Tons of website builders allow people to create as many sites as they want in a snap. Whether you wish to customize your site or use a template, you should always look at how functional your website is. Failure to think of your consumer is one of the most common user experience mistakes out there.
Some websites nowadays get ambitious when it comes to web design. While it’s great to stand out from the rest, you also have to remember what your goal as a business is: to attract and retain customers. 79% of people who don’t find what they’re looking for in one website won’t revisit and will instead look for information on a different site.
Whether you run a blog or an e-commerce store, making your site easy to navigate can help retain your audience. Functional website design that focuses on the user experience (UX) is the secret to better website conversion rates. Studies show that responsive design can improve a brand’s search engine rankings, increasing the visibility, credibility, and traffic of your business.
Here are just a few things to remember when creating or redesigning your website.
The Principles of UX Design
Focus on the user’s needs
Highlight what your visitors are looking for. If you have a blog, for instance, have clear categories, a readable font, and a seamless layout that can help your readers click through the content quickly. The same goes if you’re selling a product. 86% of visitors who land on a company’s homepage expect to see information about their products and services.
Have consistent branding
Imagine if your website has different colors on every page. That would drive your users crazy! Your company logo and colors can help in brand recognition and retention. If you use these repeatedly in your collaterals, promotions, and site buttons, it can prevent users from feeling disoriented.
Don’t go overboard
Graphics are fun to play around with, but it’s easy to get carried away with designing your site. Remember: Your users may not have the same level of technical aptitude as you. Keep it simple and straightforward to reduce distractions.
Prioritize function over aesthetic
If your website doesn’t exude professionalism, it doesn’t matter if it’s pretty. Having too many photos and videos on your pages may slow down the speed and performance of your site. One-second delays are enough to irritate your customers, so be sure to partner with a hosting provider that can manage the volume of content that you’re putting out.
Use engaging copy
It’s alright to get witty and creative with your website text, especially if that’s in line with your branding. However, don’t use words that are too difficult to understand. As a general rule of thumb, try to stick to a 8th grade literacy level to avoid alienating certain audience groups.
CTAs help direct your visitors to where you want them to click. Curatti reports that around 70% of small businesses fail to include catchy call-to-action buttons on their sites. If there are no CTAs on your website or promotional material, it will be hard to expect purchases or any other type of conversion action from your audience.
Don’t make users overthink
Your web visitors are likely to be busy and won’t appreciate site features that waste time. Use bold text, buttons, and have a design that flows from one step to another. Your web visitors shouldn’t have to guess where to click next when navigating your website. Instead, everything should feel natural.
Always test your website
Run performance tests on your site often. If you encounter problems, fix those bugs right away and make sure your site is still in top shape. Remove any dead ends like broken links and make sure visitors always have a next action to take (especially on blog posts and services pages).
Optimize your site for mobile
By 2020, the number of people who own smartphones will increase to 6.1 billion. You risk losing visitors and customers if you have a poorly designed mobile website. Stats show that 52% say lousy mobile experiences make them less likely to engage with a company, while 48% report frustration and annoyance. Numbers don’t lie!
How to Measure UX Design Effectiveness
Customer support performance
What are your visitors complaining about? Listen to their concerns and observe how many calls or tickets you get from users who need help in completing a task on your website. Some may just voice out a UX problem without their complaint being directly related to it. If your customers always feel stuck or confused, it’s time to do something about your web design structure.
Task completion rates
Compare the number of users who just visited your site vs. those who completed a purchase or filled up a form. Is there a large margin between the two? One in three people abandon their purchases because they can’t find the right information on a website.
Tracking the number of users who were able to check out can help you estimate if your visitors can successfully navigate throughout your site. This means they found what they were looking for and the checkout process was clear as well.
How long does it take for your visitors to finish a task on your site? If the answer seems like it’s too long, it probably is. If filling a simple form or going through a multi-step checkout process takes too much effort, they are most likely going to abandon your site. Aim for simplicity and be direct to the point.
What was the first link your visitors clicked, and what followed afterwards? Studying the pages where your users click through in your site can also show you which buttons work and what kind of information they want to see first. If they don’t seem to land on the pages you want them to, maybe the link isn’t obvious enough for them to find them on your site.
Pay attention to the slip ups that your users make. If it happens too often, this could signal that they are mistaking that path for something else. A good example for this is the usage of forms. They should be short, simple, and user-friendly. If your visitors keep entering the wrong information in certain fields, consider restructuring that form.
Last but not least, you could simply ask. Include surveys or questionnaires after your user completes a task, or before they exit the page. You can include a field for suggestions so that they can air out what they feel is missing from your site. This tactic is a powerful way to connect with your visitors as well—and show them that you’re listening.
Even when it comes to your website design, you should always think of the consumer first. After all, they’re your primary audience. Remember that great UX isn’t just a regular task that you get to check off once you think it’s done. It’s a continually evolving process, one you should make sure you’re always keeping track of.
Are you ready to boost your website conversions? Revamp your site and make sure you’ve optimized the design for a pleasing UX for your visitors—and see those numbers start to go up.