Tips to ensure your team has a great website user experience
Imagine walking into a store, knowing what you want to find… and then turning the store upside down trying to locate it. If you went into Target to buy coffee, but the lights were all shut off, music was blaring over the sound system, and it turned out the coffee had been moved into the housewares aisle, what would you think? Would you visit that Target again? Probably not. What if you worked at that Target? How would you stock anything? How could you effectively serve customers?
You wouldn’t need to worry about it because, in the real world, the user experience is something that comes pretty naturally. We know how to create accessible environments, and we know how to communicate with the people we encounter in them. But in the digital world, user experience has to be planned, designed and programmed down to the smallest detail.
What is UX?
If your business has a website, it’s likely some developer somewhere has talked to you about user experience or UX. UX can refer to the ease, simplicity and efficacy of navigating and using a website for a variety of purposes. If you use your website to sell or promote a product or service, or recruit employees or members, UX could make or break your business.
However, users aren’t the only ones you need to consider when planning your website experience. One important factor many companies don’t consider is the UX your employees have when trying to update your website. Your website administrators will be responsible for communicating important information, keeping your site current and helping users find what they need. But, just like that Target employee, if the environment is a mess, they won’t be able to effectively help.
I’ve found most of our clients come to us with one of two major pain points regarding their website’s admin interface. Either the interface is almost non-existent, requiring admins to know HTML code to make even simple updates or rely fully on a third-party partner, or the interface is comprehensive and fully built out, creating so many options and possibilities that admins feel overwhelmed or intimidated. It can be tough to find the perfect balance, but at Willow, that’s what we strive for. When thinking about creating a positive UX for your admins, here are some things to consider:
1. Are you looking for hands-off or helping hands?
This might depend on the level of control you want or need to have over your website. Some companies prefer to let outside agencies (like Willow) handle any updates or changes to the site, while others want to have templates set up that allow them to control content updates without jeopardizing the layout and design.
2. Strike a balance.
It may seem like a great idea to let your admins have access to everything on your website, but it can be overwhelming to maintain. By the same token, giving up all control to a third-party could lead to miscommunications or missed deadlines while you wait for someone else to post a simple update. Your best bet is to find the sweet spot, where your admins can quickly and easily add relevant content but aren’t spending all their time on constant updates.
3. Ask for help.
Whether you’re building an entirely new website, or just looking for best practices on maintaining your current one, seeking advice from UX experts can definitely help. At Willow, we can craft a website that fits your business’s needs, and makes it easy to keep your users informed, while making your admins’ experience a little less like that topsy-turvy Target, and a little more easy, enjoyable and effective. We also conduct a training with our clients as a standard part of our website builds, to ensure every admin feels confident and comfortable with the interface, and with our partnership.
Want to learn more about admin interface UX? Check out my vlog on the subject. If you think your website needs a UX refresh, externally, internally or both, just give us a call at Willow at 317.257.5225 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.