The term user experience is over-used in our days, but the truth is that UX is contained in everything. From the natural products and the first tools and goods that humankind has produced to the e-commerce websites of our days. An example that is often used to describe the framework and effectiveness of UX is based on bananas. In our case, we will compare the UX of banana and that of a coconut, to understand how user experience offers better image and competitive edge to any product.
Banana is a representative example of UX design excellence. Initially, the colour indicates whether the fruit is ripe or not and whether it is rotten. It is also the ideal snack, as it comes in a sufficient quantity, it is gobbled and has a perfect size so that can be transferred and stored anywhere. Also, banana is easily combined with other foods and has a high nutritional value. On the other hand, coconut is precisely the opposite. Of course, it is a natural product of high nutritional value, but its design does not make it attractive at all. It has a brown colour that is not visually friendly and has a harsh texture. Also, if someone is not an expert, it is impossible to understand if the fruit is ready for consumption or if it is rotten. The most important of all, to get someone to open it must have served at least five years in the special forces.
The user experience about an e-commerce site/application refers to trying to increase visitors’ satisfaction levels, maximising critical points such as accessibility, usability, and effectiveness across the interaction with your service. UX is a scientific method based on research. To create a business, the desired positive experience for the users, it needs to understand deeply what initially attract those visitors to the site, what they need and above all what they want to succeed. After answering those questions, the company can proceed with the UX design, that will create a positive experience for visitors and will produce mutually beneficial results for users and the business.
There is often confusion about user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). These two terms represent different parts of the functionality of a site, but these should be combined to create a useful and attractive online environment for users.
As we have already said, UX addresses every aspect of users’ interactions with the products or services, to ensure that companies meet the needs of these users. UI is the process that ensures that all elements that will allow users to interact with these products or services are in place and aligned with each other. More directly, it is acceptable to highlight the distinction of those terms with the following sentence. ‘UX is user-centric, as it following the user’s journey to address his problem and UI is product-centric, as its initial mission is to design a product’s appearance and functionality’.
However, a successful website depends on the collaboration between the UX and the UI. Initially, the UX department will respond to the fundamental questions about users- products interactions through research, and then UI designers following the UX research-based guideline will create the final layout of the site, ensuring that users can understand the products of the company and are satisfied with their presentation.
The development of e-commerce continues to change and enhance users’ expectations around their online journey. Online giants such as Amazon and Walmart are increasingly investing in providing excellent customer service and customer experience. As these giants carry out this exhaustive war, on who will be able to attract and convert more users to their websites? – The whole market is bound to follow. This is a loop process that continually produces better levels of customer experience – user experience, but also steadily increases user expectations to new heights.
To better understand how important is UX design for successful e-commerce, will show you a research conducted by Baymard Institute, which summarises the results from 40 studies upon card abandonment from 2006 to 2018. The average card abandonment rate which arose as the average of these surveys was 69.89%.
Card abandonment is crucial for businesses, as indicates the loss revenue potentials. Of course, card abandonment is a metric that is not only affected by UX determinants. The last research of the Institute conducted back in 2017 saw that 58.6% of US adults would drop their cards anyway, as they were not ready or willing to make purchases. With the primary purpose of the study remained to understand better card abandonment for those were willing to buy, Baymard constrained the results to the remaining reasons besides the ‘not ready/willing to buy’ segment. The results revealed that poor UX had a negative impact on businesses operating online, as they lost big, through potential customers that finally they were not converted due to user experience’s difficulties or barriers.
As you can see above, the respondents defined several issues relevant to UX that led them to abandon their cards. One out of four quit his card due to the complicated or time-consuming checkout process. Also, the lack of ‚buying as a visitor‘ option and restrictions on payment methods contributed to the high cart abandonment rates. In addition, confidence/security issues have played their role in abandoning decisions.
Those results have shown that however that is commonly known that UX is valuable in the e-commerce environment and even the online giants like Amazon invest huge on it; the market still struggling to adapt and evaluate the worth of UX on critical fields, losing significant amounts of potential revenues, in areas that are easy to correct/improve.
Through this study, it is obvious that users have some expectations about the experience of the site they visit, and it is not positive, they will turn to the next available alternative. So, a successful UX design should meet these requirements in the most efficient way.
In today’s demanding and competitive e-commerce environment, users are looking for websites that meet their needs and expectations in some important fields:
– Convenience: Users want to shop in their own way, easily and without much cognitive effort. Examples that can be included in this field are the ability to purchase from any device they like or the capacity of quick checkout for products or lists of products that have been purchased repeatedly.
– Speed: Time is everything!! Speed is not only limited to fast shipping times. It includes all aspects of the interaction between a web page and users, from fast loading times and checkout to real-time responses to every possible query.
– Security/Trustworthiness: Creating a safe environment for users who want to spend their money online and share their personal information is fundamental. Websites that make people feel secure about transactions and build trust in the way they use their personal data, enjoying better levels of trust and retention.
– Accuracy: Connects to all of the above. Providing accurate information at the right time for everything that can be included in a transaction is vital. Shipping, products and costs information, user reviews and clarifications about data management are all fall into this category.
– Options: Users are always compelled for more options. In addition to offering multiple choices for tasks such as payments, checkout, customer support and so on, websites should think about options that will make the interaction with users unique.
– Experience: Sites must go beyond the primary goal they want to achieve by interacting with the users, such as conversions or sign in, etc. UX designers have to think outside of the box to keep delighting their users, from the website content up to the personalised packaging and so on.
Naturally, user expectations are not limited to these categories, and the list above is not representative of each type of site. As we have already mentioned many times, UX is a research-based scientific process and every business must go with its own UX research, which is essential to deliver the desired interaction to its targeted audience.
UX is a user-based process, as its overall goal is to provide positive interactions between a service/product and users. It is a scientific method that must be based on research to be successfully implemented. Through this article we have tried to provide a complete picture of the impact that UX can have on online businesses and the importance that needs to be given to it.