Can't we all just get along?
Can’t we all just get along?

UX.

It’s the new acronym on every digital marketer’s lips. UX, or user experience, means taking into account the person who will be interacting with your product, service, and website. Apparently, it’s the new SEO. In reality, it’s just another way to optimise your website – but rather than doing so for search engines, it’s for the end-user of your site.

How many times have you visited a website and then left because it was too busy, took too long to load, or you couldn’t find what you went there for? I do it all the time. The kinds of websites I like are clean, clear, and logical.

Google’s new updates are also taking into account the user experience when it comes to ranking websites. Panda measures click-through, bounce, and conversion rates – all of which can be enhanced with both SEO and UX updates. SEO and UX are here to work together. There’s no point in having a great website that no one can find, meanwhile Google will penalise websites that users don’t like. ROI on UX is harder to measure, meanwhile keyword rankings are tangible.

I can hear the boos, the walls crumbling: you just wrapped your head around SEO. I understand.

Where should you start with UX? First, create a profile of the optimal end-user of your website. After that, find them and test their experience on your site. Observe where they are getting stuck, the places that they don’t find intuitive or interesting.

I recently redesigned my personal website and afterwards came across Peek UserTesting. It’s a free program by User Testing that sends real people to your website and records them while they explore. They talk through their experience, answer questions related to the website, and say what they like and don’t like for a maximum of five minutes. You get sent the video right after.

For a price, you can add more questions, have them spend a longer time on the site, or even ensure that the person who views your website is from the demographic you’re targeting. I used the tool myself – my site wasn’t complete but I was interested to hear what someone thought about it. The user probably isn’t in my target audience but I did take away some usable action points.

I also signed up to be one of these random users (I made $6 in the process!) and received feedback from the website owners about what they found helpful in my review.

A Peek into Alyssawrites.com’s Usability

This is a great marketing tool for User Testing: you get to experience usability testing without commitment, but not enough information to make changes without paying for more.

What do you think of usability testing? Do you think it’s the right way forward in website optimisation?