Your website is the most important tool in converting web traffic into viable leads, and eventually, customers. It is that ever-functioning marketing tool that you can always use to sell your services online and get people to perform specific actions such as subscribing to a mailing list.
Your website can have a steady flow of traffic and yet a considerably low conversion rate. This subsequently leads to poor sales and little to no return on your marketing budget. In the end, optimizing every aspect of your website’s UX is the ultimate solution for higher conversions and retention rates. Remember, you are aiming to make a memorable impression with the customers, which will keep them coming back to your platform.
Understanding the User Experience (UX) Design
User Experience (UX) Design necessitates having a deep understanding of the users, anticipating their needs, values, capabilities, as well as their limitations. This is a critical perspective when designing relevant products that are useable for the customers. The other part is weighing in the goals and objectives of your business when handling the design. Several concepts influence user experience design, and these concepts play a vital role in the success or failure of your product – in this case, your website and how people perceive or respond to it. The following are the fundamental metrics which users deploy in measuring your website’s UX performance:
- Usable – Is the website considered “easy to use”?
- Useful – Does the website satisfy the users’ needs or requirements?
- Credible – Does your website establish a perception of trust?
- Findable – How easy is it for users to find and navigate content?
- Accessible – What class of people can utilize your website and how?
10 Ways to Improve The User Experience of Your Website
User Experience is still a developing field defined by several variables. More user-centric concepts are being introduced as technology and audiences evolve, and existing concepts continue to improve.
There are a few steps to take towards improving your overall user experience, and here they are:
1. Optimize the Loading Speed of your Pages:
Users are very impatient and they are highly unlikely to wait for your web pages to load up. How fast these users can access your web content is a good indicator of how likely you are to retain the audience.
Website visitors make fast decisions on whether to visit, stay, or exit your website in split-seconds. And if you want to keep them coming back, you must make an active effort to optimize your website for speed by reducing the website load-time.
Free web tools like GTMetrics, Pingdom, and Google PageSpeed Insights provide useful information on how to improve your website load speed.
2. Follow Standard Website Design Practices:
There are certain elements your online visitors expect to see on their first visit to your website. You can think of these elements as helpful conventions to follow if you want to make life easier for your web visitors and guide their way through the website.
Rather than reinvent the wheel when designing your user experience, it’s always better to follow well-established UX design principles and thought processes – something the general public is already familiar with.
The following are some helpful UX design practices you should consider for better user experience:
- Include a functioning search bar in the website header
- Include a contact option in the navigation bar
- Embed a floating back-to-top button in lengthy pages
- Add a call to action (CTA) button at the top of the prominent web pages
3. Keep the User Interface Simple:
Overloading your webpages with verbose information, overwhelming design elements, and incoherent colors will only draw the user’s attention away from the main action you want them to perform.
This includes indiscriminate use of animations, irritating pop-ups, inconsistent use of colors, and unorganized content. Having too many of these elements will negatively impact the ease-of-use of your website.
In addition to that, you must ensure a smooth flow of information and aid transitioning through sections of the web page by using the right visual elements.
Avoid presenting the visitors with a load of information that can confuse them, tire them out, or scare them off altogether.
4. Make Links and Call To Actions (CTAs) visible and apparent:
Customers expect your website to have links, buttons, and other CTAs that can help them move around quickly. You need to outline these elements using visual cues to ensure users know what to do when they encounter these CTAs on your website.
This is why I also recommend that you include your CTA early enough in the header section of your website.
You should also create concise CTAs capable of attracting visitors, and place them in strategic sections throughout the website where users are sure to notice and act on them.
5. Maintain Consistency in Visuals and Typography:
You shouldn’t overlook this step and chaotically arrange your website content. This tends to ruin the user experience and leave a negative impression on the prospects.
Establishing your brand with your prospects involves having a consistent style and design throughout every section of your website.
This way, your customers can easily set you apart from your competitors. You can establish this by setting “general site-wide” values for visual style attributes like color, spacing, size, position, or weight.
6. Make Use of High-Quality Images:
High-quality stock or real pictures will work fine, provided they portray a message synonymous with that of your brand.
There are several stock websites to choose your pictures from but it must be perceived as genuine or else the consumers won’t develop a sense of trust with you.
A common UX design pitfall to avoid when choosing images for your website is to refrain from using large image files without optimizing the file size.
Large image files will add to the page size and increase the website load time. This makes your website considerably slower to load.
You can make use of image optimizing tool such as Tinypng to reduce image size without compromising on image quality and aspect ratio.
7. Optimize Your Website For Mobile Users:
Several websites on the Internet aren’t designed to be conveniently accessed by mobile users. This can affect the UX and drives the consumers away to an alternate competing website.
The largest percentage of internet users today are mobile users, and the trend is only expected to grow.
Therefore, you must ensure your web platform can adapt seamlessly to work both on mobile and desktop devices, and without any lag in performance or service quality.
8. Fix any and all broken links on your website:
Broken links and inaccessible pages tend to leave a negative impression with your website traffic.
A broken link to a valuable resource on your website which is needed by a user at a critical time, can get your audience rethinking their stand about your brand or switching to another provider altogether.
This affects your user experience and conversion rate over time, so adhere strictly to an effective style of development or website management culture.
You should make an effort to ensure that every link and page on your website is functional and redirects correctly.
9. Improve the Readability:
You should divide your page structure into sections that are easy to comprehend and convenient to navigate.
I recommend you pad the elements on your webpages with appropriate white spaces and margins. This increases the readability of the entire website and your overall retention rate.
10. Include your Contact Info:
Consumers are naturally curious, and they yearn a solution to whichever problem they are looking to solve. You should provide a convenient means through which they can reach you for further inquiries on how you can better serve them.
You can include your email address, phone number, or contact address in a contact page on your website.
Things are much easier now with one-click support tools and I can’t recommend using one of those enough.