10 Ways to Improve Your Website’s UX
User Experience, or UX, combines accessibility, usability, efficiency and aesthetics to create a positive journey for users. When users are happy with your website, they stay longer and learn more about your business. This gives you more opportunities to develop good relationships and increase conversions and sales.
To provide an easy and memorable experience for visitors, here are ten simple steps to follow.
1. Design for the User
When evaluating UX, always think in terms of the user. Audiences can change, so research and identify your current target audience. What are their wants and needs? What frustrations do they have? How does your product or service help solve their problems? By understanding your audience, you can build a website that is useful and relevant.
2. Aim for Simplicity
People don’t have a long attention span. It’s only around 8 seconds or so, which means you don’t have a lot of time to win people over. Your homepage should be simple and beautiful, with the most important information placed above the fold. Choose bold typography, a high quality image and a CTA button. Putting too much information on the homepage can confuse your audience and raise your bounce rate.
3. Optimize Speed
Speed is everything. When your pages load fast, people are more likely to stick around and learn about your business. A slow loading site is bound to get left behind. Plus, Google is placing more and more emphasis on speed, rewarding sites that are quick to load.
Take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see where your site ranks. To improve speed, here are a few recommendations from Google:
- Enable compression
- Reduce redirects
- Leverage browser caching
- Optimize images
- Use a content distribution network
- Improve server response time
4. Build a UX Content Strategy
Since it’s best to keep your homepage simple, you’ll need a strong UX content strategy. Throughout your website, include links to inner pages where visitors can find more information. The best UX content strategies combine UX writers and UX designers. This way, content can be created for all touchpoints and maintain the voice and personality of your business.
5. Place Important Info Above the Fold
Above the fold is still the most important space on your homepage. People spend the most time here, so this is where vital information should go. To improve conversions above the fold, here are a few easy tips to follow:
- Stay consistent. Make sure your message aligns with your PPC ads or landing page. People get frustrated when they click on an ad and can’t find the offer they were looking for.
- Include a call to action. Place a visible CTA above the fold so that users know what they are supposed to do next. Users shouldn’t have to scroll or click to another page to take action.
- Test your page. Use A/B testing and tweak your design for improved performance. Using Google Analytics, pay attention to metrics like bounce rate, sessions, conversions and page views.
- Add a compelling headline. Choose a headline that is bold and engaging, whether it be your company’s slogan or an upcoming event. Use simple phrasing and choose a contrasting font color from the background.
- Offer an incentive. Give users a reason to click by offering them an incentive. Provide something that is valuable and relevant to their needs, such as a slideshow presentation, a coupon code or a free trial.
6. Choose Visuals Carefully
Visuals are great assets to your website, but use them thoughtfully. All visuals should have a purpose and support your goals. Stock photos are fine in certain cases, but it’s best to use original photos. Images of people are ideal, as humans enjoy connecting with other humans. If you plan on using a filter, apply it to all images so that they have the same look and feel.
7. Use White Space Between Elements
White space allows your design to breathe. It should be added around all of your content – text, images, icons, etc. White space is important for aesthetic purposes because it prevents users from information overload. It also allows people to process information easier. White space doesn’t have to be white – choose any color that supports your design.
8. Use Links to Guide Users
Links help users “travel” within your website. If you want to link to outside sources, this is great, too. It builds authority and helps your linking strategy. Just be sure that any links directing outside your site point to authoritative sites and open in a new window.
9. Keep Mobile in Mind
Most of your users will probably be coming from their mobile devices, so design for mobile users. Remember that they are on smaller screens, so things like buttons and fonts should be large and easy to read.
Here are a few tips for designing for mobile users:
- Choose a large, readable font
- Use large, clickable CTA buttons
- Ensure pages load fast
- Use microanimations and animations
- Add headers to each section
10. Strategically Place Calls to Action
CTAs are more important to the user experience than people realize. CTAs tell visitors what action you want them to take, whether it’s contacting you for an estimate or shopping your collection. Place CTAs in strategic locations on your site, add 2-3 action words and apply color to make the buttons pop.
Always test your design and make the necessary tweaks. By improving the UX, visitors will enjoy using your site and be happy to return in the future.
WSI Net Advantage keeps on top of the latest UX trends so you don’t have to! If your site needs a facelift, give us a call at 510-687-9737 and we’ll be happy to look over your site. You can also fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you.
About the Author
Kevin Dean, President of WSI Net Advantage…
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