The user experience is the most important aspect of online marketing. If your site’s visitors aren’t getting what they want, they won’t come back — and that means they’re taking their business elsewhere.

That’s why the user experience design (UX design) should be a top priority when it comes to creating your website.

User experience is the accumulation of the end user’s interaction with a company, from its products to its customer services.

User experience design enables the kind of interaction that not only generates more sales, but that also creates an overall favorable impression of a business.

This page provides a list of reasons to implement UX design and how to get started.

Why is UX design important?

A good user experience design will make it easy to interact with your business, and a poor design will do just the opposite.

Remember, UX design encompasses much more than just aesthetics. It also includes accessibility, usability and performance. The user experience needs to enable all of these things to grow your company.

When people talk about UX design, they’re talking about a multifaceted approach that includes:

  • An attractive design that makes it easy to find key information
  • Interactive features that work properly during every transaction
  • Access to secure, accurate data

All of these things come into play when people are evaluating the user experience. If they can’t easily research a product or make a purchase on one site, they’ll find another.

This can have lasting consequences, as 88 percent of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.

In other words, a good user experience increases retention, loyalty, and revenues. Keep reading to find out how to create one.

How can you put the best UX design in place?

A good user experience can take on one of many different formats, depending on your target audience and platform.

As long as you follow these three steps, you’ll be able to put a UX design in place that bolsters your business:

1. Define the purpose of the experience.

Of course you want current and potential customers to enjoy their experiences with your company. That’s just a means to an end, though.

There has to be a reason for the experience.

Is it increased engagement or higher revenue per sale? Is it a new way to generate leads and referrals? The goal of the user experience doesn’t have to be obvious to the users, but it should be clear to you.

After all, the entire experience is going to be built around achieving that goal.

2. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes

Consumers follow certain paths when researching and purchasing products. They may also abandon a purchase for one reason or another.

Identify those journeys and pain points and build your user experience around them. Use analytics to identify site behavior. Monitor social media for complaints about your website or other channels. Run a few scenarios to determine how a customer might decide to purchase — or not purchase — one of your items.

The only way to develop a good user experience is to understand what would make it good for your buyers.

3. Develop, test, repeat

You can build what you think is a great user experience, but like any other marketing initiative, it’s a matter of trial and error.

You won’t know whether users like the experience until they’re actually experiencing it.

Once you develop the experience, test it. Start internally so you can eliminate glitches, and then roll it out to the public.

Test on a regular basis to see if you’re getting the results you want, and then make adjustments if you’re not.

Good UX design is more than what you see on the surface — it impacts the performance and usability of your site, which in turn impacts the success of your business.

Appearance is still important, but so is functionality. Keep both in mind when determining the right design for your site.