Posted: June 27, 2017

Who doesn't love good strategy tips? How's this for a nugget of gold: UX is CX for your website.

Wait, what's that code for?

When it comes to function equaling value, UX — or User Experience Design — equals CX, consumer experience. This relationship helps establish how your patients and consumers feel about your brand over the course of many interactions.

According to Net Solutions, “these interactions are known as 'touch points,' and they refer to almost any point of interaction (or potential interaction) customers might have with a certain brand." If UX isn't used, your healthcare client may not have the experience you want them to.

Since CX is affected by everything from your organization's website to your social media pages, UX is a crucial part of that experience. According to Forrester, customer experience contains three specific elements: it must be enjoyable, usable, and useful. Good UX can affect all these elements.

So, What is UX?

UX design is the process of enhancing a user's experience on a website by improving the site's usability and accessibility.

Think about the relationship between a car and its driver. There are years of research and testing that go into designing the vehicle’s function, form and comfort, all with the driver and passengers at the top of mind.

Or think about a supermarket where certain products or advertisements are placed in high-traffic sections to better maximize sales — say, the way the sunscreen is displayed prominently come Independence Day.

UX can sometimes be confused with UI, the user interface. While the design of the interface, it’s colors, layout and graphics contribute to effective UX, it is only a part of the entire experience. If UI is the layout and décor of your home, UX is the entire function of the home and how you will use and live in it.

It is essential to think about the design of your website in the same way. How will your customers access the information and tools they need in the most seamless way possible? User Experience Design is about making these decisions using an approach that is informed by research, testing and established or recognizable design patterns. This all adds up to a more positive and accessible experience for your customers.

ux-design-goals

What's the Goal of UX?

According to a study published in Interacting with Computers, the goal of UX design in business is to “improve customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product." After all, if customers are put off by the online health experience you create, they might not want to visit you in real life.

A site with excellent UX smoothly guides you to exactly what you're looking for, whether that's orthopedic providers near you or bill pay for a specific outpatient facility. It seems to respond to your every thought and whim. It anticipates what you, the consumer, will need and provides a solution at the right time.

The primary goal of UX is to lead consumers through a positive journey that is also friendly and easy to accomplish, while in the end serving each visitor’s needs in the most effective way possible.

How Do You Apply UX Design?

Because UX design is the planning, layout, and use of design elements to create intuitive and engaging experiences for users, these elements need to be thought through before any changes or redesign are implemented. You should start by prioritizing which elements of UX are most important for your consumers. A design hierarchy might be: enjoyable, easy to use, coherent, functional, and purposeful.

For websites, a UX designer will place calls-to-action strategically in the most prominent space. Areas above the fold (visible on the screen when a page loads), in footers, and static areas that follow consumers while they navigate the site or page are great places to start. This can help you start to think through which CTAs need the most visibility and which actions drive the most business.

Thinking outside of the box while also referencing established or recognizable design patters can lead to better UX. A traditional “About” page, might be replaced with a more engaging experience that leads your user through a more immersive journey while learning about your organization’s background.

UX strives to engage your customers more effectively to keep them on your site and increase conversions. It gives value and function to the visual aesthetic of your site.

Where Does UX Make the Most Impact?

Every healthcare organization or hospital with a website should design the user experience so it answers one question: How can my customers accomplish their goal or transaction as quickly and efficiently as possible? Or, to put it in healthcare terms, "How can my patients and consumers find doctors, facilities, bill pay, information, etc. quickly and easily?" With UX design in mind, the user should feel like they already are familiar with your site, and the know intuitively how to use it.

Consider these points while thinking about your site's navigation:

  • Will all users know exactly what each navigation item means? Are any words confusing or indirect?
  • Will the user understand how to get back to relevant content? Do they know where they are on your site and how they got there?
  • Is each menu item necessary, easy to find and in its correct place?

A person's experience with your website is a part of their overall consumer experience. It impacts their perception of your organization or brand. With thoughtful, effective UX design, your consumer experiences are automatically elevated, offering more enjoyment, ease-of-use, and value. A positive user experience keeps your consumers coming back again and again.

To learn more about how to apply UX to your healthcare website for better CX, read our white paper, Bringing the Amazon Experience to Healthcare.