What is one thing about a website that leaves a lasting impression on the customer’s mind?
The sharp use of animations? The beautiful color scheme? Or the use of unique fonts?
What if I told you that it’s none of the above, but at the same time, it’s all of the above?
The only thing that will leave a lasting impression on a customer’s mind is the overall experience they have on the website. And that experience includes all of the options I referred to and many others.
Before getting down to the nitty-gritty of customer experience design, we are going to take a brief look at what exactly is customer experience on a website.
Before We Begin: What Is Customer Experience?
You might be thinking that there’s no need for this point, but really, hear me out.
CX is the entire experience the consumer might have with a brand. From finding out about it to making the purchase, each step builds up that experience and any mistake can sour that easily.
When it comes to a website, the scene is not that different. From discovering the site to interacting with it, all of it is going to form experience and eventually, an idea about the brand.
So, why is it important to aim for a customer experience website design? Because at the end of the day it is crucial for business growth. And if this reason is not enough to convince, here are more reasons why business owners should think about improving CX using website design.
All The Reasons Why CX Needs To Be Improved
When starting the web design project you might be thinking that following best practices, design trends, and design psychology laws will be enough. All of this will be more than enough to improve user experience on the website. But is that really it?
From my experience in the industry, I can definitely assure you that you need more. Just paying attention to the trends and best practices will not get that kind of success that you are aiming for. There is a direct relation between web service design and customer experience, and this relationship needs to be taken advantage of.
Here are some reasons why you need to enhance customer experience design. Take notes, because this is going to be important.
1. Staggering Increase In Conversions
It is an important yet headache-inducing factor for every business owner. Just getting traffic is never enough, you have to ensure that those visitors turn into a customer as well. However, this transformation is not easy, unless you go for a customer-centric approach.
People out there want to work with someone who understands their needs and provides the experiences and services that fit their needs. And in such a scenario where conversion rates are directly related to the customer experience on the website, it becomes necessary to improve the web design efficiency. So hire such a customer experience design agency who knows how to ensure conversion through design.
Cost Reduction Always Feels Good
How many times did you have to redesign the website?
It’s a no brainer that the design of a site is necessary to impress and convert the customers. However, there are times when the design might fail to do so, and that means redesigning the whole site. And of course, redesigns are not cheap.
Using customer experience design tools and approach, you can actually reduce the cost of the web design project. Once you understand the customer base a lot better you have a better chance at nailing that web design on the first try. This reduces the time needed for research and guesswork on why the site is not working.
3. The Unbreaking Relationship Between Crisis Management And Brand Reputation
Businesses face disaster on a daily basis, and how they deal with those, can make or break their reputation in the market.
Depending on what kind of service is being provided, every organization has to deal with major issues. And how the consumers approach the businesses about these issues makes all the difference.
For a not so customer friendly brand, the customers are going to be outraged and take the issue on a public platform. This gets attention not only from the public but the competitors as well. Needless to say, this will only make things look a lot worse than it might be.
But if the approach is more customer-friendly, consumers will approach the business, in a more private way. They would use the helpline, or chatbot integrated on the website. Remember that at the end of the day it’s not a matter of customer experience vs service design. A customer-friendly approach increases their trust on the website and the business and that makes consumers more likely to be lenient in case of a crisis.
4. Retain The Loyal Ones
There’s no doubt that retaining old clients is a crucial thing for businesses. It is because retention takes a lot less energy and resources than getting new clients. And that’s why an experience-based approach is necessary for the design project.
When you offer exceptional services than other competitors in the market, the consumers are going to come back to you again and again without fail. And being able to build and maintain good relationships with the consumers is going to be the key to business success and growth in the future.
After the reasons, let’s look at some ways of enhancing consumer experience on the site. Remember that while some of these ways are tried and tested, the effects might still be different based on the type of website. So do the research before applying any of these on the website.
Improving Customer Experience With Web Design: A Crash Course
Is following the best practices going to be the only way to enhance the customer experience on the website?
The answer is no. Just the best practices are never sufficient, and that’s why I’ve compiled a list of focus points you should be paying attention to while devising customer experience design strategy.
A. Design Something That Reflects The Brand
Designing for the brand is a significant part of every web design project, and we all know that. But it is essential for user experience design as well.
The brand of a business is what it stands for in the market. The message a brand sends out to the market sets up the customer expectations, and you have to deliver an experience based on that expectation.
And that’s why this way of improving the consumer experience through web design is fairly easy. Because you have control to define the brand through web design and set the expectation. The process will become a lot more flexible with this small trick, not to mention gain you more recognition in the market.
So to begin with, look into ways to create a unique brand identity. Here are some tips to get started-
- What makes the organization unique compared to the competitors?
- Is there any unifying aspect within all the services provided by, if there is, can it be used to create a brand personality?
