- What is a good user experience?
- Importance of UX design for conversion
- What factors influence UX?
- 8 Tips to improve your website UX
If any question has plagued digital marketers, it’s “what is a good user experience?”
User experience (UX) is a strange concept, as the term can take on multiple definitions. Nonetheless, the goal of UX is to enhance user satisfaction with a product or service to boost business conversion.
More often than not, your website is the most powerful marketing tool at your disposal.
The design and navigation of your website can influence customer perceptions about your brand. In fact, website design is the crux of UX; whether users land on your site via desktop or mobile – if your UX design is appealing, revenue will also increase.
Despite UX being a central part of marketing, web admins and designers tend to have a lot of misconceptions about it due to rapidly evolving technology and digital trends.
Many companies also don’t have the time or resources to invest in a complete website redesign.
If you think your UX is lacking and want some affordable solutions, we’ve put together a list of factors you could implement to improve your website’s user experience.
What Is User Experience?
User experience refers to the process of enhancing customer satisfaction on digital platforms by making websites or apps, for example, more accessible and efficient for users.
Let’s look at a specific example, such as UX Design, which combines science and art to build an interface that goes beyond the physical goods or service you sell by understanding what applications and devices your customers use to deliver the best experience.
Purpose-driven UX focuses on keeping the design as simple as possible and keeping all website features as harmonious as possible to help users navigate your site quickly and land on web pages that you want them to see.
In short, UX is about making the website experience for visitors as valuable as possible. A good UX would look something like the following:
- User visits website;
- scrolls through various pages;
- understands what the brand is about,
- finds what they want, and makes a purchase.
There are many factors that UX designers consider when improving a website’s design and functionality, including:
Good UX designers are also concerned with more than just the functionality of websites, paying attention to branding, architecture, usability and product integration. They consider the user experience before products are even in possession of the customer.
Every step taken to improve the UX can help optimise your conversion funnel. A good UX design aims to remove as many obstacles as possible so that users land on the pages you want them to see as quickly as possible.
How to Enhance Your Website’s UX Design
Here are some tactics you can employ to help improve the user experience of your website and increase conversion opportunities.
Research Your Target Audience
Before you embark on redesigning your website, you need to figure out who you intend to serve.
Who’s going to be visiting your website? What would these users like to see? How can you meet their needs? What can I do better than the competition? These are questions that you need to ask yourself when designing your user interface.
And you won’t need to spend thousands of pounds on market research and analysis to explore these ideas. For example, suppose you own a brick-and-mortar store. You could survey your current users to gather data on their likes, dislikes and pain points.
If you don’t have an existing customer base, research your target market and create buyer personas to help you craft a user-friendly website. Consider factors such as:
- Products/Apps they currently use
- Social Media platforms they turn to
The UX design process should factor in all of those points. Learning as much about your target audience as possible will help you create a site experience that those users want, which is a lot easier than making people want an experience that you’ve created.
Create A Responsive Design
With more people using smartphones to browse websites online, it’s essential to create a responsive design to ensure your web pages adapt to different screen and window devices and look good on all devices.
Take advantage of human behaviour by following standard conventions such as featuring a logo in the top left-hand corner of the website, placing the navigation bar and call-to-action button at the top of the site, and a sign-up form in the footer.
Keep your website design simple and avoid including unnecessary elements in the layout. If visitors have to navigate through a maze of web pages to find the product they want, chances are they’re not going to stick around.
A simplistic design also entails:
- A clean layout
- Two or three-colour scheme
- One or two fonts, ideally sans serif, which are easier to read
- Visual and typographical hierarchies
- Purposeful graphics
Remember that every page should have a single goal. For example, if the purpose is to sell a product, don’t populate that page with news or tips about unrelated information. The user should immediately understand the intent of each page without the need for clarification.
If you need to include additional information on the page that isn’t a high priority, feature this at the bottom.
The Power of Whitespace
Whitespace or negative space refers to the area between and around elements of a web page and is one of the quickest and easiest ways to elevate your website design.
When used appropriately, whitespace can help harmonise and balance elements on the page by creating a natural flow for the reader to follow. Even modest amounts of whitespace can make your overall website look more polished and improve readability.
