So, you’ve spent years developing your new product to match your customers’ needs. And you assume the user experience of your online presence will match that of your perfected product.
However, it soon becomes apparent that your website has plenty of visitors but your bottom line is plummeting. Users are failing to connect with your online presence and find what they’re looking for on your site.
Your user experience relies on a range of factors, and it’s important to objectively measure your UX to find out where you’re going wrong.
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Here are six ways to help you match your physical product with a perfected online user experience:
Check your conversion rates and load speed
As a first step, check your website’s load speed. Research reveals that users are willing to wait only a maximum of three seconds for your site to load, and a slow load will also affect your search engine rankings.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool will show you which pages need improvement and pinpoint what’s causing the delay.
You’ll also need to build a picture into how your users behave on your website. There are many different routes here but the Google Analytics Checkout Behavior Analysis report is a good initial port of call. It lets you track your users and can highlight particular problems or features that may be causing your users to abandon your website.
Deep dive into your HEART metrics
Whatever analytics system you use, you should use a range of metrics to help you evaluate your website. Page views, the average time on specific pages, your bounce rate and other factors will help you to build a picture of your user journey.
However, according to a case study performed by Google employees Kerry Rodden, Hilary Hutchinson, and Xin Fu, these common metrics can lack the necessary context for measuring UX. In other words, they are too generic to be useful, or too specific to be applicable across the board.
So, the HEART framework was devised by Google to help you measure and improve your users’ Happiness, Engagement, Adoption, Retention and Task success.
Writing in a recent blog post, Kerry Rodden emphasises the importance of tailoring your HEART metrics to your product and wider business goals by using the Goals-Signals-Metrics process. This should lead to a natural prioritisation of your metrics, according to Rodden.
Try the System Usability Scale
Originally conceived in 1986, but the System Usability Scale (SUS) is an established way to measure your website’s usability. Grading on a scale from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”, the SUS comprises of a 10-question survey which will give you an overall usability evaluation of your website. The questions for your users include:
- I think that I would like to use this website frequently.
- I found the website unnecessarily complex.
- I thought the website was easy to use.
- I think that I would need the support of a technical person to be able to use this website.
- I found the various functions in this website were well integrated.
- I thought there was too much inconsistency in this website.
- I would imagine that most people would learn to use this website very quickly.
- I found the website very cumbersome to use.
- I felt very confident using the website.
- I needed to learn a lot of things before I could get going with this website.
There are many pros and cons to this approach. On the downside, it is a subjective measure of perceived usability, not a standalone tool, and it is not a diagnostic tool. So, you cannot highlight the pain points on the user journey using this method.
However, it is highly accessible, free to use and can be applied to a wide range of products and services.
Consider the SUPR-Q
Another approach, which complements the SUS and is loosely based on its premises, is the Standardised Universal Percentile Rank Questionnaire (SUPR-Q). This evaluation method for websites, again, asks users to rank whether they “strongly agree” or “strongly disagree” with eight statements. The difference is that this method focuses on four factors: usability, trust, appearance and brand loyalty – and it costs between $3,000 to $5,000.
However, it does let you compare your site to that of your peers and provides a more comprehensive measure of the quality of the user experience on your website. SUPR-Q also has a higher internal consistency reliability, compared to SUS, according to one study.
Watch how your users interact with your site
Heatmaps are a great way to evaluate how your customers use your website. They highlight areas where people engage the most on a particular page (in red), and areas where there is little to no activity (in blue).
They come in two forms: either as mouse-tracking or eye-tracking heatmaps, and can provide many useful insights. For example, this heatmap study found that a visitor’s viewing time decreases sharply when they go below the fold of a page and this research found that the left side of a website receives 69% of the user’s viewing time.
Check in with your customer support team
This may sound like an obvious point, but if you want to find out what your customers really think about your website – you need to check in with your customer support team. Or, if you’re a smaller business, you need to evaluate your user feedback.
You should ask your customer support team to pay close attention to what your customers like and dislike. It may even be worth briefing your support team on how to deal with difficult customers to further boost your UX.
This highlights another important point. Your UX is not just about your product. It’s not just about your website. Or your app. Or your customer support team.
To truly bring a brilliant user experience to your customers, you need to take a cohesive approach and build a holistic design strategy that works for your business. If you’d like to find out more, click here to contact us.