TIPS & KNOWLEDGE BASE

E-COMMERCE SPECIALISTS SINCE 1996

User Experience Should Drive Your Site Decisions

User Experience

You may have come across the term UI/UX – or something very similar – while managing your site. It stands for User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX). Simply put, it’s the way users interact with your website. Obviously, it’s a big category and can apply to a lot of facets of your business. And it may seem obvious that UI/UX is really, really important. 

However it’s easy to let it fall by the wayside while you manage other critical parts of your website. A malfunctioning payment gateway, or missing shipping prices will likely be front-and-center. Even tasks like adding new products and focusing on creating marketing content can tend to take precedence over tweaks to your UI/UX.

How to Find the Flaws in Your User Experience

Issues with the user interface (ie. the menus, forms, general site design) are often easy to spot, and considered high priority fixes. There’s a sense of urgency when your website is visibly broken. 

But when it comes to user experience, the issues there tend to be more nuanced. They are harder to spot without frequent and rigorous testing. It’s also unfortunately easy for site owners to simply not see the issues with their user experience, the same way a parent of a trouble-maker may not see that little Johnny isn’t a perfect angel.

So how can you be sure that your site is putting its best face forward? There are a few ways to know for sure.

Professional UX Testing

You can get your friendly neighborhood design company to take a look at your site for you. With every site that Glendale launches, we do extensive quality assurance testing. That ensures that all UI features are working properly and that the user experience is smooth and intuitive. If there are any problem spots, we note them along the way and consult with you about your best options for addressing them.

Customer Comments and Complaints

Listening to your customers is a great way of finding out what works and what doesn’t. Keep an eye on customer service email and chats for any complaints. Even if they seem petty or insignificant, keep a record of them. If you start to notice a trend in the complaints, you have a pretty good idea that something needs to be resolved. 

Social Media

People love to voice their opinions on social, even more so than complaining or commenting directly to the business. Watch for any online mentions of your business on social media. Search your business name to see if it’s been used as a hashtag on Twitter or Instagram. On Facebook, pay attention to post comments, not just the recommendation/review feature. Shoppers will usually give a pretty clear and (brutally) honest description of their user experience on social media.

Seek Out Experience-Specific Feedback

Honing in on potential site issues based on comments and complaints is great, if your customers have taken the time to send them in. Unfortunately, for every one complaint you do get, there are dozens more than haven’t bothered to complain. The other customers might just not return. 

Try taking the proactive approach and provide a feedback survey. Shoppers do like giving reviews and feedback, however, it needs to be done right. Keep in mind:

  • 52% of respondents won’t fill out a survey if it takes more than 3 minutes. Make sure your survey has only a few, straightforward, and well-crafted questions. 
  • Pop-up surveys disrupt the site-viewing experience for 72% of customers. Keep the survey unobtrusive, or sent via email. 

Including a survey in the order confirmation email is a great way to get feedback while it’s still fresh in the user’s mind (and order confirmations have a 70% open-rate). Offering a small incentive is also an effective way to encourage responses. Reward points (if you have a loyalty system), an entry into a draw, or a thank you gift with purchase are all great incentivizers. 

TIP: Be careful about offering too many discount codes, as shoppers will learn to only shop with you if they can get a discount first. 

Analyze Your Feedback

Gather all the feedback you can from the sources mentioned above, notes from customer service, and self-testing. You should be able to form a pretty quick overview of the trouble spots on the site.

Sorting through your data will give you the opportunity to filter out the nitpicking, but also bring to light potential issues you may not have considered before. If someone comments that they don’t like the color of your font, that’s less important. But if someone comments that your font color makes the text hard to read, then you may want to consider your site accessibility

From there, you can sort out which issues need to be addressed first, which ones you can handle yourself, and which ones need a developer or designer’s touch. 

What Are Some User Experience Issues?

Depending on the type of website you run, there could be a myriad of common UX concerns. In dealing specifically with eCommerce UX, here are a few common examples:


Complaint – Your menus are too big/confusing.

Solution – Take a look at how you’ve structured your main site navigation. Your categories and menus should intuitively guide your shopper from one step to the next. If you have a large number of categories, you may need to consider consolidating some. And make sure your category names are descriptive, and clear. 

You should be able to do most (if not all) of that work yourself. 


Complaint – The site is too slow.

Solution – This one needs to be addressed right away. It not only frustrates shoppers into abandoning their baskets – up to 53% if your site takes longer than 3 seconds – but it causes issues with your ranking as well. Google places a lot of emphasis on site speed, because it’s a main contributor to the overall user experience. 

Test your site speed yourself to get an idea of how it’s really performing. There’s a chance that the customer’s device is at fault, and not your site. If you get results back that you’re not happy with, you’ll need to talk to a developer.


Complaint – Your site doesn’t work/look right on my phone!

Solution – Like site speed, this is a big one. If your website isn’t properly mobile optimized yet, you need it addressed as soon as possible; reach out to a developer right away. If your site is responsive but you’re still receiving that complaint, then you’ll need to do some testing on different device types to find out exactly what is causing the issue and resolve accordingly. 

Updating Your User Experience

Having a top-notch user experience on your website is key to making sure your shoppers are happy. By focusing on user-first design and content, you are putting the shopper and their needs front-and-center. It’s a business strategy based around ensuring the user’s needs are addressed which will help build trust and respect. Your customer satisfaction will go up, and your customer retention costs will go down. 

Follow the tips above to gather and analyze feedback on your website’s UX.  If you want help with any step in the process, or if you find issues that need assistance, contact us today

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