User experience: The move from complexity to simplicity

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Bad user experience (UX) is like pulling on a door that says push. We’ve all had that head banging moment of frustration when we start shouting at inanimate objects. So, what is the right balance of design and usability that makes for a great user experience?

Bad user experience (UX) is like pulling on a door that says push. We’ve all had that head banging moment of frustration when we start shouting at inanimate objects. So, what is the right balance of design and usability that makes for a great user experience?

Digital UX is not an element to be skipped over if you want to be a thriving business in the age of digital disruptions. Designs that are too complex make users feel overwhelmed. Customers often decide whether they like a website or not in a matter of seconds.

So why is less more?

A simple design improves the user experience by offering an easy, intuitive path to what you are looking for. This greatly improves the Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) of a website, as consumers not only crave, but now expect, a personalised and flawless user experience.

In digital marketing terms, Conversion Rates are the percentage of website visitors that convert to customers or take a desired action. This can include signing up for mailing lists, making a purchase or sharing the webpage on social media.

The Graze website is a brilliant example of well-crafted UX design; it is simple to use with engaging visuals, with a solid 8.6/10 rating from Trust Pilot. From first landing on the website, the purpose of the website, the brand ethos and the range of products on offer are clearly displayed.

Why should retailers invest in digital user experience?

The internet has lowered the barriers to entry for anyone hoping to set up shop, as the costs associated with traditional brick and mortar stores are significantly lowered. With so many competitors popping up, digital retailers must focus on improving their UX and CRO, which go hand in hand, an integral aspect of any future digital operating model.

Of course, as a retailer you would like your customers to have a great user experience, but how can you know where to focus your efforts? The following metrics offer a wealth of insights to optimise decisions about where to focus your UX design efforts using data driven methods:

  • Bounce rate: This is a measure of the percentage of users who will exit a site immediately after visiting via the landing page. An unusually high bounce rate will suggest that the website is not effective at maintaining user engagement.
  • Traffic volume to conversion ratio: Poor conversion rates, despite large traffic volumes, may suggest there is a pain point through the user journey which needs to be rectified.
  • Process mapping websites combined with funnel analysis can identify where users drop off throughout their customer journey.
  • Browser and device compatibility: Does the website receive more visitors from one browser or device type than another? If so, a compatibility issue may be wreaking havoc, resulting in a conversion loss.
  • Channels: It is important to look at which channels your traffic is coming from. It may highlight the need to optimise UX and CRO in certain channels.

Additionally, having better UX design leads to higher rankings through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO); the holy grail digital marketers obsess over. A great user experience will improve the bounce rate of a website; metrics that Google’s algorithms will consider when ranking websites.

Feeding into this, an easy to use and informative website will also be more likely to generate backlinks which will help drive traffic through better SEO rankings. This focuses on generating rankings organically as opposed to Search Engine Marketing (SEM), where advertisers pay for the promotion of their websites through search engines.

Increasing visibility through SEM advertising does not necessarily mean a website will rank highly organically on search engines if the website is not deemed of a high quality.

So how can you make simple UX designs stand out?

Simplicity in design, however, does not mean that UX design can’t be clever. Micro-interactions can achieve just the right balance of simplicity and usability through tiny on-screen animations, transitions or reactions that are cascaded when a user interacts with an interface.

These minute details can inform an end user via visual feedback based on an action. This alters a traditionally mundane experience into one that is satisfying and relatable.

This can be as simple as “liking” a Facebook post.  For online retailers, a satisfying example of this is the visual feedback of a “+1” being added to the shopping basket when an item is selected for purchase.

As we move further into this brave new digital world, we must consider how to encompass UX design strategy into evolving operating models in a digital world. The growing number of digital channels highlights the need for an omnichannel approach to UX design.

Consumers are now regularly experiencing a consistent and seamless multi-channel experience. Retailers must be able to anticipate and adapt their designs to accommodate changing needs of consumer lifestyles.

New data and analytics functions can be embedded at the design stage with set KPIs to monitor customer responses.  Retailers must increasingly focus on incorporating simple but effective UX designs into blended omnichannel experiences to attract and retain customers.

This can be optimised with embedding micro-interactions, and a dedicated analytics function will generate insights and recommendations on how to build and constantly improve your website to provide the best user experience. This will result in an improved SEO and CRO, placing the customer at the heart of the interaction.

Our Author

Susan is an enthusiastic member of the Strategy & Operating Model practise at Capgemini Consulting. Since joining Capgemini, Susan has had a wealth of experience working in digital transformation and managing a large financial services account.

She is currently on a secondment in the Capgemini Applied Innovation Exchange, where she enjoys translating all the ideas in her head to help clients solve problems through emerging technology.

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