Your website can be the most important conduit for your business, allowing you to connect with customers and facilitate all interactions with your brand. Whether marketing and promotion, customer services and support, or sales, your website can allow for a comprehensive customer access to everything your brand can provide. This means your website is your home base and the centerpiece to all of your digital marketing goals.
As a recognized digital agency leader, we here at MAXBURST understand that technology and customer standards are an ever-evolving picture. However, in order to make the most of your business website, you are going to need to keep up with digital trends to avoid becoming stale and inaccessible. You don’t necessarily need a full redesign in order to keep your site relevant and efficient to your customers. The real key to keeping your website’s user experience functioning at the optimum level is to understand and examine the possible problems your visitors may experience. Anticipation of hiccups in user experiences with your site can come from a detailed understanding of your customer’s needs.
Analytics can be a good window into seeing how effective your website is in facilitating your goals, whether they be to sell products or services, deliver information, or get visitors to sign up for a mailing list. You can get a good idea of how efficiently your website is converting and whether or not there are roadblocks that are making visitors drop off. Even if you are driving some conversions, you may be losing out on potential return traffic. By investing time and consideration into an improved overall user experience for your website, you can help improve conversions as well as return business.
So what exactly is the user experience (UX) of a website?
User experience refers to the entire flow and function of your website and the usability of your site to help you customers achieve their desired goals. In order to facilitate a smooth, clean, and efficient UX, you need to understand your visitors, their needs, what they value, and any limitations they may have or experience.
A well-functioning UX system will allow visitors to find your website, navigate through your pages easily and effectively, understand everything you offer and how to achieve what they are looking for, and then be able to complete the transaction or experience.
Is your website findable? Can it be easily used? Can all users access your website regardless of potential disabilities or limitations? Your visitors need to be able to satisfy everything they require, and they need to feel like their time and attention was well spent on your product, service, or content. At the end of any interaction or conversion, your users should feel their trust has been validated and that their experience with your brand can be relied on.
The more you can improve UX toward a seamless, painless, and rewarding experience with your website, the greater value your brand will hold. Surveys by Forrester have shown that companies that use an intentional and strategic UX design can see a potential increase in conversion rate of as much as 400%. Let’s take a look at some great tips for improved UX with your website.
Present with Standards And Norms In Mind
People recognize norms in how your site is organized, presented, and navigated. Differentiating yourself can be important in so many places, but you don’t need to go against the grain when it comes to usability. There are many standard design formats and they became standard with good reason, because they are effective. Most websites conforming to these standards means that your visitors already know what to expect and how to navigate your site.
Menu bar location and options have typical placements. So do logos. Whitespace can be used very effectively as well. Make sure your contact section is easily accessible and clear in your menu. Locations matter and that little bit of streamlining and conformity to convention can really go a long way.
Don’t Over Clutter
Whitespace can be necessary. It can be easy to think of whitespace as unused real estate, especially when web ad space can be so valuable, but whitespace used to keep your pages clear and digestible can really help you direct the focus of your visitors as needed. Whitespace around text content and title sections will increase user attention. There is of course a necessary balance here as there are going to be web pages that need a good amount of information available visibly before scrolling. Too much whitespace can limit what you present, but not enough can be a distraction and hurt overall focus and engagement.
There is great benefit you can have from pleasing aesthetic visual appeal and the strategic use of whitespace can also be a stylistic choice. Well used empty space can give a modern, fresh, clean, open branding image that may line up well with your business. Not to mention that increasing your whitespace on pages can boost loading speed quite a bit, which is a vital factor in bounce rate.
Clearly direct your visitor’s actions by not oversaturating them with choices. Build a hierarchy of potential actions and position them strategically by not overcrowding your pages, while maintaining easily accessible but unobtrusive navigation menus.
Make the Most Out Of Calls To Action
Calls to action can be a very effective way of driving and directing visitor engagement with your brand. CTA buttons can allow for an easy direction to take the next step with your business, and making this CTAs look like buttons rather than just links, you can actually see a dramatic increase in clicks. By utilizing placement conventions and strategic whitespace, you can further encourage CTA engagement.
Efficiently Organize Information Pages
Text content needs to be clearly distinguishable and lend its presentation to a hierarchy of importance. It is important to show a clear difference between titles, sub-titles, headings, sub-headings, and body text. Size, thickness, color, contrasting qualities, and positioning can all be used to distinguish levels of importance.
What you organize into these categories and present on what levels is also a crucial element. Information of the greatest value should be accessed quickly and efficiently. Using bullet points can be a great way to deliver core principles of potentially more complicated topics to grab attention and direct interest. This can be a great way to cover very important points without bogging down or confusing your visitors with specifics and jargon.
And don’t forget about infographics! If you need to grab attention, communicate a lot quickly, and gain and encourage interest and engagement, infographics can be a very powerful tool.
Build Your Pages with Consistency
When you decide on certain key design choices, you should try and commit to them as branded elements that you keep consistent across all your pages. Color schemes, fonts, sizes, layout design, art styles, and tone of voice should all be coherently presented across your whole website. It’s like building a brand theme that keeps people all in the same space across all your pages. Shirking consistency is a quick way to confuse your visitors and lose customer trust. Design consistency allows for the feeling of coming to your store. Visitors may look at different shelves or check out different departments, but they are in the same building with the same style and they know that they are still where they decided to go.
Utilize Responsive Design
Mobile has begun to take over. Mobile websites are often favored in metrics now, and Google has even started prioritizing mobile sites in its SEO algorithms. More than half of all video streaming is done from a mobile device. No matter how a potential customer visits your site, they need to have access to the same quality experience on any device. If your site is not currently optimized for mobile devices, investing in mobile-friendly and responsive design can be one of the most impactful ways to improve UX. Make sure that you stress the importance of responsive design when consulting with your web design agency in your design stages, or if you are considering an update or redesign.
When you invest so much time and energy in planning, designing, building, and executing a website, you are going to need to make sure it stays working. Extensive and detailed site testing can help you find anything that may have slipped through the tracks. There aren’t many things that don’t get tested thoroughly before they go live to market, and it is also very important to keep testing and updating as necessary to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. UX can really rely on testing because it is all about how people interact with your website. So getting to see information of people interacting with your site can be very insightful.
Your business’s user experience design really manages every way people can visit, engage with, and use your website. Spend some time focusing on how efficiently your customers can access you. Your traffic and conversion rates will really notice a difference.
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