User Experience is about the feelings and responses a user gets or anticipates from interaction with a product, system, or service. This includes emotions, perceptions, behaviors, physical and psychological responses, and more. It is no longer effective to simply present the information to the user; they need to be engaged and intrigued yet feel comfortable and confident while having a simple and efficient experience with your website, product or service.
So why is this important to you and your company? Well, your users are your customers or potential customers and if you are not thinking of them, you are probably failing them. Think about it; if your website is static and dull, what perception does that offer your user? If your product is hard to manage and navigate, how do you think that will affect their emotions? Do you think it is unrealistic that a user would choose your competitor's service because they offer a more engaging and personal experience than you do?
Content is King
No matter what you do to your website or service, if you don’t have quality content, you are just wasting your user’s time and doing your company a great injustice. However, just having quality content is not enough either, you must present it in an effective and simple manner so that users can find and absorb the information without having to spend the whole day looking for it.
View an example of a content slider
Using a modal loads the content in a window that actually lives within the same page meaning a user does not have to be directed to another page and then click the back button to get back to where they were. Having simplistic and efficient solutions like this means the user is getting what they want in the shortest and easiest possible way which typically keeps most people happy.
View an example of a modal window
Navigation and links to other pages are very important elements to every website. Not only are they used to connect all the pages of your site but also to create call-to-actions and entice your users to follow the path you would like them to follow. Most links will be easily distinguishable by having some type of color or font formatting that sets them apart from the rest of the text and in the case of navigation, located in a familiar area such as the header or sidebar of the web page.
We Need Feedback
Ever clicked a link and nothing happened? So you click it again and nothing happens — again. If you are like many web users, you may think that the link is not working and navigate to another page or even another website. In many cases, there actually is something happening after you clicked that link — only you have no indication. Meanwhile, the server is working to process your request, then you click the link and start the request over again. Unfortunately, this is an all too common problem that results in lost business and leaves bad impressions.
“Information's pretty thin stuff unless mixed with experience.” - Clarence Day
Today, it’s not enough to provide just the bare minimum. Negative experiences are communicated quicker than ever before with the rise in use of Facebook and Twitter. And while it’s just as easy to quickly react to negative posts, the best approach is to be proactive. Providing a good user experience starts with designing interfaces based on your target audience and then updating the experience by requesting feedback from users. It’s difficult for most of us to disconnect enough from our organization to critically examine the user experience we are providing.