Note that whitespace doesn’t have to be white; it simply signifies the space used to divide elements and emphasise certain page aspects.
Here are a few ways you could use whitespace to improve your website UX:
- To divide elements without using notable dividers
- In long blocks of text on the left and right margins – research shows that this enhances readability by up to 20%!
- To decrease clutter in long pieces of content
- Group related objects or images
- As visual pauses to direct users through blocks of content
As a rule of thumb, the more distinct elements are from one another, the more whitespace you should incorporate.
Distinguish Different Elements
UX designers should aspire to create a visually distinct website layout to increase readability, as this formatting will make it easier for visitors to navigate through pages with minimum fuss.
Draw attention to critical elements or details on your website by making these visually distinct. Hierarchical text is an excellent example of achieving this, as blogs divided by headings and subheadings help establish a hierarchy of importance. Using bold text can also draw attention to content that holds more prominence than others on the page.
Remember, if it should be clicked, make it obvious.
Don’t let your navigation menu get lost. Instead, display it clearly at the top of the page with all the important pages on your website linked to make them easily accessible.
Feature call-to-action buttons or text at the top of the site or in a sticky header so that readers don’t have to struggle to find a means to contact your business.
If you have a search field on your website, this must be easily distinguishable and preferably include placeholder text such as “Search” with a magnifying glass icon.
What colour scheme are you using? The readability of your text depends on your overall colour scheme. Cool colours such as blue, grey and green have been proven to result in significantly longer reading times, so perhaps consider using one of these colours to highlight important text. However, remember that blue is also the colour for hyperlinks, so choose a darker tone if you decide on this shade.
If you’re unsure about what colours will work with your current colour scheme, tools such as Usecontrast and Colorsafe will help you check the adequacy of the colours and contrast used on your site.
Ask for Customer Feedback
Having frequent conversations with your customers and asking for feedback helps users feel valued and improves overall satisfaction with your service.
Successful businesses listen to what their customers have to say and take feedback on board to improve their products and services. While asking for feedback is never easy, failure to do so could result in you missing out on the opportunity to improve the effectiveness of your design and enhance UX.
Include a review section or a survey following checkout, asking customers to rate their experience with your website.
If you’re unsure about what questions to ask, here are a few you to consider:
- Would you recommend our product/service?
- What score would you give our product/service out of ten?
- How easy did you find it to navigate through our website?
- Did we meet your expectations?
- What features could we introduce to improve our website?
Always ask more open-ended questions than closed ones, as this will allow individuals to state what they think about your website explicitly. Then, after you’ve collected a few responses, evaluate the different outcomes and if the majority say the same thing, make the appropriate changes to your website.
Improve Page Loading Time
Page loading speed is one of the most important factors for UX, with statistics showing 53% of users will abandon pages that take longer than 3 seconds to load.
The Google recommended page load speed for e-commerce websites is under two seconds. That said, the tech giant aims to load pages in under half a second!
You could speed up your website loading speed by:
- Compressing and optimising images and graphics
- Removing “hidden” text and images
- Reducing the number of redirects
- Avoid JSS and CSS files
- Optimising cache
With two-thirds of UK consumers citing slow loading speed as the primary reason for abandoning online purchases, fast matters when it comes to user experience.
Publish Valuable Content
When people hear the words UX, they tend to think of visual design and front end programming, but that’s not the only responsibility of a UX designer.
UX designers must also demand high-quality content, whether blogs, e-books, video, audio, scripts or email.
Content doesn’t have to be print, but it should be well-crafted and utilise language familiar to your target audience. Decide on the purpose of your content, whether to sell, inform, educate or humour your audience and craft a strategy that will allow the piece to generate attention.
You will need to research your audience to learn about their interests and pain points to produce useful and valuable content. For example, suppose you’re an e-commerce website that sells fashion. In that case, there’s no point in writing articles or publishing social media posts about cooking, as this has no relevance to your audience and would create a bad UX.
Conduct Regular UX Audits
Set aside time to evaluate the current structure of your site to identify any weaknesses in your UX.
A well-designed user experience is about escorting users to the resources they need in as few steps as possible. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, it’s important to evaluate your current architecture to find areas for improvement.
UX audits can help you understand what is preventing your customers from converting by providing valuable data about how your users interact with your site.