5 secrets to improve user experience and increase conversions
These top 5 tips to improve user experience and conversions, written by the guys at UserTest.io, will inspire you to design high quality user experiences for your website, product or app
Great user experiences are the backbone of a top level website. The user experience ultimately determines whether you see an increase in your bounce rate/exit rate or an increase in your conversion rates. More and more companies are learning that in order to stay competitive against rivals, they must invest in their user experiences. They must nurture, guide and assist users whilst using their website, product, prototype or application.
“Studies show that for every dollar a company invests to increase usability, it receives $10-$100 in benefits, and wins customer satisfaction and loyalty.”
Cost Justifying Ease of Use: Complex Solutions Are Problems, IBM
So, what is “user experience”?
The International Organization for Standardization defines user experience as “a person’s perceptions and response resulting from the use and/or anticipated use of a product, system or service. In which, user experience is a consequence of brand image, presentation, functionality, system performance, interactive behavior and assistive capabilities of the interactive system, the user’s internal and physical state resulting from prior experiences, attitudes, skills and personality, and the context of use.”
Why does user experience matter?
Here’s a challenge… see if you can book a car from this site.
You couldn’t? You just found out how poor UX results in poor conversion, and vice versa.
5 secrets to improve your user experience and increase conversion rate:
Secret #1 – Remote user testing
User testing has allowed companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft to improve their users’ experiences, create a better product/service and increase conversions. Some benefits of remote user testing are:
- Affordable and quick. We need feedback, now! We need to know what works and what doesn’t , in real time. Remote user testing allows for quick feedback by eliminating the need for a specific location, complicated equipment and additional people to conduct the test. As there are less people and less equipment involved in remote user testing, the cost of conducting a test drops dramatically.
- Eliminates the need for a lab. Due to the lower number of resources needed to conduct a test, remote user testing can be conducted in the participant’s natural environment, e.g. their home, eliminating the need for a lab. Conducting a test in the participant’s natural environment has been shown to generate greater feedback as the participant is comfortable in their surroundings.
- Allows for greater diversity in testing e.g. choice of demographics. Testing is remote, allowing your users from around the world to contribute their thoughts and opinions on their user experience. Testing with a remote service also allows users to sign-up from anywhere in the world, giving you access to a greater range of demographics, including: age groups, income differentiation, language spoken.
By conducting remote user testing, you’ll discover the ‘how’ behind your user’s actions, the ‘why’ behind their thoughts and opinions. By obtaining this insight, you’ll be able to make necessary changes to your site which in turn will improve conversions.
Our own tool, UserTest.io, is a remote user testing tool that has been developed in order to keep your testing costs down and provide insights, identify pitfalls and opportunities to improve the user experience and increase conversions.
Secret #2 – Conduct Phone Interviews
User interviews can be a great way to extract information from your users and really understand the ‘why’ behind a user’s actions. Whenever possible, interview people who have just crossed your finish line e.g. if you charge for your product, the finish line is the moment people start paying.
People who have recently switched to you have the emotional memory of the process they took to choose you – that’s exactly what you’re looking for, the “switching moment” insight. When people sign-up to your product/website, it’s an expression of hope – they’re opening themselves up to the possibility that the way they’ve been doing things hasn’t been so hot. “This new product will help me do it better!”
Conducting phone interviews allows you to gain the context behind your user’s intent. From this insight, you’ll be able to optimise your user onboarding and in turn, increase conversions.
Check out this great article from the Interaction Design Foundation on how to conduct phone interviews.
Secret #3 – Educate your users
How does educating my users improve user experiences and increase conversions?
Users are constantly seeking the right information and need it at the right time e.g. being presented with similar blog posts after the user has read a blog post. Is that educating or conversion? Both! As Jeremy Smith puts it: “education is the process of reducing user anxiety, enhancing user trust, and proving the value of a product in the mind of the user.”
Did you notice, while you read this post, you were presented with the opportunity to download the free Justinmind e-book. Justinmind are educating the user by providing a free e-book which in turn helps the user see the value in the product and hopefully increases conversion.
Educate users on your landing pages. A user needs to know about the product, its value, benefit, purpose – try and take the ‘what’s in for me’ when writing this kind of copy. The best way to persuade a user is to educate them. Knowledge empowers users to act, to change behaviour, to change attitudes. Ensure you produce quality content to empower the user.
Secret #4 – Onboarding
In order to achieve successful onboarding you have to ensure your users reach their “success moments”. The only way to achieve these “success moments” is to know what success looks like for your customer/user – what is it that they want to achieve with your website/product?
Each new sign-up, user etc, has a definition of success, it’s your job to ensure they feel they’re on the path to achieving this goal. So, here are some low hanging fruit for achieving great user onboarding:
- Understand the different roles your product is being used for. You may have a project management tool, but people use your platform to improve productivity or get better at remote working. These problems are solved through the lens of project management, but there are plenty more use cases for your product. Get to know them all.
- Understand what success looks like for each of these roles. People aren’t using your website/tool/product etc just for the sake of it. They’re using it to get promoted, or to prove their worth, or to rally a team behind a common problem. A simple step step here is to ask new signups what they’re trying to achieve with your product – you’ll be amazed how many onboarding changes you’ll want to make instantly
- Design paths guiding them through the features that help them achieve success. Once you know the end goal(s) of your target users, you can design a flow to guide them to it. This ultimately comes from asking your users, what do they want to achieve?
- Communicate with users to help them get there. Sadly, most communication during trials are badly targeted e.g. “time since sign-up”. Just because it’s been seven days doesn’t mean users have done anything useful. Activity matters, usage matters. Understand where the user is, where they’re going, and direct them accordingly to help them get there.
- Have an early warning system for new users. Most products wait until a customer cancels, or fails to convert and then we send, “How can we get you back?” messages. That’s like waiting for divorce papers before checking how your spouse is doing. Instead, know what failure looks like and start the conversation before it’s too late.
Secret #5 – 404s, the right way
The developers and engineers at your business know what URLs your website has, but users don’t. Users will be sure to find URLs from your website that are non-existent, leaving them with a 404 page with no clear direction on where to go next – worse case scenario, they exit the page. For SaaS companies, this can increase churn rate and in turn increase CPA.
Improve the user experience by giving clear direction to where you want the user to navigate next to.
Take Spotify’s 404 page.
You can see, with a bit of copy and some clear links to other pages, the user can be directed to the right area of your website. Perhaps look into your Google Analytics data to see how many users reach a 404 page and where they navigate to next…can you increase your conversions with a better user experience on your 404 pages?
Poor user experience results in poor conversion rate. Having a solid foundation for testing your site, knowing your users and wanting to educate, can solve a lot of pain-points in the future.
Invest your time and money into improving your user experiences and greater results will come further down the line.