Improve UX with Small Changes that Make a Big Difference
Here’s an alarming statistic: 95% of product teams believe their websites are easy to use, but 43% of customers disagree. From this, it’s clear that there is a disconnect between the experiences brands are serving up and the actual impact on user experience (UX).
While these stats should serve as a wake-up call, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the whole website, customer journey or even product landing pages need to be completely redesigned. In fact, it’s often better to make small individual changes because the impact of each change can be better tracked. With a full redesign, it can be almost impossible to pinpoint which elements are improving UX and which aren’t because there are too many factors influencing the experiences.
UX from a First-Time Visitor Perspective
When you’re familiar with a product, its uses, features and benefits may seem obvious. Similarly if you’re accustomed to a buying process, it may seem really easy to navigate. But when visitors land on a website for the first time, it can be a very different experience that isn’t at all logical or easy for them. This is why it’s really important for brands to go beyond showcasing their products and services. They must focus on guiding visitors and customers through the online experience, by giving them options and opportunities to take action.
For example: A website may have a beautiful home page design above the fold, but other than the usual top bar navigation, there are no clear call to action (CTA) buttons that’ll lead customers further along the customer journey. To find those, the visitor will need to scroll down and there’s no guarantee that they will. This is a lost opportunity that could easily be rectified if the website's brand considered the UX from a first-time visitor perspective.
Similarly, great design ideas may have the intent of giving visitors more choice and helping them select the right option, but in reality could just be confusing to navigate. This once again highlights the importance of thinking through the navigation and how ideas are presented and making sure that it’s really easy to understand what the next steps should be. Part of that is focusing on removing distractions and elements that could cause confusion or friction for visitors.
For example: If a product page has a BUY NOW WITH ONE CLICK button, it implies that there’s just one step to completing the purchase. But when visitors click the button, there may actually be 8 more steps in the checkout process. This could cause friction and result in cart abandonment.
How to Navigate the Complexity of UX
There are so many elements that can contribute to improving the UX and resulting customer experience (CX). Having the ability to experiment with many different ideas can drive major gains when brands have specific metrics they’re trying to achieve. Being able to identify big impact ideas and then decide what variations of those ideas to test needs to be done in the context of UX. Ultimately revenue gains through increases in average order value (AOV) or conversions can only be achieved if the UX leads visitors and customers through the whole journey and gets them to complete the purchase.
Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) thrive on complexity. Ideation at AI scale can help identify which big impact ideas to test based on previous learnings combined with other factors such as the testing population and company KPIs. It can help identify which ideas to focus on and which are likely to have the most impact on UX. The benefit of AI-driven optimization is that experiments are run on actual visitors and their responses to ideas provide meaningful and actionable insights. Rather than guessing which ideas can improve UX, the experiments highlight exactly what elements are leading visitors further along the customer journey.