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The term user experience (UX) refers to the experience that a user has with a product or service. Regarding the Internet, the term is frequently used when examining the experience that users have with a web. This can also be in reference to the use of a smartphone device (UX smartphone).

User experience items

User experience and usability they are frequently used synonymously. However, this is not entirely correct since usability is an element of the user experience. Drawing on the inspiration of the famous architect Vitruvius, who first coined the term user experience, a distinction is made between the following items when reviewing websites:

  • Accessibility: adaptation of the web portal to different devices (for example, desktop computer, netbook, tablet, mobile device), scope of availability and accessibility, loading times.
  • Aesthetics and beauty: subjective charm or dissatisfaction with the appearance of the website.
  • Usability: high use of the functions, content, simplicity and operational efficiency of the web portal.

If you are evaluating the user experience of a different product, you can also use other aspects in place of these three factors. Either way, the factors used should always be reflected in the three basic success factors defined by Vitruvius: strength, utility and beauty.

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User experience as subjective perception

The type of user experience that visitors have on a web portal depends subjectively on their expectations. The experience is positive or negative depending on what the user wants to obtain. For example, if the ease of use of the web portal was promised in an advertisement, two experiences could result. An older user, who knows very little about the Internet, would have a negative perception of the web portal since it is not optimized for this target group. Even when aesthetics and accessibility are optimal, the web portal fails in terms of usability. On the other hand, a younger person, used to dealing with websites, has a positive experience with the same web portal.

User experience evaluation

At first glance, the user experience seems difficult to examine due to its subjectivity. However, it can be determined and evaluated using different scientific methods. The facts "Hard"such as load times, availability or responsive design can be easily determined. On the other hand, the factors "Soft" they are a bit more complicated like the appearance of the page or the perception in terms of simplicity of navigation. In this circumstance, differentiation methods must be used to achieve meaningful values. Among others, the multiple methods that can be used include:

  • Eye tracking: Uses special devices to record the eye movements and gazes of the user in order to examine how a web portal is used. With this method, it is feasible to identify what was spontaneously captured by the eye and what the user reacted to first.
  • Polls: Surveys can also be used to establish user experience. The more questions a survey has, the more meaningful the results will be. Surveys that feature only one question do not fully reflect on user experience.

Importance for search engine optimization

User experience only indirectly affects the optimization of a web portal for search engines. It is not yet clear whether this is simply a ranking factor. Many consider this statement a pure myth. However, experts believe that user experience is indirectly reflected in figures such as "search return rate", length of stay or returning visitors, all of which can be seen as an index of quality in positioning. . As such, search engine optimizers should also make the most of the user experience and not completely ignore this aspect.