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Optimizing your UX Design Process in 5 simple steps

A better user experience design can immediately attract customers and help sales. The less friction there is for people using your interface, the more likely they are to engage with it and buy your product or service. Find out five quick steps to optimizing your UX design here.

Written by Jordan Russ

With a long list of tasks to complete ahead of any company or product launch, too often user experience (UX) design is put on the back burner for ecommerce companies. What’s worse, many aren’t actively finding solutions to make it easier for their users to engage with their website or app.

But if we understand UX design as the system by which we can offer a better experience to our customers, then it should take its place among the most important factors in determining success in the world of ecommerce. 

Poor UX Design can cost companies millions in potential online sales. According to a Baymard Institute survey of online shoppers, the primary reasons customers leave their shopping cart are due to inefficient checkout processes that act as an obstacle rather than an advantage.

Ecommerce professionals, follow these five tips to enhance your site’s user experience and make sure you’re not losing out because of faulty UX design.

1. AI can provide insights into user behavior you might normally overlook

Customer behavior is key to understanding a great user experience. Leveraging AI (Artificial Intelligence) for in-depth insights into these behavioral patterns provides the infrastructure for UI and UX designers to build off of with key analytics by their side.

For instance, luggage manufacturer Samsonite was able to ascertain that zippers, pockets and the backs of suitcases were of interest to consumers based on AI-powered analysis of user interactions with 3D images on their website.

As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. Leveraging customer data is now a sensitive subject that has become increasingly regulated. Take the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the newly imposed CCPA in California. These guidelines need to to be met, followed, and carefully thought out.

While using AI to monitor user behavior is a powerful tool, it’s also important for ecommerce companies leveraging this power to be aware of privacy regulations surrounding the data collection methods used to power AI algorithms. For instance, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are guidelines ecommerce web designers should follow, especially when doing business in Europe or North America. 

Simply put, behavior patterns are imperative. AI can help tell you not only what’s going within your UX, but why.

2. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes 

Another useful tool in UX design? Perspective.

If you’re going out to eat at a restaurant, are you more inclined to choose a restaurant that has Mexican, Thai, French and Mediterranean cuisine all under the same menu? Most would prefer a restaurant which serves one type of food really well.

The same goes for customers visiting an eCommerce site. Begin with outlining your ideal customer(s) and build off of this profile accordingly. Use this as a beacon to safely navigate your UX design journey to its correct destination.

3. Leverage AI for A/B testing of usability on your sites

Another way to utilize AI properly is through usability tests. A/B testing is a vital part of website, project, and application deployments of any kind: Build upon the parts that you see customers respond to well while changing those aspects of the site that may be confusing or cause disengagement.

Think about physical retail settings: store clerks that perform well in sales must be cognisant of a customer’s attitude and behavior so they can make on-the-fly assessments to ultimately help guide that customer to a sale they’ll be pleased with.

Until you leverage AI online, the process can be complex and unreliable. With AI, machine learning algorithms can collect specific data sets regarding user behavior. These can then be utilized to constantly test new UX journeys for customers.

The best real-time example would be user scroll monitoring: which items are being added? Which items are being removed? This browsing data is a part of a unique formula which takes insights and turns them into action.

More than ever before, AI and machine learning are providing UX designers with near instant confirmation on whether the users’ expectations are being met or not. And its ability to collect minute data helps them actually identify the precise moment or area of the website where a user loses interest or gets underwhelmed. 

Thanks to the certainty that AI provides you on your assessment, you aren’t having to guess or assume where your shortcomings stand in regards to UX design.

4. Constantly iterate 

Now that you’ve identified the “what” and “why” of your website’s user experience, it’s time to put it to use!

One of the best pieces of advice a UX designer will provide is to always adapt and evolve. Many eCommerce professionals may be satisfied with an initial design. They’ll forget about it shortly afterwards. This is a costly mistake.

Remember: the constant updating of a previous deployment isn’t a sign that you failed on your current rollout, rather that your UX design should always be evolving to users’ expectations and needs. In addition, routine iterations can actually boost a site’s retention rate through tools that continuously encourage user habits.

Former Nielsen Norman Group VP Hoa Loranger once said, “Your old site is the best prototype of your new site.” It’s the basic mentality of being comfortable (italicize) with constant iteration that will help ensure the longevity of your company.

In software, one of the most common trends in highly successful apps is due to its frequent updates, some of which happen as often as twice per month.

5. Always be available to help your customer 

Think you’ve mastered UX design? Not so fast. The last step may seem obvious but is often overlooked: availability.

Whether it be contact forms, pop ups, customer service chatbots, or old-fashioned phone numbers where customers can speak to human representatives, having the proper infrastructure for site visitors and prospective clients is crucial.

Oftentimes, customer service equates to trust. You can’t always avoid UX inefficiency and pain-points; after all, initial site deployments are bound to have areas where they can improve and be restructured. But if a potential customer doesn’t have the ability to quickly reach a company representative for assistance, the ripple effect of poor experiences and reviews will begin to take shape.

All in all, the less friction there is on a customer-centric interface, the more likely they are to not only engage with your products and/or service, but make a purchase of their own with absolute satisfaction.