Web design gets plenty of attention these days, but many clients find themselves unsure of what they are trying to accomplish within their website. Many simply respond with something like, “I want to strengthen my online presence,” but what really does this mean? It’s a generic statement that doesn’t get to the roots of what they want in a brand-customer relationship.
This is why user experience, or UX, is becoming a much more important factor when designing a website. UX takes a fresh perspective on the whole design process and pays more attention to the user and the types of features that will make their experience smooth and seamless. It’s a different approach to building a website with a bunch of cool features and hoping that people will like it.
The biggest advantage to UX is that it balances the needs of the user with the goals of the business. Instead of paying a ton of money for a great website that doesn’t meet your goals, you can have a simpler and more practical website that appeals to users and your business. UX is definitely a worthy approach, but there are still a lot of misconceptions about it.
In this post, we are going to check out seven of the biggest UX myths and why you don’t need to believe them.
1. UX is an optional approach.
Every business has a user experience. With UX, you can now design it. Some people think this means UX is optional, but it’s really not. If you don’t think about the user experience, you’re going to miss out on new sales and customer retention.
Consider this example. When your business sends out an invoice, you can use a standard template or brand-created invoice. The customer will pay both invoices, but one will work better at developing a connection and retaining the customer’s business.
2. UX is a type of web design.
This is one of our favorite myths because people have a hard time shaking it off. We’ve worked with clients that think that once UX is applied to their site, all their problems will go away. But it doesn’t work this way.
UX IS a huge part of the web design process, but it extends beyond your website. UX design encompasses the entire design process and also how you connect with customers and live up to your brand’s promises.
So, if a customer purchases a product off your website but doesn’t receive emails about the order being shipped out, this is going to affect the user experience. If that same person calls customer service and wants to know where his product is, this is also going to impact the experience.
3. You already know your audience, so who cares?
It’s been long recommended for brands to get to know their audience. Chances are, you’ve done some research into the matter and can confidently describe your average prospect. But it’s also likely that the information you have collected is limited, and you assume that because your product is awesome, people are going to love it.
No matter how good your product is, there will always be others out there competing for the same audience. You must collect objective data and test it continuously to learn about your customers. Making assumptions won’t help you out in the long run.
4. User experience is all about usability.
Usability is definitely a part of any UX design – or web design in general – but you can’t ignore business principles and targeting. Your website is still a branding tool and is designed to generate sales, so your website must be thoughtfully put together. This is why the behaviors of your visitors should be tracked and measured so that you can work to improve the user experience.
5. UX embraces new technology.
Technology never fails to impress, but just because something is flashy and appealing doesn’t mean it’s the right fit. Plus, you must remember that technology is simply a tool to achieve better results and won’t improve the user experience ‘just because.’
For instance, today’s websites are capable of handling loud and dazzling videos, especially with HD cameras and Wi-fi access. But are you going to gain customers just because you put this on your website? Nope. UX design only uses technology when it makes sense and works.
6. Users have a rational thought process.
It’s possible that you happen to be one of the few businesses in the world that has completely rational thinking customers. But it’s much more likely that you don’t. The truth is, consumers usually don’t buy rationally. They have different triggers that make them more likely to buy a product, and it’s up to you to find them.
A company that sells makeup knows their customers care about their appearance, and so they tap into this mindset to sell their products. A travel company that sells vacation packages will take a different approach. They remind their audience of how tired and overworked they are and how they deserve a getaway.
Just because your product is the rational choice doesn’t mean your audience will see it that way. Know what triggers people to buy your product.
7. UX will be short lived.
While it’s true that the web design industry continues to change, this does not mean that new ideas are introduced, tried out and then put to rest. Most advances are fine tuned to be a better fit for websites, but their original intention remains.
In the end, UX design will not be replaced by something new. It is a long-term and all-encompassing strategy.
We hope that these seven myths have helped you better understand what UX is and how it applies to your website. Many people continue to think that UX design is part of a website design project, but this isn’t the case. UX design is an all-encompassing strategy that covers everything from the home page of your website to the customer service that is received from your call center.
Are you ready to learn more about UX design and how it can improve your website? Set up a consultation with SEMGeeks to learn more about our approach to web design.