Many companies have some sort of digital presence today. Your company may have a website, a blog, or an online store. When creating these Internet experiences, taking user design (or UX design) into consideration can make or break your online efforts. Good user design results in a site that is easy to use and has all the necessary information available in an easy-to-access format. Bad user design can create a whole host of problems.
Small Problems make big Losses
Many of the big problems with user experience are obvious and easy to point out. However, it’s not just the large issues that web developers need to worry about. For instance, a shopping form that forces the user to start over if the session is cut short, or has drop down menus that reset during an exchange can provide a frustrating experience that may cause the customer to look elsewhere for what they need. It’s important to go over every contingency when vetting a website, ensuring that any small frustration is mitigated as much as possible.
Word of Mouth Spreads
If you’ve had one customer with a bad experience, they are more likely nowadays to spread the word. Customers also have more of an audience than ever before when they want to air their grievances. Blogs, Facebook and sites that host reviews are read by hundreds of thousands of people every day. Because so many customers are net savvy, they also have higher standards for their online experience, as they have likely seen many sites, which have a similar function to yours. If they’ve seen it done better somewhere else, they won’t hesitate to say so.
Your Staff is Probably Confused Too
Customers are not the only people who use company websites; employees also may use them to assist customers or take on day-to-day business. If your site is confusing or hard to use, it will likely result in less productivity among your employees while they go through a long series of unnecessary menus or have to dig to find what they’re looking for. A site that employees rely on must be even more foolproof than one that is only used by customers, to ensure that service is fast and accurate.
Bad UX Design Makes bad Service
Incorrect pricing, ordering glitches, and difficulty finding information are often issues that bad user experience causes. Problems like not receiving an order or receiving the wrong product are often the direct result of poor website design. Errors such as these reflect badly on your entire company, not just your website. If a customer has too many of these experiences, they may begin to feel as though the website’s designers are actively trying to cheat them, which can be a PR nightmare.
User design is the Internet equivalent of a business’s face-to-face customer service employees. If a customer gets bad service from a website, they will likely react just as badly as they would if they had encountered a rude clerk, or an uninformed call center employee. Good user experience shows that you respect your customers’ time.