If you run a small business with any kind of digital presence, you need to think about UX for small business. If you have a website, mobile app, or social media presence, you have users for those digital points of contact. And if you have users, then those users come with certain expectations. Whether those expectations are met determines whether they interact with you, become leads, or eventually become customers.
This means that, regardless of the type of product or service you’re selling, if you have a web presence, you need to think about user experience (or UX).
What Is UX for Small Business?
Let’s start with what UX is, as that is a common question we get from clients. One of our favorite definitions is from the folks over at Foolproof, a UX consulting company:
Experience Design* is a design practice focused on human outcomes, particularly the level of engagement and satisfaction that the user derives from a product or service and the relevance of the experience to their needs and context.
*Note: Experience Design, User Experience Design, and User Experience are typically synonymous terms.
So, UX for small business refers to the ways small businesses design their websites and other digital media in order to ensure customers are satisfied with them and can do what they need to do (i.e., join a newsletter, download a report, make a purchase, etc.).
UX for Small Business Tip #1: Focus on Customer Success
You have a small business because you’re successful at providing customers with a product or service they desire. Now you need to extend that same experience to your web presence. Your website, mobile app, and social media channels should all provide your customers with a simple, useful way to interact with your business.
To help you think about what your web presence should do for your customers, think about what they need and want to do. The following questions will help you:
- Why do your customers return for repeat business?
- What specific value do you provide that makes you distinct in your marketplace?
- What sets you apart from your competition?
- What are the core values of your brand that make you unique?
- What is something special you do for customers that no one else does?
Once you’ve reflected on what makes you a successful business, you’re ready to design a web presence that builds on that success.
UX for Small Business Tip #2: Design for Core Interactions
Once you’ve zeroed in on what makes your brand unique, you need to think about how you want to interact with your customers online. Try to identify all the tasks customers should be able to accomplish through your website, mobile app, and/or social media channels. Make a list and describe what you’d like your customers to be able to do. Then identify which tasks fit with which element of your web presence.
For example, you may end up with a list that looks like this:
- Sign up for newsletter
- Read blog about industry news
- Make purchases
- Contact us for quotes
- Mobile app
- Find nearest location
- Learn about specific product or service
- Make purchases
- Contact us for quotes
- Social media
- Ask questions
- Receive customer support
- Get updates about product releases
UX for Small Business Tip #3: Don’t Clutter Your Web Presence
Finally, as you design your web presence, remember to keep things as simple as possible. It’s better to focus on a small number of interactions that you can successfully provide than to create an over-complicated digital presence that isn’t useful to your customers. For example, if the purpose of your social media is to answer questions, provide customer support, and provide updates about product releases, you don’t want to clutter your channels with random inspirational quotes or personal anecdotes.
The key to a great user experience is providing your customers what they need before they even realize they need it. Translate what makes you passionate about your business into your web presence to ensure that customers have a great experience every time they interact with you online.