What is the User Experience?
WHAT IS THE USER EXPERIENCE? AND HOW SHOULD YOU THINK ABOUT IT?
When dealing with what your purpose behind your website is, you need to make sure that you do not forget the users who will use your website. Often the designer will not immediately know why people go to that website and how they use it.
An anecdote might be helpful at this point. I had a customer which hired me to create a website for their church. The church had a website, but they didn’t like it. It was difficult to operate, and many pages were hidden deep within the website which ought to have been on the surface. I worked on trying to figure out how people used the website. They had surveyed the church and come back with the answers: I thought I had all the information that I needed to fix all the problems for the website.
I needed to get a few more pictures, so my family and I visited during a worship service. Afterwards, I was speaking with one of the elders, and immediately he said, “I am so glad you are building this website. It has been so irritating to get the bulletin each week.” At that point, I realized that I had had no idea that most of the church members used the website to get the bulletin. The next day I added a button to the front page which said, “Weekly Bulletin.” And I linked it to the newest bulletin. I now had fixed their biggest problem, but I had almost delivered a website to them which didn’t fix that problem.
IMMEDIATELY ACCESSIBLE ELEMENTS
Users come to your website for a couple of reasons. They use your website in a couple of ways. Figure out what those elements are, and put them immediately accessible to your users’ fingertips. Make it easy to find, and easy to click.
HOW DO I MEASURE THE SUCCESSFUL USE OF MY SITE
You need to figure out what you want your users to do on your site, and you need to figure out how to measure those metrics on your site. If you want to build your email list, you would measure an increasing list and you would measure how many people open your emails too.
IS THIS A BRAND NEW SITE? OR IS IT UPDATED?
If this is a brand new site, you will need to constantly think of ways to determine who is using your site and why. If it is an updated site, try to talk to some of the current users and figure out what they are using the site for.
Just as determining what your website’s purpose is helps you streamline your website, so too asking these questions can help you determine what the user considers the purpose of your site. You can make sure that their experience is as free from frustration as possible.