Why is UX important in a conversion-based design?

One of the fundamentals of good User Experience (UX) is to approach design from a conversion-based perspective. This goes beyond the notion of design being purely aesthetic, and challenges design on the basis that it delivers more tangible results.

So, what is a conversion?

Put simply, conversion is an action taken by a user that achieves a business goal. The types of conversions required will depend on what these business goals are – we find the best way to identify what a business’ goals are is through a Discovery workshop. In 'Discovery' we work closely with our clients and their audiences to define key objectives. From this understanding, we create a visual roadmap that highlights potential conversion opportunities.

What does a conversion look like?

Let’s think of a hypothetical situation – say you’re an online clothes retailer. You could have many business goals which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Selling more products

  • Increasing newsletter engagement/sign-ups

  • Increasing customer retention

  • Increasing site traffic

  • Increasing account sign ups

  • Increasing product share rates

  • Increasing social followers

  • Increasing click through rates

  • Reducing bounce rates

  • Reducing cart abandonment rates

Each of the above goals addresses a potential conversion type. It is important when looking at these goals to rank them in order of importance (small to large). This will help provide clarity around a conversion strategy and the order in which to deploy. 

However, it is also essential to look at any potential crossover between your goals and ask ‘Can one goal work without the other?’. The reason for this is that conversions aren’t always a singular process or so linear; a user might need to go through multiple goals in order to achieve a single conversion. This is also known as a conversion funnel, and brings us nicely to the importance of a good UX strategy.

What makes a good UX strategy?

Defining conversion goals is one part of the strategy, but implementing them is another. Let’s return to the example above about the online clothes retailer. 

It could be fair to say that selling more products is an essential business goal. Maybe the retailer is looking to sell more summer wear over the summer season. How can a UX strategy help? 

A good UX strategy begins with reviewing any existing user data – this is where the focus shifts a little to an audience-first perspective. Data can be extracted from a variety of processes such as User Acceptance Testing (UAT) through to Google Analytics. The importance of data is that it doesn't make assumptions based on personal preference; it provides tangible results from users to help inform a more robust UX strategy. 

These results can help identify:

  • If the site behaves as anticipated

  • If the user can find relevant information easily

  • Feedback from a variety of your key audience demographics

  • The bounce rates 

  • The most visited pages

  • Where the majority of social referrals come from

  • What the key trends are

  • If there’s a spike in traffic on a particular day or time

  • How long users spend on a page...

…to name a few.

With this understanding, a UX strategy can start to be defined. Let’s say site traffic was significantly low on the retailer’s site – the first goal could be to increase site traffic. After all, how easily can the retailer sell more products if website visitor numbers are low? They could focus on a smaller customer base buying in bulk, which is a potential strategy in itself. However, let’s start the funnel with the goal of increasing site traffic to generate more leads.

The retailer could create a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign to increase the amount of users to the site. To coincide with this, a targeted social strategy utilising the likes of Facebook or Instagram can drive social awareness to both new and existing customers. Either way, there needs to be careful consideration given to both the narrative and the campaign duration. This will help the campaign maintain good momentum and keep users engaged throughout.

Driving more users to the site is an important goal, as discussed – but this isn’t the end of the conversion funnel. The user now has to interact with the retailer’s site and there is still no guarantee they will make a purchase. However, a good UX strategy will improve these odds. It will ensure that there is continuity between the PPC/social campaign and the retailer’s website. Furthermore, it will consider best practice, focusing on key areas such as:

  • Accessibility

  • Usability

  • Desirability

  • Credibility

With such focus, users are more likely to respond positively to the content, thus removing any potential scepticism. This can be the difference between a sales conversion or a sales loss. Let's not forget that any negative experience can be damaging to the reputation of the brand; users are also very unforgiving and therefore would be likely to share their bad experience with other users. The knock-on effect can be detrimental and hard to recover from – highlighting the importance of a good UX strategy.

What if the main goal is achieved?

Happy days, hey? Well, in a sense. Just because the goal of selling more products has been achieved, this doesn’t mean to say the strategy stops there. What about the after sale? There are so many more possible engagements and conversions to be had – like customer rentention.

The next UX strategy could focus on a direct mail campaign that offers discount codes to existing customers, which would drive users back to the site for further engagement – and hopefully lead to another sales conversion. This reiterates an earlier point – that conversions aren’t always a singular process; they can branch off in different directions across all touchpoints. 

Final thoughts

It’s hard to imagine a conversion strategy without UX in mind. In saying that, it’s also hard to imagine a UX strategy without conversion in mind. The two go hand in hand and are essential to the creative process. Not only do they influence creative choices, but they also translate creativity into more tangible and meaningful results.

At The Escape we help our clients achieve tangible results

Get in touch to see how we can help you with your conversion and UX strategy.

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