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What is a user journey and does my website need one?

What is a user journey and does my website really need one?

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What is a user journey and does my website need one?
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What is a user journey and does my website really need one?

When you’re working on a new website, it’s important to consider your user journey. You may hear web developers and designers talk about UX (user experience) but respectfully have no idea what they’re rattling on about. A journey you say…?

First things first: what is a user journey map?

A user journey map is creating during the UX design process of building your website. It can feel like a foreign language, understood only by developers, but if explained it’s not so complex.

It’s all about creating a straightforward, simple process that should in theory generate higher conversions. A website that has a well thought out user journey should understand the intended users, their thought processes, what they want and what they respond best to.

While user journey maps come in all shapes and formats, commonly it is represented as a timeline of all touch points between a user and a product. This timeline contains information about all channels that users use to interact with a product.

Ok, so what does a user journey help solve?

By putting the end-user at the centre of the design, you’re taking your loaded or biased opinions out of the equation. Remember, just because you want a lead to do something in particular, doesn’t mean that’s what they’ll do!

A website user journey is good for:

  • Creating a good user experience. For example, think about e-commerce websites and their filters. It could be as simple as ordering products in price order (e.g. low to high), or being able to show products that are a certain size, colour or have specific features.
  • Solving problems with bounce rates, sessions and pages per session.
  • Solving low conversions. This could be form fills or abandoned shopping carts. By planning this process, you’ll be encouraged to think how many data inputs are really necessary.

And I need one because…

Using a customer journey map to analyse user behaviour helps an organisation understand how their customers travel through the entire sales process and how they feel during their time there.

This approach provides two major benefits:

  • It allows decision-makers to stay focused on customers.
  • It helps make each step of the buying experience easier for potential leads.

You can have the best marketing team, but if your customers aren’t happy, you won’t get anywhere.

In a nutshell, you need a user journey for your website because it helps others understand…

  • What you’re trying to achieve (visually!)
  • Your users behaviour
  • Functionality requirements
  • What pages are necessary on your sitemap

Right, what do I need to do to begin?

Although it’s best to work with a specialist, it doesn’t hurt to be informed on the process. Especially it’s good to know what to expect and come equipped with the information they need (which is particularly good if you’re paying an agency or consultant).

Please note: there may be more than one journey for you to map on your website!

For each user journey it’s vital to understand:

      • Motivation. Why are they trying to do it?
      • Channels. Where interaction takes place
      • Actions. The actual behaviours and steps taken by users.
      • Pain points. What are the challenges users are facing?

Tip: Ensure that the user is getting a consistent experience across all channels.

Some of the steps may include the following:

  1. What’s the scope of the journey?
  2. Who is the user? (consult your persona!)
  3. Define a scenario and your users expectations
  4. List your touch points (e.g. if they are buying a product, can they do this offline, collect in store, get it delivered etc.)
  5. What is the intention of your users? And, what motivates them?
  6. Sketch the journey (or use post-it notes, flowchart planners etc.)
  7. How does it make them feel at each step?
  8. Validate and refine journey

User empathy map

Let us help!

We think it’s excellent that you’re thinking about your website user journey! It’s a great step in making your marketing customer-centric, and should help you to convert more leads to customers going forward. But if web design isn’t your forte, that’s fine, that’s what we’re here for. Simply pop your details on the form below and we’ll be in touch to help.

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website wireframes

Is it time to update your website?

By Blog posts, Digitisation
Website wireframes
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Is it time to update your website?

It used to be that websites were the shop window to your business. It has developed a lot over the past few years. Now we often explain to our clients that your website can be your best performing salesperson who is there for your customers 24/7, year round.

As with all team members, regular assessment and setting targets set you up for success. For example, most website goals are for leads to buy something, book a consultation or read an article. So you need to make sure you’re reporting is geared up to help you analyse this activity and your conversion rates.

Here’s how, as a website build agency, we recommend measuring your websites performance

#1 Web traffic

There are two ways of driving web traffic: paid ads and organic. A successful strategy includes both, and a digital marketing agency can help you achieve the right balance. 

The foundation of this is SEO. Are the keywords you’re using the ones your customers are searching for? The best way to work on this is remove yourself from your brand and think “if I wasn’t in my industry, what would I search for to find us?”.

You don’t need to be an SEO expert or web design agency to analyse this. There are fantastic tools available that can help assess this, such as Google Analytics, Hotjar, Mangools and Silktide to name a few.

#2 User journey

All websites should have a clear user journey, perhaps something like this:

  • A visitor starts session (from inbound or an ad) with a landing page, blog or service page
  • From there, they fill out a form to sign up for emails, download higher value content or make an enquiry
  • Session ends

Is this happening? What are your visitors doing, or not doing? There are two components here: content and user experience.

Again, when it comes to content there are two core considerations:

  • Is your content relevant?
  • Is it easy to read?

You may want to check your SEO strategy as well as review your customer personas. Chances are, one or the other will help build confidence and help nurture visitors to become leads, and leads convert to customers.

#3 User Experience

This is all about how easy it is for your visitors to digest the content, use your site and take action.

Ultimately, it comes down to this: are your visitors doing what you want them to do?

A web design agency will be able to help review this but you can look at it yourself. Here’s how we recommend testing your user experience:

  • Have you looked at your site on mobile?
  • Have you tested your site on a tablet?
  • Have you tested every page, button and form?
  • Can your users do what you want them to?
  • How many clicks does it take for them to do it?

If it’s not simple, or users aren’t taking any actions, it’s probably time to update your website.

Looking for a total overhaul?

Look no further. As a web design company, this is our bread and butter. Whether you’re looking for UX design, eCommerce, CMS and development or SEO strategy, our tried and tested approach gets results every time.

How we helped Grayce modernise their brand and digital presence

Grayce

How we designed and built a Magento store for Mum&You

Mum and You

How we optimised the customer journey on Zone 3’s eCommerce site

Zone 3

Summary

Your best bet is to regularly monitor your websites performance. If it’s not achieving your goals, it’s time to make some updates.

Where to start improving web performance:

  • Decide what you want to be found for online and make sure people are genuinely searching for that
  • Make sure your visitors can do what you want them to do
  • Review the data from measurement tools to see where the improvements need to be made

Is it time to upgrade your website?

If you’re ready to implement changes, a web design company like ourselves can help. Get in touch with us for a no obligation call to discuss your needs and see how we can help supercharge your website into a lead generation machine!

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