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In today’s online environment, most website visitors have grown accustomed to a user experience (UX) that’s not just “acceptable” but “delightful.” Anything less can send them to a competitor within a matter of seconds. A strong UX can mean different things for different types of sites. For example, an ecommerce site must include a smooth checkout process while news sites must incorporate intuitive navigation for visitors to find their way among various topics.
Without such enhancements, a site may do what it’s designed to do — such as enable purchases — but it might not give visitors a sense of pleasure when they interact with it. This sense is part of a larger effort toward greater customer-centricity throughout the business world. Customers now demand ease of use, customized recommendations, and hassle-free troubleshooting. Savvy businesses are smart to provide these things to them.
Yet, most website developers are trained to make features, not experiences. To create the whole package, developers must work with UX engineers who understand what users are looking for and how to make it happen. Here at BairesDev, we have both kinds of professionals to ensure our clients can provide what their customers expect. Below we look at this behind-the-scenes relationship, which can mean the difference between mediocre and magnificent and that has one crucial component – Design Thinking.
Design thinking goes beyond features and functionality to consider the people who will be using them. Because website creators aren’t always trained on this aspect of the development process, they may consult with designers who are. Together, this team works through several phases to come up with a site that satisfies both technical and usability requirements. Design thinking isn’t a once-and-done process. Rather, it involves the following recurring steps:
The design-development team will likely incorporate some elements of UX that have been successful before:
When creating an excellent UX, starting from scratch is often easier than trying to fix up a website that isn’t performing well — because you may not know why it isn’t well received by users. Company and marketing managers can consider the signs on this checklist, which point to common reasons that customers may not be feeling the love:
At BairesDev, we take UX seriously and have professionals on staff who work with our developers to ensure it’s built into every new website, as well as all our custom software. Our UX engineers have developed a keen eye for identifying UX issues and have enough expertise to propose solid solutions from the minute they get on board with any project.
To get inside the minds of website users, these engineers use strategies like heat map analysis, unused feature reports, performance checks, A/B tests, and analysis of other websites.
They also use focus groups to watch how visitors actually use a website, which might be very different from how they describe their use when asked. For example, maybe you think adding videos is a good thing, and test viewers agree if you ask them. But, through focus groups, you might find out they really prefer a more straightforward approach and written communication.
Analytics and business intelligence (BI) are other useful tools for websites that are already deployed. Analytic algorithms provide data to better understand users and their behavior on your site, which can uncover improvement possibilities. Analytics in combination with artificial intelligence (AI) can help automate the process even more.
BI comprises a wide range of tools and strategies that have one specific goal: to provide you with detailed reports about your business and its assets. You can use BI tools to gather the information you’ll later use with analytics to better understand your audience. Additionally, BI will provide features to view information at a granular level, allowing you to easily visualize and learn from it.
It all adds up towards one of the key priorities in today’s website development – to create the best experience possible for different audiences. That’s a tall order but with all these tools and guided by design thinking, you’d certainly be closer to overcome the challenge.
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