The importance of User Experience (UX) and its benefits to a brand are indisputable. Good UX places importance on the user’s journey, creating memorable experiences each step of the way, whether it is to find new information or to purchase a product. But what exactly IS “good” UX? And how can we strive to create “great” UX for our users?

Headphones

Let’s take a simple example of good UX by way of real product – headphones. A good user experience is achieved when a user puts on their headphones, and when the connect them to their device, the ear pieces function, and the sound comes through clearly. Great UX, however, would not just achieve this core functionality, it would go a step further in delighting the user. Great UX would not only play the sound, but also allow a user to adjust the volume and perhaps even offer other features such as noise cancellation, wireless capabilities, ergonomically shaped ear pieces, etc. Now, how can we achieve that in our world of building great ecommerce sites?

There are many designers and blogs out there speaking to ways sites can be created and enhanced to ensure a seamless user experience. But ultimately, the basis for all these theories starts with the user. The user needs to be at the core of every product and every design decision. This process starts with empathizing with our users to find out what they are trying to achieve and what their pain points are. Knowing who the users are and what they want is vital to understanding what is needed to make a product a success.

Another important part of the process of building great ecommerce sites is usability testing. User testing gives us concrete proof of whether or not a solution is effective. As such, it is vital to conduct these tests early in the process, and then repeat as appropriate. The more we user test, the better our product becomes. This is imperative when adding new features to a site. It is important to ask “why” (Why do users need this? Why does it need to be a certain way? Etc.), to test our assumptions often, and to iterate as necessary.

A seamless journey for the user should be uncomplicated and should require as little effort on the user’s part as possible. The term “minimum viable product (MVP)” is often used in the industry, and we often take the MVP approach to make sure users aren’t overwhelmed, especially when it comes to a new product. Once the MVP is put into the market, we can then add additional features and functionality over time, allowing our users to absorb and accept these new items gradually and allowing us to measure the overall impact each of these items has on the product. Listen to the early adopters – they are usually the most loyal users, and they may understand the brand more than most. They will react early, and they give qualitative feedback. Synthesize this feedback and iterate on the product, this will not only improve the on-site user experience, it will also improve the brand’s relationship with its users.

Great UX is an essential part of a successful brand, and great UX is rooted in:

  • Understanding the users

  • User testing (early and often!)

  • Starting with an MVP approach whenever possible.

Great user experiences build loyalty. Users who delight in a product become brand advocates, and as such, they become one of the most powerful and valuable brand promoters. They will spend more with the brand and talk more about the brand.

Haelim Oh

UX/UI Designer - mediaspa