Thanks for reading part 2 of our series: Analyzing the User Journey. If you haven’t read part 1, click here.
Having great content is essential, but pointless if people cannot easily find, browse, or read relevant articles, or follow the all-important call to action. In fact, even if you paste quality content all over your homepage, few will return to a slow, unattractive, and generally confusing website. To discover how users are interacting with your website, analyzing the user journey is vital.
Consequences of Bad Design
An old, slow, and/or poorly designed website will often miss the chance to convert consumers. The stats are alarming:
- 75% of a website’s credibility is based on look and feel
- 88% of online consumers are reluctant to revisit a website following a poor experience
Tips for User Journey Improvement
Despite these facts, most companies do not properly account for user journey. Following are some rules of thumb for checking the quality of a website from a design perspective.
1. No Website Is Ever Perfect
Many companies build and forget their sites, and don’t regularly apply tools that track and analyze a user’s journey across website pages.
New websites, in particular, should be assessed to eliminate problems by using the various UX tools on the market. However, even existing websites should be changed at least periodically. New types of content and programming should be used in order to stay current and leverage their advantages, and these changes need testing.
2. Know What the Customer Wants to Do
Websites are often built according to internal business structure rather than on customer needs. For example, a car company puts figures for all their vehicles on the same page, even when few customers would be comparing an SUV to a subcompact. UX analysis tools would show that customers hover on one area of the page.
Instead, the website needs to be based on research describing what the customer wants to find. For example, the page showing the subcompact would be linked to a financing window.
3. Website Problems Might Need Attention from Multiple Departments
Management often evaluates UX issues by delegating them to the most associated department. For instance, management will ask the web team to solve the problem of abandoned shopping carts. But by analyzing UX data, they would find that abandonment occurs when the user clicks on shipping cost information, indicating problems with shipping policies. This means that the web team, finance, and marketing all need to be in the loop.
4. Measure the Entire User Journey
Many companies will analyze their site success according to a basic metric, for example, purchases or downloads. However, a customer might already be disappointed earlier in the process. To find out where and eliminate the problem, UX tools should be applied in combination with user surveys that assess customer opinions of the entire website experience.
5. Build for More Than One Customer Type
Even when using UX analysis tools, some companies just fix things to attract one kind of user, for example, somebody going straight for a purchase. This approach ignores the potential variety of users and stakeholders. Some users might be visiting just for product or general information, in which case they should be accommodated with appropriate content, while others will be there to read customer reviews (honest ones should be posted). Each requires a different optimization path.
The reward for following these steps will be an accurate idea of how you should optimize the website. The next blog in this series examines tips and tricks for optimization and conversion. Click here to read it!