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Improved Design Isn’t the Only Way to Improve User Experience

12-11-2023, 15:20

When you’re thinking about ways to add value to your website’s user experience, it’s easy to get stuck on trying to improve the design. This is the number-one approach to improving user experience; you can find tips on improving design everywhere you look.

Improved Design Isn’t the Only Way to Improve User Experience

Although design is certainly essential, it’s not everything. Your users are interfacing with your website to make their offline life easier or more pleasant.

It might be hard to see this at first, but if you look hard enough, you’ll find it.

How can you enhance your visitors’ offline lives?

Think about your industry from top to bottom. Is there something you can add to your website that would make people’s real lives easier, or at least enhance their experience with you as a business?

Great user experience entails more than just being able to navigate smoothly through your website. User experience is enhanced when people can complete tasks and meet their real-world obligations while they’re visiting.

When you’re thinking of ways to provide more value and benefits to your users, don’t limit yourself to meeting just their virtual needs. Find a way to blend their online needs (website navigation) with their offline needs.

This is a key secret to creating happy visitors. Here are examples of companies that provide a user experience that extends value into the offline world:

· HostGator customers have 24/7 access to live chat for support with their web-hosting accounts. Many of their customers are web-hosting resellers and have clients they know in the real world who depend on them to maintain their websites. The live chat feature makes it easy for webmasters to keep their real-world clients online and happy.

If you offer services that would be supported by live chat, launch a trial run to see if your customers will use it. If they do, you can outsource your support, or hire someone in-house for certain hours. You don’t have to offer round-the-clock chat like the big companies.

· GreenResidential collects rent online for landlords, and explains the numerous benefits of making it easy for tenants to pay online. WIth manual collection, many landlords have been accustomed to not receiving their rent on time. The ability to pay online eliminates common excuses like "I sent my check last week. The post office must have lost it”; "The weather was so bad, so I didn’t want to drive over and drop off the check”; and "Sorry, the first of the month was on a Sunday.”

Regardless of what you sell, if you collect payments from your customers, being able to accept payments online should make it easier for them. It might be your best solution for eliminating late payments.

· As much as any retailer with an online presence, Walmart is the ultimate example of an online user experience that extends into the offline world. When people need to buy something, they can shop online and have it delivered to their door. This eliminates the need to get dressed, drive to the store, and spend time shopping.

According to Upstream Commerce, shopping online has several major benefits including access to better prices, more variety, and the ability to compare prices. These are all benefits that customers can appreciate in the offline arena.

If you sell physical products in your store, try selling a selection online. Some of your regular customers may not want to leave the house to make a purchase.

· Manuals Online is the ultimate source for troubleshooting appliances and equipment. This site has thousands of owner’s manuals, for everything from fitness and lawn equipment to computers and household appliances. They’re available to view on the website and in PDF format.

If you sell physical goods, post your owner’s manuals online for your customers. By the time they need to troubleshoot, the paper manual might be missing or hard to dig out of a box.

Creation of a seamless user experience is not necessarily going to be black and white. But it’s always about adding value for the visitor.

Think outside of the design box. Expand your perception of value. A superior user experience will give your visitors a reason to come back.

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