user experience

The international criterion on ergonomics of human system exchange, defined user experience or UX in this way, “a person’s understanding and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a system, service or product”. 

Emotions, perceptions, preferences, psychological and physical responses that occur during, before and after use are encompassed, according to the ISO definition.

The trend in e-commerce keeps changing like the direction of the wind.  Some trends come and go whereas the others create a revolution across the industry. UX is the latter.

Gone are the days when internet users were gullible and undiscerning. As per Adobe, a whopping 38% of online shoppers may leave a website if they feel that the design is shabby. This is exactly why companies are trying hard to develop a website that is visually appealing while being easy to use, thus making the purchasing procedure seamless.

In simple terms, UX designs are made in such a way that you can get into the user’s head and find what will give them a logical, enjoyable and simple shopping experience.

The 7 factors that influence user experience (UX)

1. Useful

In the context of UX, what does useful mean? Useful refers to how well a product can solve user issues. It means a product’s usefulness depends on its design quality. Consider this – you buy an umbrella and it is damaged after one-time use. This means the design has failed and the usefulness of the umbrella is not up to par.

2. Usable

Usability of a product allows the users to reach their end goal in an efficient and satisfactory manner. A tool such as a simple screwdriver is typically equipped with a handle along with a metal rod that ends in a flat or cross-shaped tip, making it easier for the user to fit it into a screw and twist.

3. Findable

A website should be made in such a way that the users can find the information captured within the website easily when they need it. All of the features and options should be very easy to reach and enable/disable. If it takes more time to find a certain piece of information, then chances are that the potential customers will abandon the website.

4. Credible

Most of the internet users today are extremely clued in.  If an app or a website comes across as untrustworthy for reasons such as poor design quality, confusing copy, outdated info, grammatical errors etc., they will simply shift to one of many other options available. Hence, it is important to keep in mind that the purpose of the said website should be focused on providing a value add to the customer rather than a sales conversion.

5. Desirable

When a product is presented in the market, if it does not look desirable, it is not going to make much of an impact. Desirability is communicated in design through branding, identity, image, emotional design and aesthetics. If a user finds a particular website desirable, the more inclined he/she will be to share the experience thereby invoking a similar desire in other users.

6. Accessible

Accessibility is all about giving an experience that can be accessed by all users – this comprises of those who have hearing loss, motion impaired, have difficulty in learning and also impaired vision.

7. Valuable

Valuable is the last and ultimate aspect of user experience. The website must provide value to the customer without which, the success of any website or product is short-lived.

All the above factors are what makes an e-commerce website more attractive and profitable.

Read Also: How to improve customer experience by applying Design Thinking

What looks good” v/s being data-driven

Not everything that looks good works well. While developing a user-friendly website, one must be well informed on what aspects to keep and what to discard. At the ideation stage, some features may appear necessary, however, they may turn out to be more confusing than practical. This may prohibit users from attaining their desired outcomes. 

Recording the user interaction with a certain product on an e-commerce website, and using this data to make design decisions is called a data-driven design. Needless to say, a data-driven website becomes more effective, hence productive and profitable.

Finding and understanding the target audience by various means like research and analysis is key to creating a successful e-commerce website. Designers have to realise how the users are interacting with the website or the product, what are the pain points, what features they find easy/enjoy using or are finding a bit hard to use etc.

A data-driven and informed UX design

The main goal for many e-commerce companies nowadays is to create user-centred websites. Therefore, having design interwoven with data and part of the same development cycle is imperative. So, how do we use the data and incorporate it into the web design?

Primarily, Data can be used in 4 design components

  1. Understanding the user persona: Create fictional personas based on research to showcase the various types of users that might use your website/product. This helps to understand users’ needs, experiences, behaviours and goals.
  2. Designing the task models: Designing and implementing a successful user experience, one that meets the needs and requirements of an individual, requires a logical task model. The task model is the description of each task in a workflow. This involves documenting the comprehensive business and user information requirements in an accurate and consistent format.
  3. Remaking the UX: While designing an e-commerce website, it is important to analyse the factors that worked or those which did not for you (the designer) when you were using a certain website and implement what affected your user experience.
  4. Conducting Heuristic Evaluation: Heuristic evaluation is a method for finding the usability issues in a user interface design and it can be heeded as a part of an iterative design procedure. It pertains to having a very small set of evaluators assessing the UI/UX and judge its compliance with well-known usability principles.

Read Also: Top 12 Emerging Data Analytics Startups in India

In addition, there are many tools that can be used by e-commerce companies, such as:

  1. Web Analytics – These tools are mostly used for collecting data on website traffic. They give valuable insights on the changes in traffic to a particular website when a new product or service is launched and the number of visits to a particular page. However, these tools do not usually offer justifications for the quantitative data documented and will need additional support or inference.
  2. Heatmap Analytics – These tools take analytics a notch further by indicating exactly how visitors interact with an app or a website. They use heat maps on pages for researchers  to comprehend patterns, like where the visitor usually clicks, or, when it comes to an app, where he/she swipes or taps.
  3. Session Recordings – Many companies use this kind of analytics to track the entire visitors’ sessions. Session recording devices will show the complete reports of how the visitor steers or navigates a particular website, revealing exit points and entry points, as well as which page the user stays on the longest.
  4. Real-time Analytics – Most tools like Clicky give real-time information about every visitor, including demographics and which device is being used. They often encompass more complicated methods, and are very useful, if your website obtains a large number of active visitors on a daily basis.

UX is an important aspect of an e-commerce website. People want a website that pleases the customer via vision as well as user experience. 

That is why data-driven UX is important. The only way to achieve it is to make sure that you have real-time, robust analytics to aid your strategies and trace the impact that it gives on your customers’ behaviour. Always make sure that every change you make to the website’s design substantiates an easier, smoother and a personalised experience that will please the customers.

Without the customers’ inflow, an e-commerce platform is of no use. Every e-commerce platform has a competitor that’s parallel to them. Hence every customer has someone else to go to if you are not the best.

Thus, if you want to drive more customer engagement and ultimately climb the e-commerce ladder of becoming an industry leader, data-driven UX is the way to go. 

Explore a career in Data Science and Analytics today!

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