Python has fast become one of the most popular coding languages in the world, being used for everything from machine learning to building websites. Investing time, energy, and effort into coding a beautiful site with Python, however, will be worth nothing at all if the user experience still feels like something from the 90s. Today we take a look at why the visual and user-interactive experiences of your site are just as important as the clever coding at the back-end- and why they all need to serve the consumer first.
The back-end is the core of the user experience, not separate from it
Python programming, of course, is typically used on the back-end of websites. It’s a fantastic way to handle URL routing, enhance security, delve into databasing, or process data. These are all very customer-focused services, if you think about it, yet it’s common to view your job as a coder as something divorced from the final UI that will interface between your hard work and the end consumer.
Yet if your careful code falls over and data is not safely processed, your database crashes, or your routed URLs lead to nowhere, that will reduce user experience just as quickly as if a banner is badly sized or a photo doesn’t load. Seeing yourself, as a back-end Python developer, as distant from the user experience is the easiest way to create a website people will hate.
Why Does User Experience Matter?
So, we’ve established that User Experience, or UX as it has come to be known in the industry, is critical throughout the development team, not merely something for the front-end UI developers to worry about. It’s been found that websites with poor user experiences not only underperform, but they can actually impact the public perception of brands and businesses associated with the site, too.
The customer doesn’t care what coding you used. They care that they can seamlessly access the site. The most important factors that influence this user experience are:
- Usability- can they get done what is necessary through the site?
- Usefulness- were their questions answered or needs met?
- Credibility- did the site inspire brand confidence and position you as an authority, or does it look mediocre and weird?
- Desirability- does it not only inspire confidence, but build the brand image appropriately?
- Accessibility- is the design intuitive and flowing? Is it easy to use? Are main functions obvious? Is the color scheme easy to read?
- Value- does using the website make things easier for the consumer? Does it enhance their brand experience?
What do the statistics say about failures in these categories? Amalgamated studies suggest well over 50% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a website, and the remainder will give a page less than a minute to live up to their expectations. A whopping 94% of people who describe themselves as ‘distrustful’ of a website base their opinion on the design alone. 88% of people will not return to a website if they had a bad experience with it. 40% of people will exit a website simply because it’s slow, and similar numbers click away when images don’t load or are slow to load.
On the flip side, if you can offer intuitive navigation and engaging content, people stay longer and interact more.
What Do People Want from a Website UX?
From that data, we can read a lot into what people want from their UX. Much of it is not controlled by the Python development at the back-end, of course. There’s little you can do to speed up image loading or make sure pop-ups aren’t annoying on mobile. However, there’s some valuable lessons to take from it as a developer.
A great UX is the difference between making a sale and not making a sale, and getting the design right before implementation is far easier than trying to retroactively fix something. People want a fast, responsive, and easy-to-use site. And they want it to look the same (within reason) between devices. They don’t want to relearn a mobile site that’s vastly different from their laptop.
The site needs to deliver relevant, high-quality content on a functional interface. This interface should be simple and intuitive (not always the same thing) to use and well thought through. Back-end must work fast. Customers also want secure sites they are confident will handle their data responsibly, so invest thoughts into security measures. They want the site to be fast to load and responsive. They also want to be able to make contact easily- and not just with automated forms and bots, but with real customer service teams.
As the Python developer on your team, you can play a huge role in developing back-end procedures and guiding overall website design that will impact UX hugely. It is an immensely powerful development language, after all. Don’t be afraid to speak up about UX matters from the moment you start shaping the site, and take an active part in developing functional, attractive websites that deliver on all user metrics- exactly the sort your end client needs if they (and you) are to thrive.