Profound Code Blog

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UXmed

The importance of User Experience (UX) to drive conversions

When designing a website, many clients just want a “nice looking website”. While a well-designed website with a beautiful user interface (UI) is great, if that is all you are focusing on, you are missing another big piece of the puzzle – the user experience (UX) flow.

The user flow guides the user to what you want them to accomplish on your site and how they get there, whether it be purchase a product, sign up for a newsletter, sign up for your service, etc.

Know Your Audience

Knowing who your audience is one of the key aspects of designing a good user experience.  How do you get to know your audience? There are multiple ways – reach out to your users directly (get out and go to where they are at and ask them questions), use research metrics found online, or even have formal customer interview feedback sessions.  Whatever it is, the main focus is to validate and refine your user experience based on these findings.  By knowing your audience and designing a good user experience around them, you’ll get more conversions as you are addressing their problems or needs.

Make it Easy

Another aspect of good UX is making it easy.  With a well laid out user experience, the user should be able to get to where they are going with relative ease.  Your messages, calls to action, and well-structured navigation will guide them to what they want to do.  When users can find what they are looking for easily, they will tend to stay on your site longer, allowing you to cultivate a relationship with them, improving your chances of conversion.

How User Interface (UI) relates to User Experience (UX)

The User interface (UI) is the starting point for a good user experience.  Good UI should be invisible, it should lay the roadmap for the user.  Using common elements (such as icons and buttons) and interfaces that the user is familiar with will guide them through the experience much faster than coming up with a fancy custom design that looks great but is not intuitive.

The importance of A/B testing

During or after you have designed your site, A/B testing should be incorporated to see if improvements can be made to the design and user experience.  A/B testing involves changing an element or elements from your current design to see if it produces positive results.  Maybe something as small as a change in a wording can result in additional conversions or help users proceed forward in the flow.  There are many other types of testing as well such as split testing (delivering a personalized experience based on a certain type of user) and multi-variate testing (changing multiple variables) that can be used as well in the same manner.

Conclusion

Good user experience (UX), coupled with a good user interface (UI), can help improve your conversion rates as well as keep those users loyal to your brand.  Good UX can help increase sales, increase user satisfaction, increase user trust, and increase traffic to a site to name a few benefits.

MVP diagram

How to get your startup off the ground faster with MVP

As a startup, you believe that you have the next big thing and are working tirelessly to get your product out. However, you end up putting in endless hours and still have nothing to show so far to customers. There is a better way!

So, what’s the best way to see if your product is actually solving a problem that customers will use and/or pay for? This is where minimum viable product (MVP) comes into play. Instead of putting in countless hours of effort and adding in all the features you can think of and perfecting it prior to launch, you provide a product that has the core function that will allow customers to get an idea of your product. Then, you let them provide you feedback and see what is working/what isn’t working and improve upon it in your next phase.

The MVP approach allows you to go to market faster and validate your product idea much quicker. Ultimately, it will save you time and money. In each iteration, you build upon the previous phase and incorporate your learnings from user feedback, analytics, etc.

There are multiple approaches to creating a MVP. Here are some of the most popular:

Landing page. The goal with a landing page is to explain your product, its value, and get users to sign up (whether it be for more information, notification of when your product launches, etc.). Through the use of Google AdWords and Google Analytics, along with the number of email signups, you’ll validate if your product is something people will be interested in long before you’ve even developed anything. This approach is best used in conjunction or follow up with some of the other MVP approaches as a landing page alone will not provide you all the information that you need about your customer and features they’d like to see, how much they’re willing to pay, etc.

Explainer video. An explainer video of what your product will do and how it will benefit customers will hopefully intrigue customers enough to sign up with their email for notification of launch, more product info, etc. The video does not have to be anything fancy, just whatever it takes to pique early adopters interest. The most famous example is Dropbox. After including an explainer video, they saw their early email signups jump from 5,000 to 75,000 in a single day.

Full site with manual service. Another popular approach is to develop what looks like a fully functioning site on the front end but manually fulfilling orders/servicing. This requires much more effort than the others and can only be sustained for so long before needing to actually develop the site but can provide a lot of learnings.

Crowdfunding campaigns. Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and others will validate if customers are willing to pay for your product and additionally, it will help raise money. Also, once you launch you’ll have a great loyal base in place who can not only spread the word about your product but can also be an useful source of obtaining feedback.

These are just a few of the approaches to MVP’s, there are multiple other approaches and it all depends on your product or service in choosing the right one for your business. Regardless of the approach, the ultimate goal of a MVP is for learnings – price points, customer needs, features desired, whatever it may be. So work smarter, not harder!

Website-Makeover1

Top 5 Reasons to Redesign Your Website

You’ve had your website up for a while, it provides the basic information it needs to for customers, and your business is doing relatively well. So, why would you want to go and spend time and money to redesign it all over again? Below I outline some motivating factors for a website redesign.

Mobile-friendly/Responsive

If your site isn’t able to be viewed nicely on a mobile-phone or tablet, you may be losing customers. 86% of users have researched a business through a smart phone or tablet. Most people don’t like to pinch, zoom, or scroll sideways when they’re trying to find information on their phones or tablets, so they end up going back and clicking on the next relevant link instead that is mobile-friendly. You may have a better product/service, but to the user their experience was not favorable, so they left.

