An effective website provides a great user experience. Every small business can benefit from a visually-appealing website where users are delighted by their experience and can quickly accomplish their goals.
What is User Experience Design?
User experience design revolves around the user and aims to enhance customer satisfaction by providing positive, pleasurable interaction between the user and the website.
User experience design encompasses:
• Visual Design focuses on the website’s overall look and feel.
• Information Architecture emphasizes findability and the overall structure of the website.
• Interaction Design aims to facilitate understanding and to create an efficient, delightful experience between the user & screen.
• Usability enables users to efficiently and effectively accomplish their goal.
• Accessibility pertains to ease of use and understanding for all users.
User experience is all about delighting the end-user to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. According to Peter Morville, for a meaningful and valuable user experience, information must be: useful, usable, desirable, findable, credible, accessible, & valuable (Usability).
10 Ways to Improve Your Website User Experience
Your website is often a customer’s first impression of your business – make sure it is a good one! To provide a great user experience, focus on improving your website’s visual elements, usability, relevance, accessibility, and interactions to ensure the website is intuitive to use and user friendly.
1. Be Professional
Invest in a professional website that aligns with your business and fits your brand identity. Ensure consistency throughout your website. Your website should build trust and enhance the credibility of your business. Furthermore, with consistency, website visitors can become familiar with your website which makes it easier to use and easier to process information.
2. Follow Design Principles
Leverage proximity, repetition, contrast, and alignment to enhance the visual appeal. Use proximity to signal similarity. Use contrast to make your buttons and call-to-actions stand out. Ensure alignment to promote a clean, professional look. Use white space to prevent brain overload. Use color and motion to guide the eye. Don’t distract! Your choice of imagery, layout, text, and interactive elements influence the experience. Make sure you consider the overall website experience, rather than just the information.
3. Make Your Website Scannable
Make your website scannable and put the most important information first. Website visitors start at the top left and the first 2-3 words are the most often read. The majority of website visitors will scan, not read your website. When we are searching for information, we scan. When our interest is piqued, we slow down and take the time to read. This is also why it is important to start with a high-level overview then allow the user to click or dig in for additional detail. Don’t burden every single website visitor with the details.
Revamp all text-heavy pages to incorporate appropriate images and videos. Visuals are easier to process than text, so make it easy for visitors to learn about your business! Visuals also help delight and create an emotional connection. At a minimum, break up your text into smaller paragraphs. Think of it as one idea per paragraph.
4. Create User-Driven Content
Website visitors are far more likely to remember how your website made them feel than specific information. Did your website make the website visitor feel like you understood their pain points? Did the website visitor feel as if you were speaking directly to them?
Your website should effectively explain what you do, who you work with, and why the user should choose you. Frame your content to fit the visitor’s perspective. Don’t just list solutions… Describe the problems you solve and benefits you provide. Use headlines that grab the visitor’s attention. Write clear and concise page copy. Use bullets to break apart text and make it easy for users to find what they are looking for.
5. Optimize for Conversions
Design your content to support the customer’s journey. Describe your differentiator or unique selling proposition. Integrate trust builders to help visitors move closer to purchase– testimonials, reviews, awards, affiliations, etc. Use a variety of call to actions to nurture the user towards the desired action and clearly define the next steps for taking action.
6. Keep It Simple
One of the most common mistakes is causing confusion with too much information. Don’t try to cater to every single scenario. Instead, cater to the majority and keep it simple. List your base pricing and typical packages (not customized packages or special discounts) and encourage visitors to reach out for custom quotes for unique scenarios (i.e. special promotions/discounts or mas quantities).
7. Improve User Friendliness
Make it easy for the user to do what you want them to do. Place contact information in the header or footer, so that it is on every page. Place key information and buttons above the fold to eliminate the need for scrolling. Add a “contact” or “subscribe” button to the header. Make sure the appropriate information is where users expect it to be! Stay consistent with common design practices. Social media links are usually found in the header/footer. Login buttons are almost always located in the top right corner.
Visitors should easily navigate and accomplish their goals. Don’t get too creative with your page names, rather keep them simple and obvious. Avoid industry jargon! Remove blank pages and redirect broken links/404 pages. Simplify your menu and limit the primary menu to seven items.
8. Be Responsive & Mobile-Friendly
Ensure that your website is responsive across devices – desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone. Make sure your website is mobile friendly! Make sure the text is readable and the buttons are large enough to click across devices.
9. Optimize Performance & Accessibility
Ensure fast page loading speeds, so that you don’t frustrate users by making them wait. Use modern technology and integrate design trends to prevent your site from appearing outdated. Make your website accessible to everyone regardless of disabilities.
10. Be Transparent
Implement these ten tips to improve your website’s user experience. Your website is the foundation of your online presence and a 24/7 marketing tool. A great user experience delights your customers and makes your business stand out against the competition.