The term 'user experience' - also known as 'UX' - was introduced by Don Norman, a cognitive scientist. UX refers to all the characteristics of user interaction with services, products and the company itself - it defines how a user interacts with the system or website. If users have issues, UX strives to resolve them and decreases then impediments.
You want your website to have good user experience - but is your site actually easy to use? To ensure you're meeting the mark on this front, you need to get feedback from actual users, and you need to collect the right analytics about how people navigate your website.
ISHIR suggests that there a few questions you can ask yourself about UX before you even need to get feedback from others:
- Is my website mobile-friendly?
- Is my website cluttered?
- Is there enough space on the website?
- Is the website full of 404 errors?
- How much time does your website take to load?
- Are your website forms scary?
- Are the blog titles misleading?
- Do you have enough call to action buttons that are descriptive as well?
- Are the images generic and boring?
Once you have these elements covered, you then need to ascertain how other people respond to your website. Insightful feedback can help you better design your site, and your social media efforts.
“People who complain … aren’t an annoyance; they’re actually helping you do a better job,” writes Sharon Hurley Hall on Optinmonster.
How do you get feedback? Here are a bunch of ways:
1. Survey Visitors to Your Site
“Displaying a simple survey on your site is the easiest way to get feedback,” writes Hall. Keep it short and sweet. One to three questions only. More people will be willing to fill out a short survey. Hall suggests that open-ended questions will get more in-depth responses than yes-or-no questions.
Hall also recommends displaying a survey only to returning visitors, and triggering it so that it will only display after they view two or more pages.
“This ensures that your survey popup only displays to interested visitors who are already engaged with your content, and will more likely have an opinion about it to share.”
2. Put a Feedback Button on Your Website
A feedback button is another easy way to gather user input about your site. This is helpful for people who run into problems and want to tell you about it.
Providing an option to provide feedback also plays into The Zeigarnik Effect, according to Hall. The Zeigarnik Effect suggests that those who initiate a process are more likely to finish it than those who do not initiate.
3. Offer an Incentive for Feedback
Giving feedback is time-consuming, so offering an incentive can be helpful to convince people to take that time.
This is especially true if you're looking to ask a bunch of questions - consider offering a coupon, a free eBook, a white paper, etc.
4. Use Live Chat
“If you want to know what your customers really think, use live chat to talk to them when they’re on your site,” says Hall.
Live chat a great user experience service tool. An actual conversation enables you to figure out which issues are important to audience. Through direct interaction, you can get more insight into what’s working, and what isn’t, in much finer detail than a basic survey.
5. Find Out Why People are Abandoning Your Site
You can also consider using software which enables you to trigger a popup whenever a user is about to leave your site.
Some users might find this a bit aggressive, but if people are abandoning your site in large numbers without taking action, it might be worth it to ask them why.
6. Run User Testing
“People look at your page for 5 seconds, then Usability Hub asks what they remember,” says Hall. “Responses are recorded to give you insight into visitors’ first impressions. You can also test navigation, clicks, and preferences with Usability Hub.”
These are just some of your options for getting feedback on your UX, which will help guide your process on how to improve it. And it's a key consideration - you might think you have the best, most user-friendly website in the world, but there could be simple, basic issues cropping up which you haven't considered. Worth taking the time to double check your process.