User experience or ‘UX’ for short refers to the emotional aspects associated with using technology, for example a website. It is what the visitor feels about the site, their responses and perceptions of the site as a whole. User experience and usability are important factors in web development and design and if applied correctly, can give you an advantage over your competitors.
What do we mean by user experience?
User experience refers to a series of emotions that are experienced by a person during their interaction with a technological device. These typically include:
• Flow (in the zone)
These and other emotions occur before, during and after using technology. They are combined with the visitor’s preconceptions, prior experience, moods, beliefs and personal state of being. But they are also influenced by their motivations, the device, e.g. website and their location, e.g. at work or on the move (this is known as ‘context of use’).
Why is user experience important?
It is not enough to have a product or service which customers can use in only a functional way. In today’s competitive environment you need to have an edge, a means of standing out from the others. This means finding out more about who your customers are, what they enjoy doing, their interests and what they need.
Plus the internet has assumed a greater role in people’s lives to the extent that it is accessed through a variety of tools such as smartphones, tablet computers and netbooks. They expect to access the web at work, on the move, at home or in any similar situation.
So, in order to keep up with this increased demand, designers try and ensure that their products such as websites are not only effective and useful but give their visitors a great experience as well.
We all know that if you enjoy using something then you will find it easier to use and are likely to do so more than once. It’s not just about creating a device which does what it says on the tin: instead it is about something which is pleasurable and exceeds your expectations.
Factors which contribute to user experience
There are several elements which contribute to user experience which are:
• Site architecture
All of these elements need to work together to produce the optimum user experience. Doing so will ensure brand loyalty as well as boost your volume of customers (and conversion rates!).
It is easy to dismiss emotional responses to technology as frivolous or nothing to do with business but emotions govern your customer’s buying decisions so use them to your advantage.
Adaptive Consultancy is a London web design company who specialise in website design, eCommerce, and internet marketing, including SEO, PPC and SMO. For more on online marketing agencies visit http://www.adaptiveconsultancy.com/web-design/website-design