lot of different metrics that can be used to measure UX, but the most popular ones include:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Completion rates
  • Churn rate
  • Customer Lifetime Value
  • Retention
  • Product page conversion
  • Bounce rate
  • Returning visitors

What is the difference between UX and UI?

User experience focuses on the user, her overall experience and journey through the product, and concerns itself with meeting the exact needs of a customer. User interface is all about the surface of the product, the visual aspects of the design, how they function on a screen and how a user interacts with them.

UX and UI are different things but must go hand in hand to create an intuitive and beautiful product experience.