User experience is the overall experience of a person using a product, such as a website. It focuses on having a deep understanding of your users – what they need, what they value, their abilities and their limitations.
It also takes into account your business goals and objectives. It should meet your business needs as well as your audience needs. A win-win scenario for both you and them.
Ultimately, you want people to perceive your service as useful and valuable. Every action and process, both online and offline, may impact how customers see you and how they’ll talk about you (their experience).
This is also true for the digital side of your business. In other words, you need to communicate well, so that users understand your service and value as quickly as possible.
Enable customers to understand you, while you take action to understand them – or someone else will.
Top tips to boost user experience (UX)
Make the user feel in control
Users may be just looking or comparing, making their actual decision later. Allow users options to skip for later, save or edit, so they don’t feel pressured or rushed on your website. And keep the option to contact you directly visible, in case they want to ask questions.
Simple & consistent navigation
Don’t reinvent the wheel – users use many services every day, not just yours. They will most likely be used to menus, online forms, and buttons working in a certain way. Make your patterns are predictable and consistent. This will ensure users stay on your website for longer and are more likely to be converted into customers / bookings. Don’t overload users’ memory with endless menus and options – you want your website to be easy to remember and navigate.
Trust through social proof
Provide social proof when available. We are all more likely to believe what a friend thinks about a certain product than what is written on its label. Users find reviews from previous customers, social media testimonials and referrals most trustworthy.
Streamline repetitive tasks
Wherever a task has to be repeated, for example starting over a failed booking, avoid having the user do the same thing again. Allow autofill on online forms, options to "select all" on lists, and the ability to copy and paste information.
Make users feel safe to browse
Users will feel more encouraged to browse information online if they can clearly understand how to go back to where they started.
They will also feel more encouraged to browse if they don’t feel pushed or manipulated into doing something on your website. Where possible, give users a sense of workflow:
- reassure users of what is currently happening as they browse, what is ahead, and different actions they can take
- set things in place to prevent users from making too many mistakes
- share good and timely information
- provide the ability to go back and edit things, for example, when users are completing an online form
Reward positive actions. Reassure users when they’ve accomplished what they wanted to do and acknowledge that the process they started is successful. For example:
- use a very visible “thank you” message after users submit a form
- provide clear information to users on what will happen next, such as details on when they’re likely to receive a reply if they’ve contacted you
Minimise effort for users
Most people dive in and try to find their way around your website on instinct:
- be clear, keeping language plain and concise, and make sure the most important information is front and centre on the page
- make actions (buttons) on your website very clear and distinct – for example the "book now" button
- avoid fatigue by ensuring you don’t have unnecessarily lengthy processes, and don’t request more information than needed