Over the years, design has become an essential part of creating a product such as websites and apps. Having a great design can show simplicity, and can achieve in making a product easy to use. In fact, a good user experience leads to two important results:
- Having a great customer experience & satisfaction
- Improving conversion rates & ROI
In this article, Maze will show you how a great user experience can increase one’s sales and help any business increase its return on investment (ROI). In other words, we will show you how good design means good business.
The first thing you need to understand is that in order to know how we can achieve a big impact on sales, we need to know why we need to create this digital service. Furthermore, knowing the product owner’s objectives and his user’s needs will make the whole process easier to implement.
In Maze, we follow some heuristic principles and methods that help users find what they want easily on any device.
So enough with the talking, let’s go straight to real life examples. For this purpose we will be talking about one of our client’s website: JSK Real Estate. JSK is the leading real estate agency in Lebanon having the largest number of agencies & agents all around Lebanon. Their services include brokerage, sales & marketing, property & asset management & property valuation.
Design for people, not products ~ Alex Center
Before starting with JSK’s 10 UX principles – I hope that this doesn’t sound too sassy but we did win 4 international awards for this website by following the below heuristic principles.
10 implemented UX principles for JSK:
1. Consistency & Common Design Elements
Having consistent colors, hierarchy in the menus, similar call to action buttons and user flow help the user to become familiar with the website while he navigates through it which helps in achieving their goals/tasks faster and easier.
Furthermore, some elements are common elsewhere, let’s not reinvent them by becoming creative with new UI patterns. URLs, button, and navigation placement need to focus on usability before design, making users think too hard is not what we want.
Although sometimes designers think that non-traditional is cool and they need to be creative, we should always remember that this product is meant to be used. There should be a balance between Creativity and Usability. Standardized components like menu icons, login access, links, buttons, navigations and others need to focus on usability before creative design.
2. Minimize Data Input
Entering data, especially on small devices (mobiles), is not really an enjoyable experience.
Imagine trying to fill a form by typing on your small mobile’s keyboard (which by now has hidden 50% of your viewport) and text cpmw oiut likw tjis! Not fun, is it?
In the above screenshot, we are trying to capture a lead who wants to list his property and to ease his process we removed unnecessary fields and replaced them with easy-to-click buttons.
The number of converted leads through this form quadrupled
3. Inform the user what is happening
Another example is informing the user how to finish a task if they couldn’t understand how to finalize it. Showing them where is the error that can make their tasks much easier
In this above image, JSK is informing the user that there will be a new tab opened making the user have the privilege to explore more properties while choosing to see a specific product.
4. Help users reach their goals faster
There is nothing better than having a quicker way to achieve a certain task. With the help of our UX study and understanding the user’s needs from the personas created, we were able to create shortcuts for the user to achieve faster.
In the image above, giving the opportunity to contact JSK faster in two different ways helped the user gain more time in fulling his requirement.
This gives him satisfaction and trust in what he is doing.
5. 404 Handling
There are scenarios where users can be misdirected for unexpected reasons and should have a simple way to solve it. We gave the user a way to handle his error by showing them a call to action button that is the shortcut of the main aim of their service “Find a property”. They also added another option which is a button to reset everything and just go back to the homepage where they can explore everything from the beginning.
6. Provide user control
JSK gave the user the ability to be an initiator of his own actions.
Giving a user the feeling that he controls the events that is happening on the website increases his trust to the company and to the website.
JSK’s online service was built in a way to behave as those users expect it.
7. Clarity and Simplicity
Making the site simple, easy and clear helps the user remember how he did a certain action. It decreases a load of memory the user needs to intake during his journey in navigating the website.
In less than 3 seconds, users evaluate a website, so we need to decide what we want our users to do and make it apparent. If we make it difficult to find our main action buttons, most users will bounce without taking any action on the site.
8. Add a review, real testimonial
Having social proof is one way to make a certain product shine. Users are influenced by the behaviors and opinions of others. This is why you see Amazons and eCommerce websites have a review section to prove how amazing this product is. Same thing for JSK. We wanted to show the world that JSK is one of the best and one should trust JSK and believe that he will find what he is looking for by just seeing what others have said about the company.
9. Respond to an action done by the user
As Newton’s Third Law of Motion: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”. There should be the same thing when creating a digital service. People always wait for a response in every action they do. Maze worked on showing changes of state in a clear way. In the image above, JSK provided feedback on the completion of a certain action. Responding to an action is meaningful and timely for the user.
10. Automate and bring users back
Requesting a consultancy on jskre.com is not the end of a user’s journey on the site.
The website will automatically send the user an email after the user exits, remind him of his inquiry and provide more options and informations about the company’s projects.
This not only increases trust in the brand but also brings users back to the website for another chance to convert them.
Typical conversion funnel
Usually users pass through a funnel before converting into a customer. This is most of the times a physiological barrier that most humans have before making a commitment.
While conversion funnels differ from website to website, but in essence they share the same spirit – Users need to be convinced, reminded before committing.
In JSK’s case we followed the below:
Stage 1: Aware and Exploration: The user realizes a certain need and starts researching online. Thats where Search Engine Optimization and digital marketing/advertising plays a big role.
As everyone says: “The first impression is a lasting impression”. Websites should do their best to attract the user and to keep him navigating through the pages. If the design was usable and efficient, users will enjoy exploring the website freely.
Stage 2: Compare: The user compares other sites and picks the website that suits and fulfill his needs. Giving him a fast result website will help him make his decision in a quicker way.
Stage 3: Purchase: When the user finds what he needs, he purchases (in JSK’s case, inquire) directly. Following the above principles while navigating, increased his trust. This what made him purchase the product. In addition to that, if the purchase was as the user expects it, then the user will definitely be willing to come back again and purchase more.
Stage 4: Maintaining and Becoming a Customer: After maintaining and trusting the website/product, and after having a satisfying experience, the user will become a customer and will purchase again from the same site. And here a relationship has been built between the company and his users.
Designing a product, such as an app or a website, is not just about colors, images, and filling empty spaces. It’s about converting users to achieve a task that fills their requirements. So if a user does not know how to fill a lead form, know that the design is a failure. Same thing if he didn’t know how to sign up, add to cart, checkout or even purchase an item, then the design that was created is useless and needs to be designed again following the study of the user’s needs and the business requirements.