Narwhal On:

When It Comes to Digital, Experience Matters

No items found.

[.intro-line]Background[.intro-line]

User experience (UX) has a profound effect on conversion. Little moments of delight paired with a site’s overall look and feel create an environment in which users are more likely to purchase. After all, all brands — from B2B and B2C to B2E — share the same headspace with the same users these days. But sadly, not all sites are created equal, and some have features and functions that others lack — but that doesn’t mean they can’t stand out, dominate and ultimately convert. In this post, we’ll explain how to build a great user experience that delivers that winning combination of delight and conversion.

[.intro-line]What is User Experience?[.intro-line]

UX refers to a person's emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. It includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of how humans behave and interact with technology. As you can imagine, creating an excellent UX isn’t easy since it requires an understanding of these complex interactions, something many companies don’t have the money or inclination to invest in — especially B2B companies. But this is a strategic mistake since it impacts every aspect of the customer’s digital journey.

[.intro-line]How User Experience Affects Conversion Rate[.intro-line]

User experience is a critical element in conversion rate optimization. Since UX is essentially the emotions, ease and / or friction a person feels when interacting with a product or service, it’s also part of what makes them choose to subscribe, sign up, demo or otherwise engage with your brand or product. It can also be what makes them choose not to come back for more. 

Critical UX factors include:

  1. First impressions — When someone first encounters your product or service, they form an opinion based on their initial impression. This first impression is influenced by everything from the design aesthetic and how easy it is to use to the overall tone and personality of your brand. Your first impression has to be positive since it’s incredibly difficult to change someone's opinion once it's been formed.
  2. Ease of use — If your product or service is difficult to use, you’ve lost advocates almost immediately. How a user navigates your experience and finds the information they’re looking for determines how likely they are to return — and how loyal they’ll be to your offering. This is everything from how you’ve grouped content to the experience of using your features and functions.
  3. Simplicity — The overall design should be simple and elegant at all costs, creating a narrative that’s clean and streamlined based on the offering at hand. To support this, the site architecture and the pages themselves should also be simple, avoiding overwhelming and confusing layouts or dense content. Most importantly, all forms should be short and easy to fill out and every single page should be mobile-friendly.
  4. Narratives — Finding the right narrative to support your brand and product is the way to win. What most B2B brands in particular don’t realize is that this means flipping the narrative away from what you do toward what the user ultimately needs. This is all about understanding the use cases that you service and putting them front and center in your site. It’s not about what you offer but the value you deliver and to whom.
  5. Micro-interactions — Tiny nuances in how people experience your site or product are more important than you may realize. This includes everything from rollover states and button interactions to how content itself is presented within a page at large. This may be how it loads or transitions but it may also be how it visually tells a story. These little nuances and micro-interactions can actually make or break an experience — but it’s so small people don’t realize the impact it has.

Many businesses are so focused on selling their services or getting a product developed and launched that they’re willing to put user experience on the back burner. This may work for a while, but it often results in rework and increased spending when negative customer perception creeps in. Luckily, everything in digital can be changed — albeit with varying degrees of ease and cost. 

It isn’t enough anymore to simply provide information. You have to cater to the user journey, deliver experiences that are easy, and make connections meaningful. Technology today opens the door to a bounty of ways to accomplish this — and once you prioritize great UX, you’ll convert your visitors into customers and loyalists.