- How do consumers are going to perceive the brand: serious, tech-savvy, friendly, young (choose any)
Once the mind is made up, comes the time to look into the market expectations of it. Suppose a brand has chosen to present themselves as tech-savvy, young, and funny to the customers. In that case, they have to ensure that the design of the website conveys these characteristics perfectly. From the color scheme to the content, every design element needs to deliver on the experience set by the brand identity of your company.
B. Reinvent The Navigation On The Website
A lot has been said and written about the navigation of a website, but there’s no harm in discussing this part about the CX design program again.
The navigational flow of the website determines how the customer’s journey through the website is going to be like. It needs to be easy and smooth, helping the customers find the right element without a lot of fuss. One of the best ways for any web designer to improve the navigation of the website is to put the major navigation menu right near the top of the website.
It will not only help the consumers to find what they are looking for right from the start but help in navigating the website a lot faster. Remember that they don’t have hours to spend on the website for only one thing. So ensure that the navigation on the website is designed to perfection.
C. Put Emphasis On The Customer Reviews
In the benefits section, we have talked about WOM marketing. This just happens to be an extension of that.
Before we talk about why it is important to put more emphasis on reviews, let’s look at a few statistics.
- 82% of customers always look at the customer reviews, among which 52% said that they check the review before engaging with the business every time.
- 97% of the people who read reviews always check how the business responded to that.
Therefore, reviews are really valuable. Before engaging with the business, the visitors on the website will look for the reviews section. And if there are none, consumers might be a little reluctant to engage.
Providing the consumers a way to leave reviews about the experience and later read on others reviews will develop a level of trust crucial for a better experience. It will create a transparency that will help the consumers to better trust the website later on, even if there are any problems with the services.
So dedicate an entire page or just a section, just ensure that there is a place to review the services and express client opinion on how it can be improved. Additionally, reply to those reviews and take those reviews into account and solve the problems clients might be facing.
D. Fast Loading Websites For The Win
Speed is key when it comes to the success of the website, everyone will tell you that. The speed with which the website loads is directly relative to the usability levels and the kind of experience the users will have.
Customers today want fast service. And that’s why restructuring the site for faster loading time is crucial. Compress the images, and videos on the site. There are many additional ways to improve the site speed, so consult with a customer experience web design company based in New York or any other city before the design process. Remember that the faster the site loads, the better user experience on the site will be.
E. Content Optimization To Match The Public Demand
The content makes the website, and you probably know that. But the website content needs to be well optimized to make it a success.
Depending on the age group, profession, and the basic intellect of the target audience, the customer experience design strategy needs to contain the content optimization stage. A middle-class working man would not enjoy a scholarly article on how to fix a vacuum cleaner. And just like that, a Harvard professor wants better quality content when researching his next paper.
A large part of the customer journey is made up of the content on the pages. The images, language, videos, and fonts used on the website makes or breaks the experience of the users. So if you want to improve the experience, optimize the content accordingly.
E. Develop A Website For Everyone
Web accessibility is an important part of customer experience design principles. However, it is not just about making the site responsive, there’s more to it.
Web accessibility is all about making the site unrestricted to the users despite any disabilities and differences. Following the common practices to increase accessibility on the site will make for better customer experience on the website.
Here are a few points you should be following to make the site really accessible to everyone, therefore improving customer experience through design-
- Responsive design is going to be important if you want to reach users of various gadgets. Users today are interested in accessing the online world on the go, so ensure that the website can scale to any kind of screen size.
- Not everyone is operating with high internet speed. In such a case, the website needs to be cached properly to make it accessible and fast. Consult with the developer before going into the design process.
- There are many differently-abled consumers who would be trying to access the website. Designing the sites and structuring the content keeping their special needs in mind will be crucial in order to really make the website accessible to all and every possible user.
Web accessibility is a matter of inclusivity. In this age and time, discrimination is not something the users tolerate easily. So it’ll be wise to make sure that your website is accessible to everyone out there.
F. Forms And Checkout Simplified
Nobody likes it when it takes an hour to fill up a form on a site, or check out from an eCommerce site. Taking too long to finish a process will destroy the good experience the site might’ve provided till now. So what to do?
Well, for starters, make the forms on the website shorter. The customers really don’t need to put in birth time just to subscribe to the weekly newsletter. So cut out all the useless fields from the form, and include only the most important ones.
As for check out on eCommerce sites, breaking it down into smaller steps is going to be better. Let the users save preferences for easy access. This way the overall experience on the site will improve without any extra effort.
Wrapping Up: The Matter Of Customer Experience And Web Design
More often than not we will get lost in terms like “web design best practices” “agile development” “design psychology” and many others. However, what needs to be remembered is that the design at the end of the day needs to be customer-centric and has to fulfill the basic needs of the customers without any hassle. Customers at the end of the day only care for those companies that care for them.
Have any more questions about improving user encounters with the site? Want to know how we work? Well, if you do, then feel free to contact us. We can help with any web design and development challenges.