As we all know, user experience (UX) is extremely important, as it ensures that the website is visually attractive, functionally sound and ticks all the boxes in terms of usability.
However, what can often be sidelined in the pressures of getting a site launched or re-launched, is the critical part UX can play in driving business growth.
UX for growth can be achieved by:
(i) understanding the reasons why people will use (are using) your product and
(ii) identifying the minimum effort needed to deliver your value proposition.
It’s then about aligning this information with your website's user experience.
Understanding (but not over thinking) your user needs
It’s very easy to define personas around demographics and articulate a single need in relation to a solution that your product delivers. The issue with this is that it can create false needs based on the product rather than actual problems users are facing.
In fact, personas should focus on actual user problems or needs, the user’s intent, and their behaviours relating to the product. Being honest with yourself about user needs and goals will help you to simplify your value proposition and focus on what’s important. For example, one of the key reasons why customers transact more online with one business over another is because the online and mobile accunts are already fully set-up.
This enables you to identify solutions that your product offers, but can also help you develop, position, and articulate your product (having a better product is not always enough). All with the purpose of guiding the user to the “magic moment’ – the moment when the user finally sees the value in your product. However, in order to get to this moment, you need to understand what success is (for the user and the business) and how you will measure this.
Aligning website UX with user and business success
Once you are able to articulate the user needs and solutions, you can then start to define the key user journeys across the site. These should be developed with a key goal as the end point - with each stage helping the user to reach that goal.
It’s often tempting to focus on one big ask for the user e.g. purchasing or requesting a demo. However, not all users will be at this stage of the decision making process and are likely to drop off the conversion funnel, particularly when they are not familiar with the product.
A great way of reducing this drop-off, is by funnelling users from low barrier actions (such as watching a video) to high barrier actions (such as registering interest). These barriers or call-to-actions should match the perceived level of value for the user, dependent on where they are in the funnel.
Saying this, having different levels of asks on your website should not mean having lots of conflicting goals and messaging. The website should focus on delivering one key goal, with all the content, marketing activity, and CTAs driving towards that goal. Obviously, as the business grows and user needs and behaviours evolve, the goal can and should change.
3 things to consider doing when using UX to drive business growth
- Create (or review your current) user personas focusing on their behaviour in relation to your product and their needs and goals. These do not need to be complicated or time consuming. These should be documents so that you can easily adapt as your business and user needs evolve.
- Put together a menu of actions that users can carry out in line with the business objectives, rather than one big ask e.g. from low-barrier to high-barrier CTAs. Having a list of different actions will allow you to test different CTAs and content to optimise the user journey.
- Ensure that all the content you add to the website is part of an activation journey (focused on a goal) and not a dead end.
- Understanding your user needs and the solutions your business offers can better define the user journeys across your site so you can set up clear goals. This means aligning your UX so that it is able to adapt and evolve - which is crucial for accelerating business growth.
– Seun Akindele, Digital Project Manager