Health IS Technology Blog

Always Put The User Experience First

older couple happy using mobile phone

When we create content it is very important to consider the people that will be consuming said content in the future. Although it sounds like common sense; tight deadlines, lack of planning, and misdirected opinions can lead to many of us bypassing this very important step in the development process. We can create the coolest, most innovative application in the world but if the customer can’t figure out how to turn it on… guess what?

If you pull out your mobile phone right now, launch the browser and navigate to a website, you will expect it to be easy to navigate and read. Those of us who are on our phones quite a bit tend to have less patience for websites that force us to zoom in and around a page because it isn’t responsive. Imagine the amount of business that gets lost because of this oversight.

Why is User Experience (UX) So Serious?

Users are the reason why our business pages exist. We create websites as online brochures, point-of-sale displays, communication hubs, and much, much, more. Websites give us a flexibility that social media doesn’t allow for, and while we take advantage of it aesthetically, we should not neglect making it easy to use.

When you analyze a site and wonder what you can do to improve it, consider the following list:ninja hiding

  • Navigation – Do we use our navigation? Is it helpful to our visitors?
  • Accessibility – Can our site be read easily with a screen reader? Can we navigate the page without a mouse?
  • Fonts – Tiny gray font works wonders on a mock-up, but can everyone read it?
  • Links – Do you have truly identifiable links, or do we have secret ninja links that hide themselves as titles, black text, or image areas?

Lowering The Bounce Rate

When we look at search analytics there is a peculiar metric that we call “bounce” rate. If you can envision a ball landing on a surface and then immediately bouncing off, you get the picture. When a visitor comes to your website and immediately leaves that is a bounce. If your site offers information and information only then it isn’t a bad thing. People find you on Google when they ask a question, they get their answer, then they tab over to whatever else they were doing. For a store, or a site that has a call to action (call me now!) this is absolutely terrible. You want the ball to roll around–not bounce–because the more it rolls, the more chances we have to convert that visitor into a customer.

For most sites it is an indication of good navigation and usability when the visitors peruse the pages after getting their answer from a page. We’ve all been guilty of it on news sites (think about it), we click on an article about a celebrity that did something bad, then once we’ve read it, there’s a link that catches our eye about another celebrity that wore something crazy. Click, click, clickity, click, next thing you know, you’ve been on the site for an hour, and increased their authority as a news site.

Fix the Navigation!

With navigation, quite often we let internal politics and personal preference dictate what goes where.  We end up with a stacked list of pages inside of a mega-menu and it is so confusing that we “search” for pages instead of navigating to them. Navigation is meant to be a quick shortcut to another section of a site, but what use is a shortcut if we can’t ever find it?

Even Search Engine Giants Want a Better User Experience

“Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant results and a great user experience”

The quote heard round the world by many an SEO. I say this because it ushered in a new age where manipulation no longer works but a great user experience does. This is another reason why we must take it seriously… we want to be found in search!

So, the next time you find yourself in a meeting with other decision makers and you’re at that point where it’s looks over function, consider your audience. The people that use your services will love you for it, Google will love you for it, and the internet will love you for it. That’s the power of UX.