Have you ever felt frustrated or even angry when using a website? Where you just can’t find what you are looking for or something doesn’t work like expected. Or maybe, you have to complete so many actions before purchasing a product, with the website requiring you to create a user account and then afterwards, instead of directing you to the checkout page, you are directed to the homepage. You leave in frustration, vowing never to return.
This is bad user experience design. A customer who has had a bad experience is unlikely to return.
User experience (UX) thinking is a vital part of the website creation process. Our goal as website owners and/or designers is to provide an intuitive and easy experience to all our website’s main user groups. Well-designed websites (ie those that start from a place of UX thinking) lead to more conversions: more sales, more inquiries or more subscribers.
User flows to create an intuitive experience for your website’s visitors
When planning a website, UX designers create user flows to understand the various ways different groups of people (and different target audiences) may use the website.
User flows are simply maps of the journeys users may take when landing on the website.
For example, a person arrives on the website after doing a Google search for ‘women’s maternity dresses’. They land on the homepage, then click on the navigation menu item that says Maternity. On the next page, they can easily filter products in order to view only the maternity dresses. They click on a product they like, add it to cart and checkout.
In the above example, the website creators have made it easy and intuitive for website users to quickly understand what products the store sells and to find the exact products they are looking for. This falls under user flows – thinking about how someone might use a website in order to create the simplest, most intuitive shopping experience.
A great way to align website goals with user flows is to think backwards. What is the end goal of your website? If it’s to get a visitor to purchase a product, then think of the easiest, simplest way to help the visitor achieve this. Make it clear what you sell as soon as someone lands on your website. Then, create an easy-to-use + intuitive navigation system so they can quickly find what they are looking for. Also, make sure to have product search functionality so it’s easy to find a product or product type and a product filtering system if you are selling lost of products.
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