I recently got some alerts in Google Search Console telling me that my readers were receiving a poor user-experience (ux) when browsing one of my websites.
A quick look through my Google Analytics data showed I also had a low engagement rate!
Considering the following worrying statistic, I didn’t hang around in getting the issues fixed.
It prompted me to delve deeper into what is website UX in 2020 and what a general website owner such as yourself can do to ensure you are serving customers with a relevant experience that is user-centred.
I took the time to collate all of the information I found into a helpful website user-experience infographic, which can be found at the bottom of this article.
What did I learn about User Experience (UX)?
I learned that many people ask the same as me, what user experience is? Google, as usual, was a treasure trove of information, but when I started reading various sources, some things stuck out to me right away;
- Google and Designers see User Experience very differently.
- UX is an under estimated investment. For every $1 invested into ux design, it resulted in a $100 return. That a ROI of 9900%!
- Loading speed is more important than it ever was
- User journey is an important step no one should skip
- Google changed from Bounce rate to engagement rate indicating that they too would measure page interaction differently when ranking a websites SEO.
Understanding a websites user experience infographic
If you would like to use this infographic on your own website, please feel free to use the embed code below the infographic.
Sources: web.dev, developers.google.com, usability.gov, interaction-design.org, searchengineland.com, whisperlouder.com
Infographic Embed Code
<a href="https://whisperlouder.com/website-user-experience-ux/"><img src="https://whisperlouder.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/demystifying-website-user-experience-ux-whisper-louder.jpg" alt="website user experience ux infographic" /></a><br>Infographic by: <a href="https://whisperlouder.com" title="Digital marketing, SEO, UX and Design blog">Whisper Louder</a>
How Google See’s User Experience
May 28th, 2020 Google confirmed that they were going to start using your websites page experience metrics to quantify user experience into three distinct key metrics;
- LCP Largest Contentful Paint
- FID First Input Delay
- CLS Cumulative Layout Shift
These three key metrics introduced in Google Lighthouse were designed to measure a websites technical user experience and translate to three simple questions;
- How fast is the website or webpage?
- How stable is the website visually?
- How fast can a user interact with a page
You can test your websites largest contentful paint, first input delay and cumulative layout shift programmatically using Google’s Pagespeed insights tool.
Google Lighthouse UX Metrics
As I mentioned above, Google now measures your website users experience using three new metrics meaning, they use these key signals to rank your website in search.
Largest Contentful Paint
Largest Contentful Paint is a metric used to interpret how long it takes for the largest web page elements to load. It’s an accurate test of the overall load speed of your website’s pages.
First Input Delay
First Input Delay is a user-centric, page experience metric introduced by Google to measure how responsive a website is to a user. Essentially, it measures how long it takes for your website to be fully interactive to the user.
Cumulative Layout Shift
Cumulative Layout Shift is a page experience metric introduced to measure a webpages stability when loading. Lighthouse looks at how elements such as images, adverts and containers shift when loading. For example, if you don’t set explicit heights to images, then they would start 0px later ‘shifting’ to the height determined by the image itself.
How Designers See Website UX
Unlike Google search bots, UX designers are not software bots and, see user-experience differently. First off, ux design encompasses the entire user journey, and because of that, it’s a multi-disciplinary profession that spans various backgrounds;
A ux designers skill-set
- Software Programmer
- Interaction Design
- Visual design
- User Psychology
UX Designers are focused on the users needs, not yours.
Without seeming rude; A UX designer is not solely focused on what you want as a business although it does play a factor. We are focused on the needs of your users and the overall experience they had when using your website.
After all, a happy customer stays on your website longer. The longer they stay on your website, the more chance of a conversion.
6 Questions for a great website user experience
- Is my website useful? Your website, product or content should be original and fullful a need
- Is my website usable Your website must be intuitive and easy to use
- Is my website desirable Do images, brand and other design element invoke emotions and appreciation?
- Is my website findable Content need to be navigable and locatable onsite and offsite
- Is my website accessible Your website needs to be accessible to people with disabilities.
- Is my website credible Users must trust and believe what you show them, tell them and try to sell to them
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