With the massive and increasing competition for attention and retention on the web only those sites that really understand and implement some form of user experience (UX) strategy are likely to succeed to any significant extent. Gone are the days when you could just put something up on the web and people would view and respond (if those days ever really existed!).
Users expect a great deal more from a website now.
They expect it to be:
- relevant to them;
- obvious in what is being pitched and how to get it;
- easy to read, understand and navigate;
- attractive and engaging;
- set up to make interaction and transaction transparent and simple.
You probably get the general idea though I could go on – they expect a pleasant and straightforward user experience. Get the basics right and you will have happy and loyal users who return to your site and probably sing its praises to their friends. Get it wrong and you will likely see desertion in droves and your brand image going down the drain.
So, what can you do to ensure your site is more on the favourable side of this dichotomy? Here are a few tips and ideas of what to look out for and how to optimise the important elements.
Website UX Tips
- Landing page: make sure the user isn’t unsure in any way when they land on your site. They should very clearly be able to see where they are, what you do and what they are looking at, where they can go and what they can do as a next step. Make optimum use of images, headings, navigation aids and menus; above all make sure you don’t lose them simply because they can’t work out what to do or where to go.
- Limit the content; ensure the first interaction is relevant and positive so anticipate what users are likely to want and feature that prominently, eliminating anything that is likely to act as distraction or confusion to the main objective.
- Uniformity and variation: the pages on your website need to look like they all belong to the same organisation and are not just a random bunch of information thrown together haphazardly. This does not mean, however, that they should all appear exactly the same with the same layout, colours, elements etc. In fact, this is a sure route to boredom and disinterest in your users. Work out what your corporate elements need to be and use them skilfully but sparingly so there is a feel of unity but also a degree of creativity and expression in the site.
- Optimise for mobile; more and more users are accessing sites through their mobile phones. If you haven’t optimised your site for mobile users you are going to have a lot of frustrated and angry users who aren’t able to see content, interact properly with it and generally get the sort of user experience they need from a site. Don’t leave it to chance and hope that users can somehow find their way around your unconverted offering; make sure they get something that makes them want to use it and return for more.
- Virtual assistant / live chat: having some form of online assistance is pretty much a must-have now. Users expect to be able to discuss problems and have them resolved quickly and if this facility is not available they will become frustrated and disgruntled pretty swiftly.
If you would like to learn more about improving your website’s user experience why not ring us on +44(0)800 024624 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an informal exploratory chat.