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December 21, 2011

How Usability and UX Affect Conversions

Thought by FFW,

Are you designing websites people can use?

‘Usability’ is a key factor in conversion optimization and website design. Whether your business model is focused on lead generation, e-commerce or branding and impressions, your website exists for the purpose of generating conversions, the process of turning visitors into users or buyers. There is a direct relationship between usability and conversions. In order to increase conversions, you must also increase usability. 

Usability applies to anything humans interact with -- be it a new car or website. The only difference is the functionality of each object. Imagine you’re car shopping and you get behind the wheel for a test drive. To your surprise and agitation, you can’t find the ignition, the seat adjuster or the speedometer. Would you still buy the car? Would you even trust the make? Probably not. The same paradigm holds true in web design. If the key features and controls of your website help your visitors feel comfortable and confidant they are more likely to convert to users or buyers.

Another word that’s used often in the web design and conversion optimization discussions is ‘user experience’ or ‘UX.’ If a site is highly usable and doesn’t cause frustration, then one way to describe the UX is ‘pleasant.’ If a site has severe usability issues and causes people to bounce off the page, the UX can be labeled as ‘very frustrating.’

It takes experience, education and collaborative effort to achieve high usability and an exciting user experience. That’s why it is particularly important to put your website in the capable hands of experts, not just anyone who knows how to code. If the sole purpose of your site is to generate conversions, then you need to make sure people are using it properly. And even if they could, is the user experience enough to make them excited about making the conversion leap?

Check out some of our case studies for examples of sites with high usability and optimum UX. If you want to learn more about usability and conversion optimization sign up for Volacci’s webinar 5 Techniques to Improve Conversions.