Users are what make a website work. But since there are more than 400 million active websites online at any given time, it’s hard to find the right UX strategy to catch users’ attention and keep them interested enough to make sales.
Design efforts that put the user experience (UX) first are now crucial if you want to make it easier for people to use your site with less trouble and frustration. Early UX efforts were mostly about how fast a website or page loaded, but the field has grown since then. Now, sites need full-fledged UX strategy plans to make the most of their content, improve site efficiency, and keep users coming back.
Let’s talk about how the idea of UX strategy is changing, why it’s important, and look at some examples of how quality strategy is used.
What is a UX strategy?
The better the user experience, the more likely you are to get people interested and get them to buy. The hard part? Given the size and scope of trying to solve every possible problem on a website, as well as balancing the needs and wants of different users with different priorities, trying to make UX that is everything to everyone usually ends up making things worse.
UX strategy helps solve this problem by figuring out which features have the biggest effect on the overall user experience, which functions need the most work, and how both of these needs are affected by the current technology and budget.
In practice, UX strategy combines your business’s goals, your IT’s capabilities, and your top users’ needs to make sure you’re addressing the right issues at the right time with the right resources.
Now, let’s look at what a good UX Strategy is made of.
Parts of a UX strategy
- Long-Range Plan
This step is easy. Before making a plan, you need to know what you want to achieve. All you have to do is know who you want to reach and what you want to give them.
Example: Making a forum that is easy to use and where web developers can learn and connect.
A good UX strategy is always changing based on what customers want and what new technology is available. Focus on new ideas in your business, and never be happy with how things are.
- The study of customers
As with any product, your customers are where it all begins. The great thing about UX strategy is that you can usually get feedback in real time by setting up a help desk. By looking at the most common problems your customers have, you’ll always know what their pain points are.
This should be easy to understand. Your design should give the customer something of value, look good, and go well with your product. We’ll give you some great examples below.
What’s the point of a UX strategy?
You’ve probably heard the statistic that if a site doesn’t load in three seconds or less, customers will go somewhere else. Even though it’s still an important metric—Google recently started using page speed as part of how they rank sites—speed alone isn’t enough to make a great user experience (UX).
This is why: Recent survey data shows that 20% of users said slow load times were their biggest site frustration, while 24% said overall page unreliability was their biggest site frustration. This includes page elements that move around or don’t show up right, as well as 404 errors and broken links. 15% of people said pop-up ads were the problem, and 13% said ads made their experience worse.
It’s clear what this means for business owners: page speed helps get people to your site, but it’s not enough to keep them there. If pages don’t load right, it’s hard to get around, or there are too many ads, the goodwill you’ve built up from fast loading times goes away almost immediately.
When you add in the fact that people’s habits are changing quickly, like moving to mobile-first connections and wanting seamless customer service across multiple channels, the experience becomes the most important factor in a site’s success.
In a nutshell? You need a strong UX strategy if you want to make more sales and keep your customers coming back.
Getting a better UX strategy
Jesse James Garrett, who was one of the first people to work on UX design, thinks that most current efforts fall short when it comes to making a truly human-centered experience.
In a recent article for Fast Company, he says that many UX efforts “amount to little more than UX theater: creating the appearance of due diligence and a patina of legitimacy that’s just enough to look like a robust design process.” In other words, a lot of UX work is just for show.
So how do you make sure that your UX strategy really gets the results you want? These three steps will get the process going:
- Consider current conditions.
To get where you want to go, you need to know where you are now. This starts with a review of your website’s current UX efforts. The goal is to figure out what’s working and what’s not, as well as which changes are most important.
Customer feedback is important, but it can be hard to get consistent information from a large number of users. Staff members, on the other hand, are great sounding boards who are always available. Ask them to check out your website and give you honest (and anonymous) feedback. This process can help you find complaints that come up often and help you figure out the next step of your UX strategy.
- Write down specific goals.
The next step is to choose and write down specific goals. Here’s why: If users tell you that your site’s design is hard to understand and frustrating, it can be tempting to just fix this problem for everyone.
The size and number of a site’s features and functions, on the other hand, make this hard, if not impossible. When you change one part of your site, other parts change too, which creates a frustrating feedback loop.
Instead, choose specific goals. For example, if your WordPress site’s menu navigation is hard to use and clunky, start there. Give that interaction and its resolution the most importance before moving on to other things.
- Make a plan for the trip.
Once you know what your most important UX goals are, you need a step-by-step plan to reach them. Think about the above example of a WordPress site. If you want to get better at navigating, what tools will help you do that? Need a new theme or template? Plugins from a different set? Does the site itself need to be updated and redesigned to make sure that the menu items are still useful and easy to find?
By planning your UX journey before you start working, you can reduce the chance of making mistakes and improve the quality of your final results.
Solving for UX Strategy
Even though it’s impossible to “solve” the problem of UX strategy in its entirety because customer expectations for site experiences change over time, the right UX approach can put your business on the path to a steady improvement in experience over time. By regularly looking at how things are going, figuring out which problems are most important, and putting step-by-step solutions in place, you can make it easier for users to do things on your site, reduce user frustration, and increase overall engagement to increase your total ROI.