Picture this. It’s 2020. You plop down on the couch after a long hard day of work and click on the TV. You navigate to your favorite streaming service, lets call it.. Yulu, and try to continue watching the next episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race that you left off on the night before. To your surprise, it does not immediately pop up although it was the last thing you watched. You click around 20 times, getting increasingly frustrated, until you finally find the “Continue Watching” section to find the next episode. Ugh! THIS is poor UX or User Experience (and I might be speaking from experience).
User Experience or UX, is probably something you don’t even realize is a big part of all things digital today. From streaming services, apps, and websites, user experience should be intuitive and easy. UX puts the user in the forefront of design and functionality.
UX is not only something that users engage with, according to Google, it is going to be a part of their ranking algorithm from an SEO standpoint. If Google feels that a website will not provide the user a good experience, it will affect its average rank.
Let’s review some basic UX staples.
Site security is something that has been on the rise of importance for UX. What this means is that a website should have a secure server which can be seen when a website URL beings with https and not http. This can be accomplished very easily through purchasing a secure license through a hosting server.
Back in the day, it was not uncommon to see different subdomains of websites that might begin with an ‘m’ or an entire different url that demonstrates that it is a mobile website. This is no longer considered best practice. Websites should be responsive to the screen size it is presented on. You can easily tell if a site is responsive a few different ways. In a desktop browser, by simply changing the width of the screen using your mouse, website design should adjust. A more advanced way to check this is to right click on any website and select “Inspect” and clicking the ‘Toggle Device Toolbar’ icon within the development tools. (The icon looks like a tablet and phone). Regardless of your method of testing, responsive design is a must for UX today.
Page load speed is another great UX factor that should be monitored on a regular basis. You can find an assortment of interesting statistics surrounding site speed like this article ‘7 Page Speed Statistics Every Marketer Should Know’ by Unbounce and this article, ‘How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line’ by Neil Patel. Think With Google has some great stats as well surrounding Mobile and Desktop speeds.
Site speed should be monitored for image sizing and compression, redirects, and 3rd party calls, just to name a few.
UX can be altered and updated at anytime. While it is helpful to begin designing a website with the assistance of a UX designer, UX is something that should not wait until your next redesign. You can begin working on your UX today. A funny thing happened while I was writing this article this week. Earlier this year, Yul.. I mean Hulu, launched a brand new menu and overall better user experience which my tv updated to this week.
Google outlines how to understand the algorithm update in their developer tool article ‘Understanding Page Experience in Google Search Results‘, but also, if you have questions or would like some further insight into your website and the overall UX, reach out to us here at Digital-ade.