What Is the User Journey and Why It’s Important to Your Web Design
August 17, 2023
When it comes to creating a website design, the user journey plays an important role in the success of your overall website. It may seem straightforward that you want to consider your potential client or customer’s experience on your website.
However, did you know that there are actually 5 succinct stages of the user journey that must be considered in order to have an effective website? Keep reading to find out more about the user journey and why it is important for you and your website.
The Stages of the User Journey
The journey a user embarks upon most often can be defined by 5 key stages: Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention, and Advocacy.
1) Awareness — The Awareness phase is the first step on a user’s journey. It signifies the moment when the prospective user is introduced to the brand. Either they came across your product or service by actively searching for a solution or they were introduced passively through promotion of your brand.
2) Consideration — Once the user has identified multiple solutions, they will enter a phase of Consideration. At this point, they are reviewing various competitors and seeking further information. Most importantly, they are looking for what others are saying about your brand. They might look at reviews or check out your social media. Providing clear information that is both accessible and accurate is essential here.
3) Decision — Congratulations! Your prospective client or customer is ready to enter into the Decision phase. They have reviewed and considered your brand against competitors and ultimately, they decided to move forward with you. The purchasing process on your website can make or break your sale at this stage, as a smooth process reduces cart abandonment rates.
4) Retention — Now that you have a new customer or client, it is critical that you keep them. While it’s important to gain new customers, retaining existing ones is just as important. Hence, the Retention phase encourages continued engagement with clients to ensure satisfaction and increase the likelihood of repeat business.
5) Advocacy — Finally, users enter the Advocacy stage. This is determined by the experience a user has in the first four stages of their journey. If it was positive, they are likely to become advocates who will vouch for the brand and refer you to other prospects in the future. This will ultimately bring you new users who will start their journey with you at the first stage!
Importance of User Journey to Website Design
When it comes to your website design, it is essential to consider the user journey. Why? Well, there are a few reasons. As a business, you want to consider the best ways to ensure a potential client or customer is seamlessly guided through the entire user journey. Your website design plays an integral role in that process.
Inconsistent brand messaging can be a major deterrent to the user in their Consideration phase. When a new user accesses your website, you want to instill instant user trust and recognition. When working with an agency to create your website design, identifying and understanding a particular user journey is helpful to designers as it allows them to customize and incorporate elements at critical points in the user journey. For instance, if the goal is conversion, then designers will create clear calls-to-action throughout your site.
When it comes to the user journey, one of the most relevant considerations in website design and development is mobile responsiveness. If a potential user in the Decision phase uses a device to access your website, you want to ensure that your website is fully mobile-optimized. Otherwise, an unreliable and unresponsive site experience might deter the user and lead to abandonment before the journey is complete.
Once you fully understand the user journey, you can effectively collaborate with an agency to ensure the best possible website experience for everyone who discovers your site. With these points in mind, you’re well on your way to creating a smooth and seamless user journey!