Today the customer does not step out of the house to buy something. He travels digitally through a maze of websites, emails, chat sessions, call centres and social media to buy what he wants. 

You can make this journey enjoyable by ensuring superlative digital buying experience. 

So what is user experience?

It is all about making consumers have a memorable experience. Specifically, a user can be said to have a good digital experience if:

he enters your website,
Scrolls through different webpages,
Understands the message you want your website to convey and
Finally acquires what they want.

It seems important to mention here that you should never underestimate the power of the consumer. One small tweet, chat or post might encourage innumerable visits or pull down your website overnight. 

Several factors define UX. When you employ a web development company, make sure you discuss out the following UX metrics with them. These include:

Value: You need to put yourself in your consumer’s shoes and ask if the consumer finds value in visiting your website. Does he think his time was useful? Does a visit to your website add value? You should discuss these questions with the web development agency.
Usability: Is your website easy to navigate? Is the user directed to an unwanted page or website when clicking on options? These things define the usability of a website. The easier it is to navigate the happier the consumer is going to be.
Usefulness: Only if your website has been able to satisfy the consumer’s needs, can it be called a useful website. If it does not, then either your products are not catalogued properly or the website does not deliver what it promises. Both instances are detrimental as they lead to negative UX.
Desirable: Users may be smart buyers but they are still swayed by emotions. If your website strikes the right chord, the user will revisit. If it does not, then you need to take a rain check on your website.
Easily found: How easy is it to find your website? This question directly translates into is your website SEO optimised. Does it hold good rankings with the search engines? If not then you would want to look for a better CMS than the one you have now.
Accessible: Following the WCAG 2.0 guidelines might not be a legal requirement yet but morally these guidelines seek adherence. Is your website accessible to people with different abilities? Does it cater to the needs and wants of people with disabilities? If not, you lose out morally and commercially. 
Credibility: Can the user put his trust in your website? Does your website inspire people to believe in your products and services? This is an important point to consider. 

So how to ensure that users have a good experience when they visit your website. You remove all possible hassles and obstacles even before they appear. Nobody likes friction and to ensure a good UX, you have to mitigate chances of friction.

Ways to improve your website UX

Several variables help to optimise UX like market research, accessibility, design of the user interface, usability evaluation etc. Certain variables might have greater influence than the others. However, there is generally an appropriate way or tactic to deal with it and mould it in your favour like:

Conventions: Most people prefer conventions and it is your prerogative to take advantage of this particular human behaviour. An ideal situation is created when your web development company aligns conventions with creativity by:

o Placing logos on the top-left corner and main navigation menu bar highest up on a webpage,
o Including contact within the main navigation menu,
o Putting the call to button on the top and sign-up form within the footer along with the social media icons etc.

Maintaining hierarchies: Both typographic and visual hierarchies, when maintained, increase text readability. There are 3 to 4 levels of hierarchy that you have to maintain like:

o H1 or Title,
o H2 or headings,
o H3 or sub-headings,
o Body or paragraph text.

You can maintain visual hierarchy by following the given order of size, weight, colour, position and contrast. Needless to say the bolder, darker or larger the text the greater is its importance. 

Formatting text for kids: You have to ensure that your website has universal appeal. Some ways to achieve this are:

o Using Arial, Helvetica or other sans-serif fonts to enhance the readability of the text, 
o Prominently displaying plenty of headings,
o Using short paragraphs and bulleted lists and
o Highlighting keywords.

Design of the website: To be frank no one likes to visit a poorly designed website. These websites generally fail to achieve the basic aim of website designing. The website should be simple, clean and have a visual appeal, be aesthetic but not too cluttered. White spaces should be appropriately used and using too many pop-ups avoided.

Presence of navigation instructions: Subtle placement of site navigation menus prevents users from getting lost. The site navigation menus present should be well positioned and prominently displayed like the main navigation should be placed on the top right of a webpage followed by the secondary navigation menu and the footer navigation menu at the bottom. Since you would want your website to be mobile optimised, you have to ensure that mobile navigation is separately taken care of.

An optimised website helps to improve UX. That is, however, not the only thing it does. It also enables better SEO of the website and makes you reach your conversion goals faster.