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Better User Experience Equals Better Findability

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January 22th, 2019

Designers are prone to falling into the trap of cluttering their interfaces. Limitations of space often push them to the wall, and they find themselves trying to fit everything they can into a tiny usable space. The unique problem that the modern designer faces, be it on the web or in the design of a product, is finding a way to fit all the necessary features while maintaining the highest levels of usability and user experience of the product.

This brings up the concept of findability. Basically, it is a term used to quantify how easily your users find what they are looking for when they are using your product. A cluttered interface would mean that the user will have to spend more time and search harder to find the item they are looking for. According to the Hick-Hyman Law, the higher the number of options a user is presented with, the slower the detection speed.

Low findability can have catastrophic consequences for your business. For example, for an e-commerce business that depends on its customer base finding the products they are trying to sell, if the clients are not able to easily find their way to the products they want, the business loses revenue. More and more potential clients will abandon a site with low findability.

If your app is busy and complex, that does not necessarily mean it has low findability.
Improving the user experience can significantly increase findability. For example, using cookies for faster load times, or allowing users to save items for later, or even a neat and well-organized menu can immensely boost your findability.

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There are four main factors that contribute to high or low findability in websites and apps:

Site search

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Allowing your users to search your site's database can improve their levels of interaction with your site. How fast can they find what they are looking for? One search often leads to another, which means users will stay on your platform for longer periods. Studies show that 50% of online shoppers go straight to the search button upon accessing a site, and a whole 35% will leave the site if they do not find what they were looking for in their search.

Related Links and Products

A list of related products< and links to them on your site for your users' convenience lends a huge boost to user experience and findability.

How much your site or app matches your user's needs

You want your platform to cater to your user's needs. From your services and products to your user interface, your platform must add value to your users. This is why user feedback is so important.

Cross-device experience

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What kind of experience do your users get when they view your website on mobile, desktop or tablet? Your beautiful website can fall apart on mobile, and this would be a huge turn off for most people.

Findability is therefore much more than being seen on the front page. Designers should be smart enough to prioritize the features that go on the front page and do sufficient user research to make sure that they get a lot of insight into what their audience expects from them. They should then harness this newfound knowledge and use it to create products that are in sync with the characteristics of their audience. No two audiences are alike, designers need to treat them as such.

If you are experiencing findability issues, you should consider hiring an app development company, such as Creative27 or Tactica, that do understand the fundamental need for findability. They can employ a few effective strategies to improve both your user experience and findability. Some of these methods that work on most apps, but especially in social media apps, include:

  • 1. Usefamiliar user interface patterns. Everyone finds comfort in the familiar. Using a familiar layout and format puts your users at ease and makes them relax. Some familiar interface patterns include drop-down menus and top level navigation.
  • 2. Be consistent in your organization. Everything you do on your site or app should allude to everything else. From your color scheme to how you organize your menu, a consistent organization pattern will improve your user's experience.
  • 3. Give your users the option of filtering results. This will help them zero into what they are looking for even faster.
  • 4. Present all elements appropriately. Label everything. No one likes to be surprised with a video that auto-plays in the background when they click what they thought was a photo.
  • 5. Have a strong information scent. Lead your user around your site or app with a strong scent. Make them expect and anticipate every piece of information you give them.

A great user experience is essential for high findability. You want your digital product to have high findability because it can literally make or break your product. With these few strategies, it is possible to significantly boost your user experience and increase your product's findability in the process. App development companies that understand the need for findability are the best match for your business.

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