User Experience, or UX – it’s one of those terms that you might think sounds a bit too techie for you to learn about. But as one of the most important factors to the success of your website, it’s worth learning a bit more about it!
What exactly is User Experience?
In a nutshell, User Experience refers to, well, the experience users have on your website! And by extension, it influences what people think of your brand, your business and whether or not they will buy from you.
If you break it down, you will see that there are many different elements feeding into this:
- brand image
- website functionality
- ease of use
- and much, much more.
At its most complex, user experience is a field that combines design psychology, behavioural science and user interface design to create online environments that influence decision making.
But don’t worry about this level of detail!
Just having some insight into the theory will help you understand what you can do yourself to get the most out of your website.
Websites with good UX design make it easier for people to do what you want them to do
The most important thing is that your website visitors can easily find what they want, so you have to carefully assess every step of their journey.
A lot of it comes down to common sense and thinking about things from the visitor’s perspective. For example, making the checkout process flow.
By continually making improvements to the user experience on your website, you will remove obstacles that prevent people from doing the thing you want them to do – whether that is to buy, download something or sign-up.
It can mean the difference between winning a sale or losing a potential customer!
Some simple steps to improve user experience on your website
- Make it visually appealing
No one wants to spend time on a website that’s poorly designed. It might seem like aesthetic concerns aren’t important, but clever web design is a fundamental aspect of UX. For example:
- Keep your website clean and uncluttered so that people can see what you’re offering. Take advantage of white space to create divisions between sections.
- If your website is content-heavy, make sure you use plenty of space, background colours or images to divide it up and make it easier to scan through.
- Maintain a consistent font hierarchy consistent across the site to make it easier to read.
- Keep it simple
People are used to seeing websites designed in a certain way, and although it might be tempting to differentiate yourself by doing something different, don’t! Human behaviour studies tell us that people will get frustrated if they have to think too hard. Keep it simple and predictable with your navigation bar at the top of the page and your search box in the header.
Design factors also affect your page load speed; a slow website will lose visitors more quickly. Page speed affects where Google ranks your site in it’s search results, so it’s worth getting right.
Tip: we’ve published a whole blog post about page speed if you want to learn more!
By following common design conventions, you will achieve a site with intuitive navigation that helps people to browse with ease.
- Make it easy for people to click
If you have something that you want people to do, make your calls to actions visibly clear.
Make sure that buttons are placed in obvious places, differentiated by style or colour to make them obvious.
And avoid having pop-ups that cover them!
- Don’t forget about mobile
At least 50% of browsing is done on mobiles or tablets, so your website must be responsive and mobile-friendly. If the layout doesn’t adjust to a visitor’s screen size, they may not be able to find what they’re looking for and leave.
Responsive websites also rank higher in search engines.
Use this great, and free, online Google tool to tell if your website is mobile-friendly.
- Use customer feedback and issues to your advantage
Listening to your customers and understanding what they want is critical to a good user experience. If you get a lot of queries about something, for example your postage rates, this could be something you should address.
Sending quick and easy feedback forms to customers who have ordered from your website is one way to learn more about your visitor’s experience on your site. You can also add a pop-up form to the site to capture opinions from people who might not have purchased yet, although these could risk creating a bad user experience!
- Test, test, test!
Diving into the analytics on your site can show you where customers are leaving and give you some clues about improvements and tweaks can be made.
For example, if a particular landing page has a high bounce rate, you’ll know it needs some work.
This is the key to creating a good user experience, making small changes and measuring the results.
Hopefully, this blog post will have given you a useful insight into the world of user experience and gave you some useful ideas for how you can improve your site.
With continued work and improvements, your website will keep getting better and make more impact on your bottom line.
Remember, it’s a journey not a race!
If you’d like some more help, our team of web gurus live and breathe user experience.
Get in touch if you’d like to delve in deeper!