UX design for small business startup sites
It’s currently believed that small business startup websites are simple. The volume of content is not large, the navigation is simple, the pages do not need to house too much information, and the goals of each page are clear. Also, the cost of UX design is high and it could take years to return investment in UX design. So, small business owners can’t still benefit from user experience design.
Of course that’s not true.
Here are tips for small businesses to improve UX design of website and business growth in a cost-effective way.
It seems easy to use some tools. In fact, you should avoid using tools to test the UX design of your existing site except Lighthouse, WebPageTest, and GTmetrix. But many web experts recommend using heatmaps and web tracking tools like Google Analytics.
Sometimes tools can help you to watch the user’s behavior and what your visitors are looking at.
The problem is that these tools can’t help you to identify all UX design mistakes on your business site. You can’t use tools to test wireframes or sketches. And furthermore, these tools may be misleading. Also, additional code (tool’s scripts) can slow down your site.
You probably can use these tools (Google Analytics provide you interesting insight), but you should have some experience and knowledge to draw conclusions.
Well, you should use tools to check the UX design of your site, if you have knowledge and experience to do it properly.
Learn from competitors and big business
Using methods of benchmarketing or best practice benchmarking is a common way. Many business owners point to other sites and say “I like that! Can you do something like that?”.
From F5 Studio’s experience this approach doesn’t work in many cases.
Just because your competitor or big business is doing it doesn’t mean it’s working for them. You can copy some bad things that will ruin your small business startup.
So, you should use common UX design practices. Why?
First, these practices really work, as it has been proved by many sites.
Second, these practices save your money. Most small business startups would do better with a “standard web design” and then paying an agency for branding and message marketing. These two things can make any business site more custom, than the so called “from scratch – reinvent the wheel sites”.
Should you give up ideas of custom UX design? No, you shouldn’t.
I recommend you focus on your target audience to add some groundbreaking features or elements on your site. Using common UX design practices and groundbreaking features can boost your business.
Ask your clients
It seems weird, but many small business owners don’t ask clients. Why? There are many reasons for this, some of them related to the fear that clients won’t respond or they will be annoyed.
Our advice is just do it. People want attention. In some cases you can let clients know all replies are entered into a prize draw for ‘thing’ that may be a product of yours or a bottle of wine, discount, you decide. In many cases that you could just ask. Set 3-5 simple questions that are going to open up a discussion dont elicit yes/no answers. Think carefully about what will give you the most insight or what problem you are trying to solve and ask away.
If you ask your clients you can get valuable insight from real users.
Also, there are additional benefits. You are creating goodwill with your clients. You may well increase word-of-mouth referrals.
Many business owners ask people at forums to review and test sites or use social media groups and community to do that. Is it a good idea? You will find many people who are anxious to help you. Although you might get some helpful hints from the professionals (web designers, digital marketers) but most of them aren’t your target audience.
So, just ask you clients.
Test your site by yourself
If you start a business, you have to be able to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. You have to understand your clients better than they understand themselves.
So ask yourself these questions:
What are customers looking for?
What pages are needed to present your small business startup, your products and services?
What are the goals of these pages?
Are there clear call-to-actions?
Will these selling points trigger a target audience?
You should take the user’s journey from a landing page to a conversion. Is it good for you? Is there a step that annoys you? What is about a mobile version of your business site?
This job takes a few hours or a few days, but it’s worth it. If your site already exists, you can invest in a website redesign to stop losing clients.
I suggest you test your site before it is built. Professional web development agency will show you the site map, page maps (wireframes), actions and content structure. So you can test UX design to avoid many issues.
If you have no technical knowledge about web development, it can be a problem. There are many features which can’t be implemented on a website in the easy way.
Hire a UX designer
This point seems so obvious to a web development agency that provides professional UI/UX services. It is true, because F5 Studio specializes in startup websites development and has created many sites for business. But let me clarify my position.
A UX designer already has the knowledge and experience to help you. You don’t waste your time and money. It takes a few days to provide research, create sitemaps, wireframes and user journeys for a professional UX designer. SEOs, digital marketers and you also could benefit from the work accomplished by a UX designer.
Is hiring a UX designer expensive for a small business startup? No, it is not.
Cost of a UX designer’s work depends on the scope of tasks and UX designer hourly rate. Usually, small business startup sites are simple. A UX designer should provide research and to adapt common UX design practice to your startup specifics. As I’ve written here before, message marketing makes any startup site unique without significant investment in website design.
A UX designer cuts down website development costs. Carefully thought-over design makes the process of website development easier for a web developer.
Intelligent UX design and well organized website structure positively impact search engine optimization of small business startup sites. By the way I recommend you to read Is SEO worth it for a business?
UX design increases the conversion rate of a business site, this could be 5-10% but is often more likely to be 2% or less. Honestly, it isn’t much in most cases. The balance of return on investment against the cost of UX as a percentage increase in sales becomes negligible at first. However the more relevant users visit your site, the less cost per sale and the better balance of return on investment against the cost of UX.
Let’s be honest, huge success in business is largely based on luck. But the UX design of a site is one of ways to give your small business startup a better chance of succeeding.
There are some really nice options. You can test your exciting site or ideas by yourself, ask your clients or other people to review your site. Also, you can hire a professional UX designer.
I would like to suggest to you F5 Studio’s special service, it is a web development for startups.
You can choose the options you’d like to use for your business and budget. Anyway, you should focus on your clients, their needs and pains. Because UX design is about your clients.