No user experience, no website

When most people think of building or revamping a website for their business, they think they can hire a single web designer who will take care of all their needs. However, the dirty secret of web design that too few people are aware of is that there are 4 distinctly different skills that go into building a really great website

  • Design. Think colour, typography, use of space. Making the whole thing look good
  • Development. All the technical things powering the website in the background. It can be simple things like capturing an email address or complicated things like a hotel reservation system
  • User experience (UX). Making sure the experience for your visitors is smooth and the best sites make this enjoyable
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO). You can have the best looking website with the best experience for your users but if your website doesn’t fulfil your main business objectives (ie it turns visitors into paying customers) then it fails.

So a really great website needs to look good, it needs to function well and it needs to take care of your customer’s needs without sacrificing the needs of your business.

Doesn’t this sounds a bit much for one person to do? It’s a bit like going into an operation and having a doctor acting as surgeon, anaesthetist and nurse at the same time. Will they do better than you can do if you did it yourself? Almost certainly. Can you end up getting a very substandard job? Highly likely.

Unfortunately for smaller businesses for budget reasons, you are often forced to take on a jack of all trades, master of none designer. In addition, it’s not your job to be a web expert so you have no idea if what’s being delivered to you is helping or hindering your business.

Often there is no way getting around a combined designer/developer and that can be ok for a basic site but bear in mind that they will tend to specialise in one rather than the other.

But very rare is the designer that also knows how to make sure your visitors are getting a great experience and your site is prioritised to convert visitors into long term customers.

Have you worked with a designer before? If so, how detailed was there research process – a questionnaire, a 30 minute phone call? That is really not enough to build a great website out of. If you ever work with a usability/conversion person, the vast majority of their job is research before they start making suggestions.

They will look at things like your current reporting on your website to see where your visitors are coming from and how they behave on the site. Where are the frustrations and pain points?

And use heatmaps to see how people actually use your site – the colours represent the density of where people are

They will even make videos of them moving around your site trying to accomplish actions, pointing out the confusions

And to be fair to a designer/developer, why should they know all this? Design and development are very complex and ever changing skills, how can they be usability and business experts as well? The good ones know this and work with other experts to create the best possible website. But of course there are costs associated with this

One tip- never stop asking your designer ‘why?’. Why is that button there?, why have you chosen those menu options?, why are those the most accessible pages?. If a designer can’t give you a coherent answer beyond ‘it looks nice there’, you could have a big problem on your hands.

So what can you do about this? If you are serious about growing your online business through your website you need someone that knows about usability and conversion to do the research and review your site.

We haven’t even got onto SEO yet! 99% of designers that tell you they can take of your SEO are sadly very mistaken. If you want to rank that is a whole other thing and you can read more about SEO here

But we hope you can see now that behind every great website there is a lot more than just making text and copy come together in a visually pleasing way. You need someone beyond a designer to manage the project and make sure that your users are having an enjoyable time interacting with your brand and you are focussed on converting them into customers.

There are many freelancers out there on places like that can help with this. It’s also a key part of the system that we offer to our clients

Why not take a free consultation with us and we’d be happy to review your site and tell you some of the biggest improvements you can make today to start growing your revenue plus other useful tips