Have you been hearing the term “user experience” in relationship to websites and wondering what it means?
Think of it this way… when you go to a restaurant, what makes a good dining experience? It’s more than just the food on the plate. It’s the atmosphere. The plates. The waitress. The lighting. The drinks. It’s the whole experience that makes you want to go back for more.
For a website, user experience is the same way. A site with good user experience – or UX – is a positive reflection of your brand. It not only keeps users coming back, but also helps you generate new users (and customers). Considering its impact on your audience, UX is the most important thing to keep in mind when designing and developing a new website.
If you’re creating a website, or simply making updates to your existing site, keeping these things in mind can help ensure a great experience for all of your site’s visitors:
- Homepage – Your homepage should provide information on who you are and what you do. Be upfront and don’t make users search for this basic information.
- Contact Info – Make sure that your contact information is complete and easy to find, either on a Contact Us page or in the header or footer of every page.
- Site Speed – 47% of people expect your site to load in two seconds or less. If it takes too long, visitors won’t stick around. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to analyze and review the content of your site and get tips on how to fix site speed issues.
- Responsiveness – According to Bond Group, 73% of consumers use mobile devices to access websites. It is imperative that your site offers a seamless experience whether visitors are arriving via mobile or desktop devices.
- TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) – Users do not want to spend a lot of time reading your site. Keep copy clear and concise to keep users scrolling.
- Design – 94% of a user’s first impressions of your site are design-related. In fact, research from Adobe tells us that 38% of people will stop engaging with a website entirely if the content or layout is unattractive. Your site’s design should reflect your brand and maintain continuity throughout, making it pleasing to look at and easy to navigate.
- Navigation & Search – Your site’s navigation and search functions should be easy for users to identify and help them find the information they’re looking for with little effort.
- Animations – If you’re going to use animations, keep them subtle. Too many, or over the top, animations can distract users and draw attention away from the main focus of your site.
- Testing – Test, test, test. And when you think you’re finished, test again. 85% of UX problems can be solved by testing with as little as five users. Find people who have not worked on your site to test the various features and report back with their experience. Their feedback can help you make improvements that strengthen your overall UX.
According to Econsultancy, 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. Don’t risk losing customers because your site is slow, not mobile friendly or difficult to navigate. Make UX top of mind when it comes to your website.