Putting Your Visitors First - The Importance of User Experience (UX) in Web Design
When it comes to building successful websites, there are a number of core elements which should always be front of mind:
21:12 01 October 2020
Engaging content which is SEO rich, imagery and colour palettes which are on brand, appealing aesthetics, information which is easy to find and a page structure which is easy to navigate.
When these different elements are effectively considered and used throughout a site, the result is enhanced user experience (UX). As a leading web design agency in Essex, UX plays a key role in every website which we build.
But when we speak about UX, what do we actually mean.
In a nutshell, whether your website is an e-commerce website, a brochure site or a company page, you want their experience to lead to a positive outcome. From making a purchase to generating a lead on your contact form, your website should serve a function within your wider marketing activity.
The key to good website design is good UX – but don’t just take our word for it.
When surveyed almost 90% of users said they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience. Despite this, 45% of companies don’t conduct any UX testing whatsoever. And it’s believed that poor usability leads to 70% of online businesses to fail.
So, what can you do to ensure that your website performs effectively, capturing your visitors and ultimately leading to successfully reaching conversion goals?
- The user journey and call to actions
Consider how your visitors are directed around your website. Think about whether there is a specific action you want them to take. For example, do you have clickable buttons or links positioned in prominent areas of the page?
You have to capture the attention of your audience quickly and deliberately. In fact, on average a user spends only 15 seconds on a website – so you only have a small window of opportunity to grab their attention, build interest and encourage them to take an action.
Think about it… If your ‘Contact Us’ button is at the bottom of the page, your visitor has to scroll through reams of text to find it. So, within that 15 second window, it’s likely that they’ll stop reading before they reach your call to action. The result is a missed opportunity.
Instead, consider having a contact button at the top of the page which scrolls down as the user navigates the site. At the end of the day, you want to make it as simple as possible for your visitors to find what they need.
Another way to look at it, is to ensure that visitors take as few clicks as possible to find what they’re looking for on your site. We usually suggest a maximum of three clicks as a rule of thumb.
- How is information displayed on the page?
Ensure that your website isn’t too text heavy. Yes, it is important to ensure you have SEO rich content, and copy which is engaging and interesting… however visitors have a short attention span, and if they get bored, you’ll end up with a high bounce rate.
An easy way to get around this is to break up information throughout your site with headings and subheadings.
You should also make hyperlinked text obvious – using a contrasting colour or hover animations to really make these links stand out amongst a sea of text.
- Keep it simple
Don’t overcomplicate things. Keep your site map as streamlined as possible – and don’t have too many pages available on your menu bar.
Having too many links can overwhelm your visitors… ultimately leading them to switch off and look else where.
Plus, keep the actual design simple.
Use white space. Use blocks of text. Use images. Use colour. But don’t make it too busy. If you can communicate your messages in images, think about whether an infographic could be put in place instead of five paragraphs of text. Break information up through the use of bullet points.
And keep the design consistent. Stick to the same design elements throughout different pages of the site. If you go overboard with different designs, your visitors may end up getting lost, or think that they have accident clicked on a different website altogether.
- Speed things up
Keep your page load time to an absolute minimum. Slow websites = high bounce rate and poor UX.
Don’t overpopulate your site with high res images which can use up lots of bandwidth. Large files take longer to load, and these are often the main reason why a website is slow. To combat this, make sure you choose to use JPEG files instead of PNG or GIF, and try to keep the file size under 1mb.
By Squarestar Digital. Digital Marketing Agency Essex