Why combining User Experience (UX) and Performance will be increasingly important in 2020

Photo Written by André Gussekloo

The user experience of visitors largely determines how they experience your organization. It has a direct impact on your conversion rates and is indirectly responsible for the rankings that Google assigns. The user experience is closely related to the performance of your website. 

What is user experience (UX)?

User experience, abbreviated UX, can be translated into English as user experience. When talking about websites, the simplest definition is: how a visitor feels when using a website.

Now a feeling is difficult to measure, but with, for example, 'exit polls' you can still get an appreciation and possible feedback from visitors. And what does this reveal? There are certain factors that, if you have them right, guarantee a positive user experience. 

UX design is the philosophy where the web designer takes into account the users' needs and expectations. He or she designs more based on research than on feeling. The web design matches the target audience and the content answers the question the visitor has. 

Why is UX important? 

Various studies have shown that customers are far from automatically choosing the cheapest provider. This applies to both consumers and business customers. Quality is at least as important, but in recent years another characteristic has been gaining ground: user experience. 

For example, it appears that customers will pay up to 17% more for a product or service where the user experience is better. And even if visitors are happy with your offer, 50% of them will not visit your mobile site again if it is not mobile-friendly. 

Those who apply UX design find that the knife cuts both ways: a pleasant user experience also results in more leads. In an age where users are not so generous with their personal data, UX design is an important marketing weapon.

A pleasant online user experience, for example thanks to a clear structure and a short loading time, translates into visitors who stay longer on your website. Google detects this and assigns higher rankings to user-friendly websites. User experience and performance should therefore work together for the best result.

What does performance have to do with UX?

To answer this question right away: user experience and performance have a lot to do with each other. The loading speed can make or break a user experience. For example, 53% of visitors abandon a page if it loads for longer than 3 seconds. And 47% of users simply expect a page to be on their screen within 2 seconds.

Now you would say that these figures are easily achievable, but that is not necessarily the case. Large companies and institutions, which have links to their internal software, are soon above this desired load time. Add to that extensions or plugins, or the fact that some of the users load the site from another country, and it is difficult to achieve optimal performance. 

Measure the performance of your site

Curious about the loading speed of different pages on your site? An easy way to measure it is through a Google tool: PageSpeed Insights. With this tool you can see how long it takes for a page to load completely on the screen. The statistics are for both mobile users and desktop visitors. 

You'll also get point-by-point tips on how to improve performance. Often these are fairly technical comments: "Consider providing critical JS/css inline" or "Make use of the 'font-display' feature to make text visible while web fonts are loaded." A specialist like 2manydots translates this jargon into action items and solves them one by one.

Ways to reduce loading time

More and more marketing managers are realizing that they can gain a competitive advantage with performance. As specialists in WordPress sites for large SMEs and semi-government, we are often asked to ensure optimal performance in 2020. A challenge we gladly accept. The following elements of a website often come up.

  • Professional hosting
    A hosting package where you share a server with other websites can be disastrous for load time. You are dependent on the traffic to those other sites and if they experience visitor spikes, your site can become slow or even unreachable.

    The solution is a professional, dedicated server. We at 2manydots work with a hosting provider that specializes in WordPress sites. This offers some additional benefits, such as easy duplication of a website, automatic backups and updates, and fast technical service.

  • Optimized images
    Images in particular eat up a lot of server space - and therefore bandwidth. You might not notice this if you use a fiber connection to load your website, but for someone with an ADSL connection or a 3G connection, this can result in a negative user experience.

    We work with our clients to find the perfect balance between compression, which makes the images load faster, and quality, so your visitors have the best user experience.

  • Content Delivery Network (CDN)
    A CDN is especially attractive for websites with international visitors. If your site is on a server in the Netherlands and is loaded by someone in Australia, it could take several seconds longer than a good user experience requires. With a CDN, your website's files are on servers all over the world and the closest server is addressed.

  • Limited code and asynchronous loading
    2manydots creates WordPress websites completely customized, with minimal code (CSS, HTML and JavaScript). This means that no functions are loaded that your site does not need. Scripts are loaded last (asynchronously), which means that a page will work even if a script is struggling a bit.
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André Gussekloo Content marketeer
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