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  • Writer's pictureDenise Moller

Put the user in user experience with good website functionality

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Nothing is more frustrating than when you go into a website and can’t do what you want to do or find the information you need. A lot of business is lost due to poor website functionality and user experience because people simply give up and go elsewhere.

It has been unbelievable the number of bad experiences I’ve had lately on a range of different websites. These have ranged from purchasing a t-shirt, to needing to pay a bill, to getting a rubbish bag collected. When you have invested a lot of money in a website the last thing you want is for your key functionality to fail. So, what are some key things to be aware of when managing your website?

Fix the problem and communicate

In each of the cases mentioned above I contacted the company to let them know that their site functionality wasn’t working or needed updating. Many consumers would not have bothered.

As a marketer however, who has been responsible for many websites, I appreciate that errors sometimes happen and you may not be aware that there is a problem. The key of course is getting the error fixed quickly and letting your customer know that you have taken the feedback on board and sorted the problem.

In the three instances I experienced, this is what happened -

  • The t-shirt company came back straight away and asked me to try again. When I did the problem was still there, so I let them know. It was fixed on the second try, so I purchased the t-shirt - as the lady from the company was apologetic and at least got it fixed.

  • I let the professional services company, that I needed to pay a bill for, aware of the fact that there was no information on their website around payments. (You would actually think the details would be somewhere in their original correspondence, but it wasn’t even on their invoice let alone on the website). I mentioned that they may want to put the information on both their documentation and the website. After a couple of other lapses in service we changed providers. Clearly, they did not want my money!

  • I called the waste management company to get our rubbish bag collected, as the online pick-up functionality wasn't working. I mentioned on the call that I had, had to ring them as I couldn’t book the pick-up online. The woman on the phone was lovely and said she would pass on my feedback to their marketing team. Fast-forward a year or so later and the problem still hadn’t been fixed. Not sure if the message wasn’t passed on or nothing was simply done about it. Can I be bothered using them again?

Tips for improving user experience on your website

When you are creating a new website you need to test, test and test to ensure that your site is functioning the way that it should - especially when it comes to forms and processing orders. You also need to check it across desktop, phone and tablet devices.

If you miss something or a technical glitch means that something stops working it is quite simple. As soon as it is identified, work on getting it fixed and let the person who told you know. If it is going to take a bit of time to sort it out communicate that so people don’t feel like they have been ignored.

Most consumers are realistic and know errors happen. If you deal with the problem well you can still retain the customer – just like the example where I still bought the t-shirt. If you ignore feedback, like the professional services company, you lose business.

Make it easy for customers to tell you if there is an issue on your website.

Some companies only enable you to communicate with them through a form or chat on the website. This is incredibly annoying if you need to speak to someone straight away – especially if the chatbot can’t resolve your problem. Always ensure that you have a phone number that is easy to find.

The best thing to do is to put yourself in the user’s seat. Think about how easy it would be to use the site if you were a potential customer and get colleagues and friends to help with the testing.

Ultimately you want to make sure you put the user back into user experience!

Lady using mobile phone
User experience

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