You’ve been told that website design is important, particularly in terms of UX (user experience). You’ve learned that merely having a website isn’t enough, it also needs to be easy to use and attractive to look at because if it isn’t both those things, your company’s revenue could be significantly impacted, and not in the way you want.
A positive user experience is based on several fundamental principles. It requires your website to be useful enough to answer any question your customer has. It must be simple enough to use so that your customers can easily find what they need, and it needs to be adapted to every kind of user so the navigation menus must be logical. Design consistency across the entire site is vital, as is visual identity because first impressions matter.
UX Planet says, “Knowing how to measure and present the return on investment (ROI) of UX activities is the key to successfully introducing user experience into enterprises. A global enterprise isn’t going to invest in UX just because it’s on trend or on the CEO’s mind. A global enterprise is only going to invest in UX if the figures add up.”
So how does one measure user experience?
1. By the % of visitors that don’t complete a sale
There are various stages in a customer’s journey leading up to a sale. In e-commerce, this is commonly known as the conversion funnel. The funnel is “often divided into “upper funnel”, “middle funnel”, and “lower funnel” which reference the level of education that a potential customer has of a product and the closer they are to purchasing it.” (Oberlo). The number of visitors who exit the funnel without completing a sale is known as the drop off rate. These visitors may remain on your site, but simply don’t make a purchase. To calculate the drop off rate, “create segments for each step in the conversion funnel in Google Analytics. Number of users / Number of unique users in each segment x 100 = Drop off rate (%)” (UX Planet). With this information in mind, you are better able to analyse and optimise your conversion funnel, adjusting the user experience at each stage to increase conversion, thereby maximising ROI.
2. By understanding the problems your users might be having
Knowing where in the funnel your customers are jumping ship is important but understanding why is critical. To get to the why means determining whether any UX errors exist. This can be learned by using UX KPI’s such as task success rate (how many times a user has successfully completed a task on your site – the higher the success rate, the better the user experience), time on task (how long it took someone to complete a task on your site), user error rate (how many times a user made an incorrect entry – giving you an idea of how user friendly your website actually is) and CSAT (a customer satisfaction survey based on pre-set criteria). Insights such as these are powerful as they not only help you understand why your customers are leaving the funnel, they also give you the opportunity to improve the user experience in specific areas, ultimately boosting your company’s bottom line.
3. By calculating conversion rates
To understand this metric, imagine you have a page on your website where users can sign up to receive a free e-book. If 2000 people landed on this page and 200 signed up to receive the e-book, the conversion rate would be 200 (the number of actual sign-ups) divided by 2000 (possible sign-ups) multiplied by 100 = the conversion rate percentage, in our case 10%. Conversion rates are impacted significantly by the experience that one has on your website which is why A/B testing (split testing) is very useful.
To perform an A/B test, two versions of a webpage are created (with changes to one or more variants) which are shown to users at random. An analysis is then conducted to determine which page performed better than the other over a pre-established period of time. With each test, you learn how to better your content, make it more effective – increasing your chance of achieving a higher conversion rate and profitability.