FAQ Friday: Improving User Experience Research

It has taken a while, but user experience has become a vital part of the success of businesses of all sizes in every industry. Having an enjoyable digital experience to provide for website visitors is crucial. There are a lot of moving parts, and some research and strategy may require you to roll up your sleeves and get down to work. Let’s clarify some of the ways you can improve the user experience research process and better your business website.

How do I begin the process of improving user experience?

Well, improving UX has a lot of components. But starting out doesn’t need to be complicated. You can start by considering some A/B testing or usability testing to identify issues that may be present in your site.

You can also poll your users, conduct in-person beta tests, use heat maps, develop buyer personas, or use a mixture of these tactics. If you are not sure where you stand with your current site, it may be best to start with buyer persona profiles. This is also true if your site is outdated. Buyer personas will give you a jumping off point to build a meaningful UX strategy.

When and where do I begin to conduct user experience research and buyer persona development?

A great way to improve UX is to build out buyer persona profiles. Not only are they useful for user experience, they also aid in building a marketing and sales strategy. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of the potential user, visitor, or customer.

There is a process that accompanies developing buyer personas that actually work for understanding user experience. Take a look at your CRM, or contacts database, with the intent of uncovering trends or patterns revealing how a customer or website visitor may need your content, how they find it, and what they do after they have. Be sure you’re capturing the right information in the lead capture forms you are using. Remember, you are not the only person who will benefit from great buyer personas, so you can (and should) crowdsource your data from other teams like sales, or customer service.

How important is the buyer’s journey to the user experience?

Pretty important. In order to provide an optimal experience to your visitors, you have to know what they are there for, right? Each website has a different experience for each of its visitors. To get a firm start in solidifying what your website and brand experience will be,  base your UX on rich and broad data about your users. Break down the needs, wants and feelings throughout each stage of the buyer's journey. Once you have a baseline, you can begin to observe how the users interact with the current framework.

How do I connect with my website visitors to understand them better?

There are many ways to connect to your visitors, users, and customers. One of the most revealing methods of website visitor behavior is to have a test group. Bring some ‘typical users’ into your office and have them interact with your site. Watch their reactions, note questions, and glean insight on how they use the site. For more on getting to know your buyer personas and developing a useful buyer persona profile, start here:

UX can sound like a scary high-tech thing you’re not equipped to address, but that’s not the case at all. It’s all about understanding your target audience, and developing an experience that is tailored to them. Use some of the takeaways we’ve presented, and start improving your UX, little by little.

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