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what is UX – User eXperience – definition and practice

February 15th, 2011 Posted in article, marketing

What is UX ( User exPerience ) ? what is the gain, how it works ? what it is covering ?
User eXperience is the term to define how the user of a product or service will feel about the experience to discover, understand, choose, buy and use the product or service of a company.
Everyone is concerned, and feel it as customers, a visitor, a buyer.
the purpose is to “fix” or improve each parts of the whole process to make the experience of the user as positive as possible. but it is subjective, as it may depends on each persons. nevertheless, the art of the User eXperience is to maximize the quality of the user, by both collecting feedback from the users, and offering the best practice.
Imagine a customer in a shop, he find a product filling his need, expectation and just look about how to pay it, but the registers are hidden in the corner of the shop. Do you think he will be happy, will it give up the process, buy or not ?
if he succeed to buy, will it affect his opinion about the shop ?
Buying process is only one sample and one step of a process, but do you know only 20% of the willing purchase process are completed online ?
Why ? it may be because of the buy button isn’t visible, because the purchaser is hesitating, and doesn’t have the confidence in your web site ( we consider he has really decided to buy this exact product ).
With the same product, 2 different web sites may offer a different User eXperience, it can be because of the price, the payment method ( imagine you don’t accept the american express ), the easyness to register a new account, the easyness of the way to remember your account information ( recurrent purchase ), the incentive and special offers you may add and which can confuse the user if they need to make another choice.

there are so many little steps which can make a difference. each step , each details can play on 3% of the decision to continue or not. it is not critical, but if you multiply this small lost on each sales, you will quickly understand about how a UX expert ( the guy which will help you to build a better UX offer ) will make great return over investment on it.

How it works ? that’s the nice part, you have absolutely nothing to prepare on your side, the less information you give, the best return and benefit you will get. Simply give the web site, or address of your real shop, and the UX expert will do both a testing and a review of the process.
The UX testing part is here to check how it works , what part are easy to use, and which one require additional information, or update to be suitable to the current standards.
Once he will do the full experience of the product usage, or product purchase, he will provide a list of things to improve. At this step you can continue alone to fix the problems, and submit a new validation with the same expert or another. Or.. you can work with the UX consultant to improve each part. It’s where ergonomics and design could be consider as tools used by the Usability eXperience experts.

– Could be a new position of information – new layout

– Using different words ( call to action optimization ), it can be as well for the purchase process, as well the product name, or how the user could consider your company from the words and values you promote.

– Create and define the brand. That’s the long term strategy any company should define, but I consider this part more specialized, even if the user experience needs to fit your company values ( … so it means you need to have define company values ). If you promote easyness with a complicated shopping cart.. it won’t let you have the best conversion ratio ( the amount of sales completed over the number of visits )

I can help you to discover all the other aspects of the user experience, just let a comment or contact me, don’t tell me about your problems or what you will like to improve, it is my job to find that, send me your web site link, and an email, and I will return you a link to a video with my live experience of your service, and where I m hesitating, where I m lost, or where I will be convinced to not purchase your service.

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