User Experience (UX)

Timo Gierse

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User experience refers to how a person feels and experiences when they use a product or engage a service. User experience is abbreviated as UX and can be translated as user experience.

Definition

In retail, the user experience defines the Perception and reaction of a personwhen she uses the product or expects to use the product. On the Internet, this is applied to a website: How does the user rate the website? Finally, the term can also be used for mobile devices. One then speaks of mobile UX. The user experience is determined by the user’s expectations: if the website fulfils these expectations, then it is positive; if not, then the UX is negative.

User Experience (UX)

What is part of the user experience?

Many make the mistake of confusing user experience with usefulness, usability. Yet usability is only one of three parts of UX; with the ancient architect Vitruvius coining this tripartite – strength, beauty and utility. Transferred to a web page this classification results:

  • Beauty and aesthetics: Do users like or dislike the look and design of a website?
  • Accessibility: Is the website available via different end devices such as notebook, smartphone, desktop PC or tablet? Is it easily accessible and easy to find; how long does it take to load?
  • Usability: Are the content and functions of the website highly useful? Is the website easy and effective to use?

Measurement of the user experience

While UX differs from person to person, it is still measurable, with “hard” and “soft” factors. The “hard” factors: These include the loading time, the availability of the website and the Responsive Design – how the website adjusts to the screen size and the end device.

On the other hand, the “soft” factors are more difficult to measure because appearance and operation are evaluated differently. Nevertheless, there are two methods for this as well:

  • Surveys: By having the user answer questions, the UX can be determined. The more questions he answers, the more accurate and representative the result.
  • Eye tracking: Special devices measure a user’s eye movements and gaze as they view and use the website. Two results follow from this: What do the eyes perceive spontaneously? What does the user respond to most quickly?

Importance for SEO

Is user experience a ranking factor? The answer is still pending. Nevertheless, experts believe that it at least indirectly affects the ranking. There are several key figures for this, which can help determine the ranking like a quality index. These include: the time spent on the website, the number of returning visitors and the “Return to Search Rate”. Therefore, user experience should not be neglected in SEO to deliver the best possible result to the user.

Conclusion

The user experience is the sensation that a product or a website triggers in the user. In doing so, it is determined by the user’s expectations; whether the UX meets them or not? For this, it combines three components under one roof: beauty, accessibility and usability. It is also measurable, with “hard” factors such as charging time or more difficult with “soft” factors such as appearance. Whether it has a direct influence on the ranking in SEO is still unclear; however, experts are sure that it at least indirectly determines the ranking as a quality index.

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