A website should be a key consideration when starting or promoting any sort of business. A well-designed website that provides a seamless and positive user experience is essential if you want to grow and strengthen your brand.
No business can get very far by simply creating a website and disregarding current UX trends; a clunky, slow, or confusing website can be the main deal breaker for your current and potential website users.Therefore, if you don’t want your #website to appear antiquated and unappealing to #visitors, start with the following 5 tips to improve your website’s #UX. Click To Tweet
Prioritize Site Optimization
The numbers speak for themselves: 1 in 2 users will click out of a website if it takes over 6 seconds to load, while 45% of people are left with a negative impression of a company whose website took a while to load or responded poorly. That’s half of your potential customer base.
Website optimization ensures your users can quickly get the information they need without having to wait for pages to load. Your website should ideally load in less than three seconds or two seconds if it’s an online shop.
Here are three ways to achieve better loading speeds:
- Don’t overstuff pages. Be concise with your content, both textual and visual. Use animations, graphics, plugins, and other embellishments sensibly.
- Use image and video compression to render media files faster. Better image optimization includes changing file formats or compressing them through lossless compression.
- Invest in higher-quality hosting. Cutting corners by opting for cheap domain hosting is never a good idea if you want a great user experience. The hosting provider you choose plays a huge role in how fast your website loads.
Focus on Easy and Intuitive Navigation
Website visitors will have a subconscious idea of what your navigation system should look and feel like. If you deviate too far from that expectation, visitors can become frustrated and leave your site in favor of one that better caters to their expectations. Additionally, better navigation means a more SEO-friendly website.
To understand where visitors are most likely to click once they land on your page, check your website’s statistics. Then, enhance the structure of your navigation system by emphasizing the categories that perform the best. For instance, place the categories that receive the most traffic front and center in your navigation bar.
Additionally, you can leverage user feedback to perfect your website. Proactively resolving webpage issues is better than getting error reports from customers. One way you can do that is by using a webpage review system where testers can report these issues to you.
Another neat addition to your site is a social wall. Social walls improve user experience by allowing visitors to look at your company’s social feeds without having to leave your site. It also helps keep the website fresh with the latest content posted by the brand on its social media channels. Here are some great examples of social media feeds on websites that demonstrate how they contribute to the overall user experience.
Finally, essential components like FAQs, About Us, and the Contact page should be placed in an understated but easily accessible area of your website.
Eliminate All Error Pages
There is nothing more annoying than clicking on a seemingly functional link and being redirected to a ‘404 Page Not Found’ screen. Landing on an error page gives the feeling of a poorly maintained website or even an untrustworthy business.
Tools like Google Webmaster can easily help eliminate these issues by looking for crawl problems and checking for 404s. However, if you’re not that tech-savvy and want to turn something like a 404 page into an opportunity to showcase excellent customer service, you can set up a feedback system where users can report these or similar issues to you.
Leaving error pages hanging around your website can cause visitors to reconsider spending time on it, given that they can always go somewhere else to find what they’re searching for more efficiently.
Provide an Excellent Mobile Experience
More and more people use their smart devices to search, browse and shop online; therefore, evaluate your website’s performance from a mobile-first perspective.
Even though you may think that your site’s abundance of colors and large images looks amazing on a desktop computer, keep in mind that mobile visitors will experience the effect much differently. Most of the time, a simple white background, dark text, and one or two supporting colors are more than enough for a better mobile UX.
Your desktop and mobile websites should provide the same experience on all platforms. This doesn’t just apply to the content but also to the design. Failing to meet the demand of mobile users looking for a smooth mobile experience on your website significantly decreases your chances of conversion.
Enable an Easy Sign-Up Process
One final rule of thumb to improve website UX is to ask for as little information as you can when asking visitors to register on your website or subscribe to your newsletter. Asking for too many details right off the bat (e.g., their billing address when they haven’t even made a purchase yet) may cause users to feel less inclined to fill out your registration form.
Although you may need more specific information to provide the right information or service, remember that most new users won’t have the time or patience to complete long sign-up forms.
Enable options like one-click registration through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which allow the user to register quickly and easily without having to go through the hassle of setting up a new account and entering all their details from scratch.
Additionally, think about simplifying password creation. Don’t request convoluted passwords that must contain one special character, one number, and one capitalized letter; it should be up to the user to decide what their password is going to be, regardless of recommended website security measures. Additionally, to avoid the need for the ‘re-enter password’ field, enable the option to view the password in the original field so that the users can check for errors immediately.
Final Thoughts — Think About Your Own Preferences
The great thing about designing the right kind of UX for your website is that we are all internet users — including yourself!
Think about the factors we have mentioned so far and apply them to your particular site. What other frustrating or unnecessary things can you think of that negatively impact your own user experience when visiting similar websites?
Having your first-hand experience in mind can be just as helpful and relevant as all of the above.