That is why when you redesign your website, you need to ensure it is mobile-friendly (or responsive in tech speak). Responsive websites adjust the site for optimal viewing, even if you are on a desktop and shrink your browser window it will resize itself, in addition to looking great on your phone or tablet. With the use of the latest technologies of HTML, CSS, JS, etc., your site only needs to be coded once and it will be responsive, you do not need to keep two different versions – one for mobile and one for desktops.

Improve user experience

If your user experience leaves a little to be desired and users are having a hard time finding the info they need or are not being guided properly to what YOU want them to see, it is probably time for a redesign. A redesign will help improve the entire look/feel of your website and take into account the current analytics of the site to get you more customer conversions.

Your website looks/is dated

Your website is the first impression of your company and plenty of research shows you only have a few seconds to keep them there. If your site looks dated and your content is dated, users are not going to stay and it won’t build confidence in your brand. Your company or product may be hip and modern, but if your site looks like it’s from the 90’s (heck, even if it’s just from 5-7 years ago!), your users are not going to get that message.

Your website is not using the latest online marketing techniques

If your website is old or was not designed properly, you may also not be using the latest in online marketing techniques. Use of techniques such as search engine optimization (SEO), landing pages, and calls to action may not have been implemented when you designed your site originally. These techniques can help drive users to your site and help in converting them to customers. A redesign is a good time to consider all these factors and optimize your site to get the most value for your dollar.

You want to incorporate new functionality

You may want to implement social media, blogging, or add e-commerce functionality to your site, then a redesign may be helpful. While you can add these functionalities without doing a redesign, if the user experience is not favorable and it looks like it was just added on, you may end up frustrating them. A redesign will incorporate the new functionality and make it a part of the overall site, making navigation and the user experience seamless and pleasant.

If you see a lot of these problems in your site and are ready to take your business to the next level and redesign your site, get in touch with us! We have extensive experience in website redesigns and can help you grow your business! We put your business goals first, then the technology second to match your business goals. If you’d like to find out more, fill out the contact us form to get a free consultation!

google-mobile

Google Adds “Mobile-Friendly” Label to Search Results

Mobile-friendly label

Google announced that it will be adding a “mobile-friendly” label to search results on mobile devices. This label will let users know which sites are optimized for your phone. Google hopes this will help make it easier for users to find the information they are looking for without having to deal with sites with small text, links, and generally not optimized for a mobile device.

Below is how the “mobile-friendly” label will look like:

Example lable

Criteria for the label

So, how does your site get the “mobile-friendly” label? According to Google, it must meet the following criteria as detected by the Googlebot:

  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming
  • Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

Does your page meet the criteria? Check it now!

Not sure if your site meets the criteria? Google makes it easy to check, follow the link below to Google’s mobile-friendly test and click Analyze to see if your site is mobile friendly:

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test

Does your site fail the test? Do you need to optimize your site for mobile? Let us help! We are experts at mobile design and can help you get your site optimized, contact us today!

What does this mean for my business?

So what does this new “mobile-friendly” label mean for your business? If your site is not optimized for mobile and does not have the label, you may be losing out on potential mobile customers. According to a recent survey by Google and Nielsen, 48% of users start on search engines for research on a mobile device. These potential customers are clicking on your competitor sites if your site is not optimized for mobile as the first preference of customers is to go to a site that will display properly on their device rather than going to a site that relies on pinching, zooming, and scrolling.

If your site needs to be optimized for mobile, let us help. We are experts at mobile and responsive design and can help you get your site optimized, contact us today!

logo_banner

The What of Logo Design

Logo design is all around us. To the general public, logos serve as an instant reminder of a company or a product; to the client they’re the point of recognition on which their branding hangs; and to us designers they represent the challenge of incorporating our clients’ ideologies into one single graphic.

No wonder, then, that logo design features so prominently in our lives. In an age where everyone must have a website to support their product, service or the company behind it, the demand for a top-class logo has never been higher.

More examples of logo design are out there than ever before, and with that comes the challenge of being different. How do you create something original that stands out in a sea of identities? And how do we create something quickly while retaining quality?

What a logo should be (well at least in our opinion):

An effective logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic, simple in form and conveys an intended message. In its simplest form, a logo is there to identify but to do this effectively it must follow the basic principles of logo design:

  • A logo must be simple. A simple logo design allows for easy recognition and allows the logo to be versatile and memorable. Effective logos feature something unexpected or unique without being overdrawn.
  • A logo must be memorable. Following closely behind the principle of simplicity is that of memorability. An effective logo design should be memorable and this is achieved by having a simple yet appropriate logo.
  • A logo must be enduring. An effective logo should endure the test of time. The logo should be ‘future proof’, meaning that it should still be effective in 10, 20, 50+ years time.
  • A logo must be versatile. An effective logo should be able to work across a variety of mediums and applications.
  • A logo must be appropriate. How you position the logo should be appropriate for its intended purpose. For a more detailed explanation see: What makes a good logo?