When I (LaMae) do presentations about web design and navigation, the User Interface / User Experience, the discussion is always lively because inherently everyone understands that UI/UX is vital. I often tell the story of a mirror I installed in our home hallway and how I was so pleased with myself for the handiwork. Then, I showed my husband who happens to be taller than me, his head was chopped off and I realized the great job I had done would only work for me … or those very close to being the same height as me. Missed the mark on that one.
A simple UI problem
This picture is a more analog example of the user experience. Imagine how many folks had difficulty using this paper towel dispenser for someone to have taken time to make and tape up an additional explanation? My experience was just as confusing. I read the sign, “PLACE HAND RIGHT BELOW THE GREEN LIGHT …” but the green button was nowhere to be found unless you moved your hand under the dispenser, and then it was intermittent. Most of us would eventually figure this out and frankly, it is only an annoyance, but how many people are choosing someone else because of an annoyance?
UI/UX on your site
The user interface (page design including the look and its ease of use), as well as the user experience (how do the site pages flow work together to get things done), should be the primary, or at least one of the primary planning considerations. Can the visitor find what they want, is it aesthetically pleasing, can they/will they buy? These questions are your goals (or should be). There are probably others, too.
If someone wants to buy – let them. Heck – make it easy for them.
Finally, this brings me to Quality Assurance. Check your site (or paper towel holder) based on real users and not your own expectations and assumptions and minimize annoyances.