User Experiences With Headless
User experience is at the heart of the new era of digital marketing. Increasingly marketers are turning to Headless CMS options to better compete in the field of user experiences. With a Headless approach, businesses are discovering new ways to elevate their online presence and to delight their customers.
So how does a Headless CMS contribute to better user experience design?
Site speed is one of the cornerstones of user experience. Visitors will quickly become frustrated with a slow site and leave with a bad impression of your brand.
Headless is often touted as a way to increase your site’s speed but switching to a Headless CMS will not make your site faster by default. However, Headless can be used to greatly enhance your site’s performance.
Headless CMSs are “frontend agnostic”, meaning they’re not attached to any specific frontend technologies.
With Headless, your developers will need to build the presentation layer from scratch. This allows them to work with a performance-focused framework and construct lightweight frontends that don’t come with any of the unnecessary features of many pre-built themes.
Headless provides developers with total flexibility in their choice of frontend frameworks to use.
In contrast, traditional CMSs are usually rigid in terms of how you build your presentation layers.
Customers now have higher expectations of the level of experiences that brands are providing them. Personalization is a heavily weighted factor in user experience. Research by Forrester showed that 77% of customers have “chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.”
So how can a Headless CMS help you provide more personalized experiences?
- You can repurpose content across multiple channels so that your audience can interact with you through their preferred medium.
- It’s easier to integrate a Headless CMS with other tools such as localisation tools, CRM platforms, and data and analytics tools.
- API-based content delivery means you can provide personalized content to different users.
Design is crucial to anyone’s online presence and central to a user’s experience. But the look and feel of a site is about more than just provide an aesthetic appreciation.
Studies have shown that the visual design of a website greatly influences whether or not people will trust you. A Stanford study found that 46.1% of people judged a website’s credibility based on its design.
Another study gave even more insight into the issue, asking participants to report which factors made them either trust or mistrust a website. When it came to sites they mistrusted, 94% of comments related to design problems and only 6% involved content. On the other hand, for sites they did trust, content factored into 83% of the comments and design features only accounted for 17%.
Essentially, if your design isn’t up to scratch, people won’t even bother reading your content.
When it comes to creating clean, attention-grabbing design, Headless provides you with more than enough flexibility to differentiate yourself from the competition.
A Headless CMS is simply a content repository that can be attached to any custom frontend of your choosing. This freedom to design frontends from scratch means that you can acutely fine-tune your user experience to match your individual requirements.
Additionally, by providing developers with their choice of frameworks, Headless makes it easier build with component-based design. You can design the core elements of your web-page, styled to suit your branding, and then repurpose them across the rest of your site. Not only does this ensure that your style remains consistent but it also greatly accelerates the pace of your frontend development.
Optimizing sites for mobile is a pressing concern for the modern marketer/digital business. Over 50% of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices and that number is increasing.
Additionally, a survey by Google found that 74% of people are likely to return to a site if it is mobile-friendly and 67% reported they were more likely to make a purchase from a mobile-friendly site.
Despite the obvious importance of tapping into the mobile market, the majority of websites are still falling short. A study by the Baynard Institute examined 71 of the biggest e-commerce sites on over 17,500 mobile UX features and found that the majority of them still fell into the “mediocre” category. This is especially pertinent given that over half of mobile users will leave a site that takes over 3 seconds to load and 34% will abandon a site or app completely if there are issues with the content displaying on their device.
Headless makes mobile optimisation a lot simpler. Since a Headless CMS is just sending raw data, you can push that to any medium you wish, such as a mobile site, app, or PWA. And since your mobile frontend will be built from scratch, you can easily design it to be lightweight and performant.
Additionally, you’ll be managing all of your content in one place, so the same content can easily be sent to both your website and mobile app. This means that you can have a cohesive presence across devices for an optimal multi-channel experience.
You might not think of SEO as being part of user experience, but the two are actually very closely linked. Well-optimized SEO makes your website more relevant for users. Content that accurately addresses their search queries provides a better experience and a better association with your brand.
So how does a Headless CMS help your SEO?
Ever since the introduction of Google’s Core Web Vitals, the performance of your website has become a ranking factor on Google. So, with Headless making it easier to develop a performance-optimized website you’ll have the opportunity to rank higher on SERPs.
On top of that, there’s also Google’s “mobile-first indexing”.
This means that (for the majority of the internet) Google prioritizes crawling and indexing the mobile version of the site.
So, a site that runs fast on desktop won’t experience the ranking boosts if it’s slow on mobile. However, since Headless makes it easier to develop high performance mobile sites and web applications, you can rank higher in SERPs.
In a nutshell
The rise of the Headless CMS is likely related to the increasing needs for experience optimisation in the digital sphere, whether that be customer experiences, user experiences, or brand experiences.
The opportunity for acute customisation, agility, and rapid content delivery make Headless an ideal vehicle for brands looking to enhance their digital experience offerings.