How Predictable is User Behaviour On-Site?

Expect the Unexpected is a phrase that we use with our Shopify Web Development clients all the time. What we mean by this is to try to design with everyone in mind as much as you possibly can.

Do your user research first which you’ll then understand what you’re designing. If you think that the majority of the target audience is tech-savvy there will always be that minority who isn’t.

You must understand all users' needs, requirements, and ensure all call-to-actions on the site are marked clearly so that users can easily navigate through. If you don’t understand your users needs, this may lead to higher bounce rates and a loss of customers and in the bigger picture, revenue.

With that said, don’t think that everyone’s internet speeds and connections are that fast either. You can avoid this issue by keeping clear of large graphics and custom typefaces that not all users will be able to access via their device.

As we are living in a digital age, the majority of users come from mobile. With over 50% of users worldwide which is rising year on year. All things considered, when designing anything, you must ensure that the site is user friendly for all devices and not just desktop.

How To Design One Site That Works For Everyone

As a digital designer or even user experience/ux designer you are generally designing for a user to do something. However, there comes a time when you have to design for them when they are not doing the thing you intend. Generally, as designers we make assumptions about users’ and their behaviours which we call the Best Practice approach. At the same time, we design interfaces that sometimes can not accommodate unexpected circumstances.

Mistakes caused by the user interface are what we are most interested in. As these are usually design related that can be easily fixed. For example, if a user is clicking on an image that is not clickable or searching for a product in the wrong section of the navigation menu, this will be classed as a mistake. There is then a probability that something about the design can be improved to make this easier for the user to understand. Optimising your site in this way is termed as CRO as most of the small design mistakes do lead to bigger user experience issues.

How To Design For Unexpected User Behaviours

So, how do we design for unexpected user behaviours? This all comes down to user testing. Whenever you are working on a design project it is always beneficial to collect real data when prototyping. As designers we tend to use lorem ipsum a lot when we are producing a concept. However, when we do user testing this may be received as a false reality for the users that are testing the prototype. This can also be said for user interactions. For example where there are buttons, these should navigate the user to its preferred destination. When you design with real data, users will feel more informed and make better judgment of the overall design. This will allow you to better consider the users behaviours and interaction patterns.

Our Outlook

Hopefully we have shed a little light on what to expect for the unexpected but when starting a design process, you should always take into consideration multiple user scenarios, through personas work, user testing and then understanding their needs and requirements. This is always beneficial for the long-term effects of any project. It may feel like more work upfront but it definitely pays off in the long run.

Creating user stories will allow you to better understand the way a user interacts. As a UX Team, Blend Commerce will gather all the user stories together and prioritise them. We will then collect all the data for the users and fit their needs and values into the design to create a seamless user experience all based on a user centred approach.

Enjoyed this blog? Check out our most recent blog, where we talked about Meeting Expectations from a User Experience perspective. Or sign-up below and keep up to date with our our Shopify Development Insights.

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