The impact of UX on the design of luxury sites

Importance of UX for luxury sites and luxury web design trends

User Experience (commonly known as UX for User Experience) is the perception and feeling of an individual when making a purchase on the internet. In our digital economy, the UX is directly dictated by the webdesign whose goal is to put the user in the best possible conditions for it to achieve its ends. It is especially important for luxury businesses that not only offer a product but a real journey within their brand universe. And for this reason, the webdesign of high-end sites must be approached differently from other sites.

The importance of UX for luxury sites

The definition of UX must take into account several elements: the ability to find information, to access content, to generate interest, to convince a user, to build confidence and meet his needs. The majority of websites therefore highlight a number of basic information for consumers (price, detailed description, delivery times …), and respects certain appearance codes and layout to meet these criteria. Luxury brands have nevertheless approached the thing differently. In a world dominated by emotions and desires, the way of buying is as important as the purchase itself and the big brands have sought to recreate a sales ceremonial (like in a store). Thus, luxury sites use the webdesign to give the user the sensation of buying something unique, special – because it is itself special.

Graphics, photos, mannequin; everything must be chosen with special care to make the visit to the site memorable and prestigious. Luxury sites are not just platforms giving access to a product. They convey a true identity and invite you on a journey of emotions. This immersive universe is often built with stories and stories that fuel the UX. This is called story-telling, essential for brands that want to create an emotional connection between an individual and a product. As a result, the amount of useful information is kept to a minimum. The kinematics of navigation is voluntarily lengthened in order to prolong the contemplation of the products and support the uniqueness, non-standard of the experience on the website.

Web design trends in luxury

To offer Internet users a unique experience, luxury sites play with certain effects and today trends stand out in terms of webdesign.

Full Screen mode is the best way to immerse the user in the brand universe. This one is then confronted with full whip with the luxurious imagery of the mark and can hardly detach it.

Web design of the Lamborghini website

The wall of images allows to contemplate a wide panel of products in a very short period of time and arouses the irresistible desire to own them all. It can also be representative of the identity of the brand and impregnate us with a certain atmosphere, like a mood board.

Web design of Les Ailes d'Hermès website

The websites of luxury brands are also very fond of interactive media. Flash animations and other streaming videos are legion in this kind of site.

Aesthetics and functionality, compatible?

In 2014, the French bought more than 57 billion euros on the internet. To reach such a figure, companies have spent time refining the design of their sites to further improve the UX. However, there are big differences between the sites according to their positioning. While refined brands play on a strong, differentiating, rare brand experience, e-commerce sites give priority to ergonomics to facilitate sales. Nevertheless, the (sometimes) abusive use of interactive media can lead to problems of compatibility and slowness, and constitutes a real limit for the luxury sector. Likewise for the particularly long kinematics that can quickly irritate the regulars of a fluid navigation. Finally, the lack of useful information about the product can disrupt the purchase online.

Luxury brands have already begun their adaptation to the e-commerce world and are no longer content to communicate on the internet. In addition to promoting the Web-to-store, they develop a real digital strategy and seek to gain market share.

Author: Camille Franc, Expert in webmarketing and online communication at 99designs

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(c) ill. head: Website design Boucheron