Many dispensary owners/operators focus—with good reason—on the physical experience: Maintaining a property that’s welcoming to consumers of all ages, for instance, or ensuring you’re employing the best possible POS solution for your business. But take a moment to ponder the number of potential visitors your site hosts every day compared with those who actually walk through your door. You wouldn’t allow your shiny new dispensary to be difficult to navigate or unappealing to the eye, would you? More crucially, you wouldn’t stand them having to fumble around to find answers to their pressing questions, or get stuck trying to check out, would you?
In essence, that’s what’s behind the theory and practice of UX: Making sure that you’re providing the best possible experience to everyone who visits your website, regardless of their web savviness (or even any abilities).
But that’s not the end of the story. Because it overlaps with variables such as load time, your website’s UX has a measurable effect on very crucial metrics such as SEO. Here’s the good news: Even if UX is to some extent a qualitative rather than quantitative assessment, there are ways to measure your website’s UX.
How to Measure Your Website UX
Determining UX combines qualitative—that is, subjective—and quantitative, or objective measurements. Objective measurements, in this case, might mean numbers of user errors, unfilled forms, or carts abandoned mid-session. Subjective measurements might include customer satisfaction, recommendations, or complaints having to do with the design and functionality of your website.
Unsurprisingly, Google developed a rubric for assessing UX: The HEART Framework. It’s a clever and intuitive way to assess your website’s UX, though it can’t do everything for you. Because UX is by nature a high-level concern—as opposed to, say, cleaning up duplicate pages or other redundant content—you can use the metrics we’re about to share with you to assess your website, then either engage in some serious A/B testing (or consult with a dedicated UX designer) to resolve the issues your audit brings up.
With that out of the way, let’s dive into a few real-world steps you can take to give your customers the best possible experience on your website!
1. Are Your Forms Underperforming?
Forms are one of the most basic tools customers use to interface with your business. Whether it’s signing up for your loyalty program or entering their information to complete a purchase, forms are crucial. That’s where apps such as Hotjar come in. By recording customer interactions with forms, it can give you invaluable insights into where customers hesitate (or worse still, give up entirely).
2. Turn Up the Heat
Another exceptionally handy UX measurement tool is called a heatmap. In essence, it records which buttons and links customers click on and which ones they ignore. It’s a simple (but highly quantifiable) way to determine how your design is functioning in real-time, giving you insights on where a user clicks originated (on a different page on your site or a social media link, for instance). The aforementioned Hotjar tool offers a heatmap feature, as do well-reviewed solutions such as Crazy Egg and the eponymous Heatmap.
3. Lean on Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an unbelievably deep and comprehensive tool for figuring out just what customers are doing on your website. Among its many features, you can track metrics like time on page, overall session time, and exit pages. Are your forms or calls to action on each page appropriate to the action you’d like visitors to take there? Yes, it’s an investment in time and brainpower, but diving into the deep well of Google Analytics will deliver numerous actionable insights.
4. How Fast Is Your Site?
Page load speed is a big deal, not just for UX. Some sources suggest some 70% of people or more base their purchase decisions on how fast a given website loads. Having a fast website even improves your SEO, because search engine giant Google pays a great deal of attention to it. Google also makes things easy, offering a nifty tool called PageSpeed Insights. No reason not to give it a whirl.
5. Make It a (Friends and) Family Affair
You may be certain you’ve done everything you can to optimize your website: Laying out clear goals and visual elements, hiring a skilled and experienced designer. But having an outside voice—someone not involved in the creation of your website—can go a long way towards uncovering hidden flaws and deficiencies you might not be aware of. If you can gather a few friends or family members to navigate your site, fill out the forms, even make a purchase or two, their honest and unbiased feedback can be invaluable in helping you solve previously unseen UX and functionality issues.
Let’s face it: UX isn’t a beginner’s game. But by applying the sort of field-tested approaches we specialize in, you can actually do a great deal to assess your website’s UX ranking, and then determine—sometimes even implement yourself—real-world solutions.