As we’ve previously discussed, the term “user experience” (UX) refers to the quality of a user’s experience when they visit your site: can they find the information they want? Can they easily convert from visitor to customer? Does your site inspire trust? Sites designed with a good UX in mind will typically generate more leads, convert customers, instill higher brand trust, and build a positive brand reputation.
It may sound complex, but you probably already know how to create a good user experience. After all, you know what features you like and don’t like on a site, which sites are easy to navigate and which aren’t, and what does and doesn’t look good. Most UX tips are common sense – but some might not be as apparent as others.
Here are a few tips for improving your users’ experience when they visit your website:
Stay on the Move: Design for Mobile
This one always shows up last or near the end of online lists about designing for UX when it really ought to be a primary, top-of-the-list concern for your business’s website.
With over half of the world’s internet traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s well past time to drop the traditional assumption that your mobile site is secondary to your desktop site. If more than half of your visitors will view your site on a smartphone, shouldn’t your mobile site get more than half of your design attention?
Furthermore, since 2020, Google has prioritized websites’ mobile versions when indexing pages. A poorly designed, content-light, dysfunctional mobile site may be the only part of your site that Google sees – and that will hurt your search rankings across the board, not just for mobile users.
So, as you look through the rest of these UX tips, remember to always add a little “…on mobile” to the end of each tip. Once your mobile site’s in order, it’s time to move on to the desktop version.
Talk Less, Smile More: Simplify Your Content
Search for a recipe online. About half the pages you’ll land on contain a story several pages long about how the writer discovered the recipe, a different explanation as to why the writer made every modification to the recipe, and how they made it for their family once and now it’s their “go-to dish” – all that before you even get to the ingredient list. And that’s interesting, but really? You just want to know how to make French onion soup.
Now put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
They don’t want to know where you bought the onions, they don’t want to know how your family raved about the flavors, and they certainly don’t want to scroll through three pages’ worth of information to find out whether they need to go back to the store for garlic. They want the soup, not the story.
In the world of UX, less is more. People will tell you to put the “important” information up top, but as the business owner, it’s all important to you. The key isn’t importance – it’s actionability. Put the actionable information up top: basic product details, ordering information, and pricing, along with a strong call to action, like “Order Now!” or “Add to Cart.”
If you do want to include a narrative about the product, a detailed list of specifications, or other details that aren’t directly related to purchasing your product or service, they go at the bottom of the page, ideally collapsed into a toggle so that readers can choose which content they want to read.
On other pages, make sure your content is divided into small, easily digested chunks. Each chunk should have a clear, easy-to-understand heading that lets readers quickly scan and find the information they need. Bulleted lists are another great way to break up content and increase readability.
Beauty’s Not Just Skin Deep: Focus on Visuals
As we mentioned in last week’s list of web design statistics, visuals are the primary determinant for whether users will stay on your site, trust you and your site, purchase from you or move on to a different company to find what they need.
In other words, they’re important.
Visuals aren’t just the window-dressing that attracts users to your site; they are integral to your site’s user experience. Effective visuals:
- Convey essential clues to your audience about navigation, content hierarchy, and other scanning aids and functional elements.
- Can replace a considerable amount of text and convey that same information more quickly and effectively.
- Can create consistency between pages, building your brand’s identity and reassuring users that they’re still on your website.
- Can enhance the legibility of your textual content; adequate white space and effective formatting can significantly impact user experience.
Moreso than any other element on the page, the design and placement of visual elements provide the road map that guides users through your site: from the home page to a service or product category, to a specific service or product, and then to a purchase or inquiry.
Blaze a Trail: Build Effective Navigation
Few things in the digital world are more frustrating than formatting a table in Microsoft Word. But a close second is visiting a website to buy something, only to find yourself trapped in an endless loop of poorly labeled links, mistitled pages, lists full of broken links, and spammy ad content.
Most people will give a website about three chances to deliver the content they want. After that, users mentally file that site under “unusable” and move on to something else. If your actionable content is buried deep in a rat’s nest of links, menus, PDFs, and gallery pages, most users will never stick around long enough to see it.
Take some time to browse your website and navigate from the home page to every other page. If it takes more than two or three clicks to get from the home page to the content, it’s too deep. When you’re doing this, remember that users don’t have your knowledge of the site’s structure – so that link hidden down in the footer of your page probably shouldn’t count. Only follow links that are easy to spot and are clearly labeled as to what they lead to.
Content pages should also cross-link. Make sure that when people buy your lawnmower, they can quickly, with one click, get to the page where they can purchase replacement blades.
Oh, and make sure your content actually exists. If users frequently encounter broken links, they’ll soon view your site as poorly maintained and find another source of information. Fix broken links as soon as they’re discovered, and do frequent checks of your site to ensure that all your links lead to actual content.
Is it time to revamp your UI and UX? Talk to the Web Design Experts at M&R Marketing.
Our in-house team of copywriters, designers, and web developers all work together to create a winning strategy that is all about your site’s UX and UI, leaving your visitors with a positive, productive experience online. Tell us about your website or website needs today: 478-621-4491.