What You Should Know About User Experience

Shari Thurow, writer for MarketingLand.com, a website on all things Internet marketing related, shares four things she believes Internet marketers should understand about user experience.

Thurow makes the point that Internet marketers, website designers and developers constantly use the term user experience to justify their website design, development and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Why do web designers use a responsive design? To enhance the user experience. Why do we write blog posts? Because it’s good for the user experience. Thurow provides insightful information she believes we should all understand about user experience.

1. Content is King, Context is Queen

Thurow says we should always put keywords in the proper context for the benefit of humans and technology. For Thurow, the term, user experience, shouldn’t necessarily mean, “Wow, this is sweet!”. In fact, some aspects of user experience can be measured. Findability effectiveness can be determined via card-sort. Usability can be measured with formative and summative usability tests.¬†Accessibility can be measured for both humans and technology (e.g. search engines crawl and index website content without an XML sitemap).

Thurow reminds us that if you’re going to use a positive user experience as justification for a technology, design, or content decision, make sure you can present your reasoning in the proper context.

2. “Usability” and “User Experience” Aren’t The Same Thing

According to Thurow, user experience is a broader concept than usability. Remember that usability is a crucial part of the user experience. Usability guru Jakob Nielsen defines usability as a “quality attribute of the user experience, covering whether the system is easy to learn, efficient to use, etc.”

Usability professionals typically analyze, test and measure the following items:

Effectiveness: Can users achieve their objectives on your website?

Efficiency: How quickly can users achieve their objectives on your site? Is the website’s efficiency improved?

Learnability: How easy is it for users to accomplish simple tasks the first time they encounter your website?

Memorability: How quickly and easily can repeat users remember how to use your website in order to accomplish their goals?

User Satisfaction: Do users like using your website and recommend it to others?

User experience design (UXD) has a great impact on user satisfaction. For example, complex and overwhelming navigation schemes, cluttered page layouts, and slow loading pages can negatively impact user satisfaction.

3. Perceived Download Time Matters More Than Actual Download Time

If users cannot find what they want on a website, they will regard the download time as slower than it actually might be. Conversely, if users do find what they want on a website quickly and easily, they perceive the download time as faster than it actually might be. As a website designer and developer, it’s crucial to focus on load time.

According to Thurow, good SEO can contribute to a positive user experience. SEO is more valuable to user experience than many people may realize.

At Five Technology, we can help enhance your company’s website with the ultimate user experience design. Let’s talk to get started!

Read the full article by Shari Thurow.

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