How successful your website is for you will depend largely on how user-friendly your website looks, feels, and interacts with your users. This user interaction is referred to as the “User Experience”.
User Experience covers all aspects of your customer’s interaction with you, your business, and your website.
And Internet users are very savvy these days, they don’t always know what they are looking for, but they definitely know what they DON’T like. And they can spot a boring stock photo or a common templated website in a heartbeat.
Nowadays, it is so easy to find someone to build a website for you. Many charge very low fees and web designers are a dime a dozen. But internet users are much more savvy than they used to be, and they know what they want to find and what they expect to see. And it takes a lot more than just putting up a quick cheap website to impress potential clients these days.
You need to give them something more to grab on to – you need to purposely design your website for suit your user’s emotions, and satisfy their feelings.
This is commonly referred to as a UX design or UI design.
UI design stands for “User Interface”.
UX design stands for “User Experience”.
And although the two both have to do with users who visit your website, what they both accomplish are very distinctly different.
User Experience is what first attracts someone to your site when they visit for the first time. It’s the ‘feeling’ that they get when they visit, how friendly, or inviting, or pleasing the site is to the eye that gets them to stay and look a bit deeper into what is going on or what you have to offer on your website.
The User Interface is how the user interacts with your site. It’s the buttons that they push, the navigation bar that they use. It involves making those button stand out so the visitor is encouraged to press on them, they are a clear call-to-action to make them want to click further into your site and learn more. And it includes the simplicity of your navigation and the logical layout of things throughout your site that make it easy for users to find what they are looking for.
You want to be sure your website is designed around the user’s emotions and how they are feeling when they visit. So when someone visits your site, what emotion would you want to invoke? What would you want them to feel when they visit your site.
Imagine if you walked into a store that sold baby clothes. What might you expect to see? Pastel colors, light bright walls, soft lighting. How would you expect to feel? Happy, whimsical, even a bit giddy.
But what if they decided to paint the walls a dingy brown, with dim lighting, dark baseboard, heavy curtains. You see what I mean, this would not at all be the user experience someone would expect to find. You need to think about your website in the same way. For many of your potential customers, your website will be their first impression of your business. What do you want it to say about you? How do you want them to feel when they first see your site?
All of these things are subtle, psychological triggers that teach your visitors how they should feel about you and your business. And, if they spot your site is a cheap templated knock-off, what impression does that give them? It will scream to them loud and clear that if you didn’t care enough to put custom effort into your website presence, then you probably won’t care about treating them special either.
While it can be very tempting to cut corners a pay a very low price for your website from some freelancer in a foreign country that spits out cookie cutter sites for the cheap.
But more than ever you need to consider that you are only getting what you pay for and you are only ending up with a site that looks just like everyone else’s with no consideration for making you stand out in the online crowd.
To be successful online, you need to take the time and effort to consider your website visitor’s user experience and you need to show that you care about them. You need to take the time, money, and effort to design a site that suits your business, suits what your visitors expect to see, and make it easy for them to use, navigate and order your products and services. And away they will go to your closest competitor, quicker than you can say ‘see you later’.