Why do you like to return to some e-shops and forget about others quickly? We asked Michal Damborský, UX designer DOMENA.cz, what UX is and why it is so important for successful business (not only) on the Internet.What is UX?
User Experience (UX) stands for the experience of using a website, e-shop, or any service. Ideally, the experience should be so enjoyable that you return to the service or even recommend it.
What contributes to such a positive experience?
There are more factors, we can start with the basic ones. Firstly, how easy it is for us to use the website (usability), secondly, whether it can be used by users with any restrictions (accessibility) or how fast the website loads. But the key is to meet the specific needs of visitors, arouse positive emotions and especially bring some specific value (uniqueness) to the visitor.
Get people in the head
What can happen when a website or application is built without the help of a UX designer?
It’s usually a big deal. Like building a house without an architect. You pay for the production of something you do not know if it will meet the needs of the user and the intentions of the investor. In contrast, UX design allows you to verify the correctness of the design before development and improve it thanks to user feedback. As a result, you save money, but most importantly, you increase the likelihood that customers will return to you.
What exactly is the job of a UX designer?
A lot depends on the type of project we’re working on, but basically it’s about getting in the user ‘s mind and finding out what they need, how they communicate with them, and what the limitations may be.
UX design is a continuous process of improvement.
How is this done in practice?
The UX designer often hires other specialists, such as a researcher who can interview users or obtain and evaluate valuable information, such as questionnaires. Another important person is a copywriter who prepares readable texts or a data analyst who examines the data in depth. This is followed by the design of a prototype that has the functions of the final product, such as a web application, and it is tested with real users so that we can adapt the design to their needs and tune any usability gaps and, above all, catch it before development. Subsequently, it is possible to involve other professions, whether graphics, programmers and others who design a functional web / application.
It is important to say that UX design is a continuous process of improvement, where we continuously evaluate the behavior and needs of users and we are further improving the website or application.
What does such a prototype look like?
A prototype is a mock-up of a future website or application that includes all the important screens, ideally with basic functionality, so that the design can be tested with users. Thanks to specialized tools, it is possible to “click” such prototypes much faster than if the programmer had to prepare them. Of course, this saves time and money and, most importantly, allows the design to be gradually improved.
UX lets you stand out
Why is UX design so important?
In my opinion, UX design is the most important factor that sets you apart from the competition, of course, along with marketing and price. UX enables companies to attract potential customers and, most importantly, to retain them in the long term. I’ll give an example. We each have plenty of options where to shop online. Nevertheless, several e-shops have emerged, which customers prefer to use and are willing to recommend them further. The reason is not just marketing or the price of goods, but their experience with purchasing. But the experience of customers at stone branches or when calling the customer line is also important.
UX allows you to engage customers and keep them for a long time.
Which e-shop would you rate as well-tuned UX?
I do not primarily specialize in UX e-shops, but from my point of view it is www.rohlik.cz. Despite the large number of products, its structure is clear and well-arranged, and the entire purchasing process is very intuitive. This goes hand in hand with the above-standard quality of the offline part of the service, such as fast order delivery or complaint handling.
What projects are it worth hiring a UX designer for?
I would say that these are the vast majority of online projects that have some user interface, where the user can be a customer or an internal employee. The degree of UX designer’s involvement depends on the specific project, but you should always have a good reason for skipping or skipping some steps and activities.
How we tune UX on DOMENA.cz
How did you go about improving the user experience in the new DOMENA.cz administration?
By building a replacement for the existing administration, we can also rely on data that tells us who works with the administration, how and when. Unfortunately, we will not learn the essentials from them, namely WHY. That is why user research is key, ie mapping the needs and expectations of our customers. We created several people from it. Based on their needs, we prepared a prototype of the new interface, which we continuously tested with users.
How does such user research work?
Different methods are appropriate for each project. We can ask through questionnaires, in customer interviews, when testing user existing solutions, or to analyze customer behavior on the web. We used all of these methods for the new administration.
What did you ask about in the interviews?
We asked why our users use administration, what they typically do, what works for them, and what doesn’t. During the interviews, we also showed them the first proposals of the new administration and asked about their expectations and concerns. We were also interested in whether they used another similar service and what experience they had with it.
We were surprised that even lay users want to solve more complex settings themselves.
What did you learn when testing the new administration? Did anything surprise you?
We were surprised that even lay users want to solve more complex settings themselves. For us, this means adding more advanced functions to the administration, but in such a way that they are understandable even to a non-technical user. On the contrary, we were surprised by IT experts that they do not have a major problem using the existing administration. Although it is much less user-friendly, it provides all the necessary functions and these users have already learned with it.
UX, CX, UI… What is what?
What’s the difference between a UX and a UI?
User Interface Design (UI) is a subset of UX design and focuses on designing the functions and behavior of specific user interfaces – websites or application interactions.
And how does CX fit in?
The so-called Customer Experience extends UX’s perception of the interactions that the customer experiences outside the digital world, and further affects their relationship to the company, product, or service provided. Whether it’s a call with a call center employee, the salesman’s behavior or how to deal with a complaint. The two worlds are so interconnected that we often handle customer experience and service within UX.
How can I improve UX on my site, even if it’s not too complicated?
Start chatting with your visitors and asking them about the expectations or issues you can solve with your site. Based on the findings, decide what to invest in energy and test the changes before you have them programmed.
TIP: Prepare a paper prototype with sketches of your site’s screens and show them to your friends.
How can I test my changes even if I’m not an expert?
The key is to get feedback from potential users as quickly as possible. You can prepare a paper prototype with sketches of screens and show them to your friends, family or people in a cafe. This will give you a valuable insight and lots of ideas on where to move the proposal.
And how do I know which change has contributed to people spending more time and shopping more in my e-shop?
So-called A / B testing is often used, where parts of users see the current version of a page and parts the modified version. Subsequently, it is evaluated whether the new one has a positive effect on orders, for example. It’s a relatively safe method of incremental improvement, but it’s not always possible to use it.
Where can I learn more about UX?
But if you want to get started with UX, I recommend a very practical and readable book of 100 things that every designer should know about people from Susan Weinschenk. Another useful source of information is industry events, such as the regular UX Mondays, organized by the UX Association. You can also watch videos of past events. WebExpo is also useful. You can find a more detailed overview of UX events on the UX Association website.