ScreamingBox has been developing digital products for 9 years now, and over that time we have learned a thing or two about digital development. No matter whether it is a desktop or mobile product, the User Experience (UX) is one of the most important aspects of a product. Although the function and technology of what the product does is the basis of a product, it is how the user experiences the product that will determine the success or failure of a product.
This article is for both developers who develop digital products and businesses who need digital products for their business. This overview of 6 tested User Experience (UX) tips should give an important understanding of what areas you need to focus on in order to improve the success rate of any digital product.
We define a digital product as a software-enabled product or service that offers a utility to a user. An example of a digital product is a website or a mobile application, but it can also be a digital .pdf email flyer or a complete email campaign, trade show presentation or automating manual back-end processes.
Yes, businesses can have brick-and-mortar setups and websites to offer them a competitive edge, break geographical barriers, and tap into their international market. But nowadays businesses need a digital presence and business process as much as, or sometimes even more than hard infrastructure.
Like with a physical office, one needs to put in a lot of effort, thought and research into designing your digital product. A website, e-book or mobile application is your virtual sales executive. Like any other sales executive, its role is to ensure that the user has a smooth, easy and enjoyable experience when using your digital product.
The key to creating a memorable and unique user experience is about putting yourself in the user’s shoes and understanding their needs, wants, challenges, and preferences. In addition, you need to know the average user’s abilities and challenges, so you do not create a mobile application or website that is too complicated or advanced.
Suppose you are a business owner, or a developer looking to design or improve a new or existing digital product for a brand or company. In that case, these are a few tips that will ensure that your clients have a fantastic user experience that will keep bringing them back.
1. Aim for simplicity
Whether it is the first, second or third time opening your website, a customer should be able to navigate through it and quickly find what they are looking for. For example, if you are running an online clothing store, a user should immediately be able to identify the different sections, like casual dresses, cocktail dresses, add items to their cart, and add their payment details.
So, if a potential user opens your site and the entire setup is confusing, chances are, they will close it because it is too much work and takes too long to get what they want. This is a key reason User eXperience is so important. It takes a lot of marketing resources to get buyers to a site or mobile app, and just having them leave without buying anything because the UX is not intuitive, too complex or hard to navigate, is a real financial loss for the business.
2. Hierarchy of importance
Imagine you were a client using a website or a mobile app. What would you like to see first when you open it? You would probably want to see what brought you to the site. If I am on a shopping app, I would want to see a list of different sections that I can navigate until I find the one that I am looking for. When I find my item, I would like to look at the cart, then see similar items or what other users purchased, for example.
Navigating a site or app is kind of like house-hunting. Most people want to see what is available in a specific area of what’s available. Understanding the user’s wants and reasons they came to the website or app in the first place allows a developer or product designer to know what content needs to be displayed first, second, third, etc.
3. Optimize page speed
People are very impatient by nature. When they are scrolling on their mobile phones or laptops, they expect pages to load as soon as they click on them. Your website might look superb and colourful, but if it takes several seconds to load a page, chances are they will give up the entire process altogether. Thus, optimizing your page speeds is critical to improving the user experience.
It takes a potential client only a few seconds to opt-out of purchasing. If your page loading speeds are excellent, then customers can move from one page to another in no time at all and quickly add items to their cart and then pay for them.
There are several ways to optimize your user speeds. One sure way is to size your images before uploading them to your website. Plus, Google now has a service that will help you analyze your page speeds. Another critical thing to consider is using the right platform or technology that allows for the most efficient and intuitive UX design for a specific type of digital product.
4. Your digital product should be mobile friendly
According to a survey conducted in 2021, almost half of the respondents admitted that they spend an average of six hours on their phone, not counting work-related phone use. In other words… people are always on their phones. So, while you are designing your digital product, ensure that it is both desktop and mobile user-friendly.
If people have to keep zooming in and out to see content on a mobile device, they will get frustrated. You should not limit an enhanced user experience to one device. A user should be able to move from their laptop to their phone and not see a difference in ease of use.
Google has recently begun penalizing website search ranking results for websites that aren’t highlighting the significance of mobile flexibility and adaptability.
5. Keep track of your 404s
There are few things more frustrating than encountering a 404 error whenever you try to load a page from a website or app. You might even go as far as restarting your computer or phone until you realize it is the site with the problem. There are tons of sites that offer the same service or product you are looking for, so if you get a 404 error, you will probably try one of those other sites. Therefore, 404 errors are dangerous and cause a site or app to lose business.
There are ways around these 404 error messages. You can set up Google Webmaster tools on your website and cross-check crawl errors to determine whether you have any 404s. You can also ensure that when a user hits on a 404 page, they have the option of going back to the previous page.
6. Consistency is key
An enhanced user experience is much more than adding new and unique features. It can be as simple as being consistent. When you start your brand or company, you work on your logo, themes, and any other aspects that will distinguish you from competitors. When you choose these different elements, like color combinations, fonts, or images, you need to stick with them. Why? Because it builds confidence and trust in users and clients. It shows a level of commitment and order that they will assume translates into your product and service provision.
When a user opens your website or app, the different pages should have a consistent and uniform format. This will leave a lasting impression on users and will look more professional. One way to help keep a consistent brand identity on your digital products is to have a brand book that has the brands colors, fonts, images, about content and other brand marks and graphics.