Usability, user experience of web and retail – a different perspective
In digital marketing, there are thousands of factors that affect a website on the Internet. For any kind of business, there would be necessary and important considerations that should be met for furthering business aspirations and to maximize the potential of the website. If not met, these affect the search engine optimization (SEO) output, social media potential, corporate identity, branding, differentiation and positioning of the business, conversion and also other general factors influencing businesses. Usability and user experience should be remembered as the most important areas and starting points for a deeper analysis.
User experience in juxtaposition
We could compare a website with a retail store, whether it is a business-to-business (B2B), business to customer (B2C) or customer-to-customer (C2C) enterprise. A serious long term looking organization should give due considerations to almost all factors associated with a retail store to the website. A website is a much better tool one has, for reaching the customers, finding their online behavior, cross-selling, customer care etc. When we compare the reach, a website is most of the time exponentially cost effective than a retail store. However, majority of the businesses today look at their website as a different initiative altogether, from the store. Careful research and analysis and professional help is sought for designing and product placement. However, the same importance and time is not given to the website many a times. A retail store in a crowded city or a mall is definitely going to attract visitors. This is not the case with a website.
User experience based design
The website design could consider and target planned and accidental visits. The visit could be coming from an email marketing campaign, a viral, a search engine, affiliate or from an advertisement campaign. The state of the mind of people coming from different marketing and advertisement vehicle could be fundamentally different. The website should cater to these and other kind of traffic that you are expecting. Landing pages should correlate the type of visit with proper navigation and information required for the action associated with the page.
The points to be addressed are:
- The pages should be digestible and convey the message in few moments.
- The color and contrast and the text should be appealing enough for clarity and ease of reading.
- The pages should generate interest and should be able to open the mind space of a potential customer or a word of mouth marketer.
- The user experience and usability checklist should include accessibility, navigation, content, security, marketing, and technical considerations among others.
Naveen Kodappully works as SEM Manager for On Target Marketing Solutions Pvt. Ltd. in Mumbai. He helps clients expand reach and visibility online.