In 1993, Don Norman coined the term “user experience” for his group at Apple Computer. When he coined the term, he was talking about the whole experience from packaging to customer service.
However, it’s nothing new. In 1955, industrial designer, Henry Dreyfuss, wrote “Designing For People”, in which he stressed the connection between people, their experience, and the successful design of a product.
Designing for people
When I first set out to work on websites, I focused on continually trying to make them better. Not with one-off builds, but by helping our clients develop pages and produce content that helps the people using the website understand the products or services better. User experience actually goes one step further than just working on the website. For example:
User experience & conversion rate optimisation
What we ask when we first start working with a client is ‘how can we make the experience of the visitors as meaningful and valuable as possible?’
Conversion rate optimisation is all about user experience. The truth is, while it is important to concentrate, talk about, and measure conversions, if you do not enhance your website’s user experience, the chances of making a real difference to the conversion rate will remain very low.
A user experience might look like this:
For the person using this website, nothing got in the way of their decision-making. No bugs, no frustrating navigation, no searching around for shipping costs or opening times; just a very easy experience. Boom, your conversion rate and sales increase.
Let’s think about this. If you opened a shop on the high street and the door on the way in was slightly broken, or at the checkout the card machine didn’t work, you would probably not expect customers to buy. What if you didn’t cater to shoppers with a disability? You wouldn’t expect to win retailer of the year.
Why think about your website in any other way?
A good, no, great user experience (UX) can only be achieved with two things:
This all needs to align, of course, with your business goals. This isn’t about asking users what they want, this is about making sure visitors understand what your business offers.
My 5 main ways to keep improving user experience
All these points will soon become part of Google’s measurement for search results.
People will continue to coin new terms.
Testing out ideas and putting people first. This has been a successful strategy for businesses for many years. This, my friends, is what will have a long-term effect on your business.