In the digital age it has become paramount that companies consider the experiences of their products, services and especially their websites. And now that nearly 2/3 of adults own a smartphone and nearly 90% use it for surfing the internet , those websites should be just as digestible on a phone as they are on a PC. And if you think it’s not paramount to spend time making sure the experience of your website is the best that it can be, consider that in the first 10 seconds a user will determine whether to stay on your website or leave . If you want to keep those users on your page consider crafting a better experience for them, and there’s one simple formula for improving it:
Decide what matters to your company
Every company has a different set of values whether it’s speed, reliability, ease of use, happiness or something else. Decide what’s important to your company and its long term goals. Another thing is to consider is what “better” might be. Is it better if they can’t leave because your site throws 20 pop-ups at them asking if they really want to leave? Or is better something like making sure they’re able to quickly find the information or products they’re looking for? Another thing you’ll need to decide is whether you can justify the results by only testing 5 people  or if you need a statistically significant amount of people (this will determine the length of testing later on).
Measure your baseline or current state
As far as what you’re measuring, it depends on what you decided was important in the last section. If it’s speed, then create some tasks for your target users to accomplish then time how long it takes them to do it and use it as a baseline. Or if it’s happiness, then have some users use the website and ask them some survey questions after they’re done. If your company doesn’t have a website yet, consider using a competitor’s site as your baseline. These pieces of data you’re collecting now will help you determine later if you’ve successfully improved your website or made it worse.
Make some changes
Make some adjustments to how the website functions or looks and try not to make too many changes at once because it’s difficult to get good test results if you’ve got too many variables effecting any one area or item. For example if you change the color and placement of a button and get a positive or negative result then how do you know if it was due to the color change or because you moved it? If your website has a lot of problems, which you determined when you made your measurements then maybe it’s a good time to just overhaul the site and then go back to the measure step and get a new baseline and continue to improve from there. But, otherwise small changes are the best route to go.
Test to see if you were able to improve
You’ve got a benchmark and you’ve made some changes, now it’s time to test it all out and see how your changes faired with your users. To do this, just use the same measurement as before. Did you get positive results? Was it everything you hoped for and are completely satisfied with your website? If it’s not quiet perfect, don’t fret because you can repeat these steps as many time as you want or need to in order to meet your company’s goals.
Success is whatever it means to you, your company and your brand. If you measure success by having 1 in every 100 visitors to your site buy your product then look for ways to improve the experience of buying your products. And, don’t give up until you’ve been able to turn your site around into something truly reflective of your company and its values.
Citation: Anderson, Monica. 2015. “6 facts about Americans and their smartphones”. Link.  Nielsen, Jakob. 2011. “How Long Do Users Stay on Web Pages?”. Link.  Nielsen, Jakob. 2000. “Why You Only Need to Test with 5 Users”. Link.
About Jaylyn Dawson
Jaylyn is a User Experience Design Consultant with Statera’s Application Development team. Her background includes multiple disciplines of design including, but not limited to: interaction design, web design and graphic design. When she’s not currently doing design work or learning about new design things she can either be found in her kitchen baking something that smells delicious or can’t be found at all because she’s on yet another flight somewhere.