Your website is your salesperson who works 24/7, 365 for your company. It engages with customers and businesses when you don’t have the option of personal, face-to-face interaction and in turn you’re left with presenting them a digital representation of your brand. More often than not, companies tend to overload this experience in an attempt to cram as much information into this small window of opportunity as possible with someone visiting their site. The internet and search results are virtually limitless, so when someone lands on a page they’re not interested in, not finding what they’re after or even confused by, they simply leave.
The landscape of website design and function is ever-evolving and it is now more important than ever to deliver a user experience that guides people to exactly what they’re looking for and provide them a reason to absorb the message you’re looking to deliver.
1.) UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF A CALL TO ACTION (CTA)
Every website should have a purpose. Some are to intended to spread information, others to produce leads, encourage content downloads or even purvey trust and brand reputation. One of the most direct ways to get a site user to do what you want them to is to make it stand out in the form of a Call to Action and draw their attention. If you want phone calls, make sure your phone number is easy to find and clickable on mobile devices. If it’s contact information that you’re after, make sure to provide value for it. Make the site visitor feel that providing their information is worthwhile with an offer like an emailed coupon, free eBook download, etc.
2.) DO AS MUCH RESEARCH ON YOUR AUDIENCE AS POSSIBLE
Read white papers, customer testimonials, anything you possibly can to get a firm understanding on what it is your site-users, customers or potential business partners are looking for. Good website user experience strategy is focused on consumer intent and behavior. Absorb and learn as much as you can about your site user’s goals and objectives and make sure your web site provides them exactly what they’re looking for. User Experience has weight in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) algorithms, as user-based metrics such as bounce rate, time on-site, and user return rate are all factored into where pages rank in SERPs (search Engine Results Pages). A large portion of what defines a good User Experience is how quickly and easily visitors can access what they’re looking for on your site. The best way to ensure happens is by presenting effective, well-designed menus and navigation. Which leads to our next tip:
3.) REVISIT YOUR WEBSITE NAVIGATION
When a website user is looking for something specific – maybe a menu or hours on a restaurant’s site, a particular product on an e-commerce site, really any piece of content – they might not know the exact name of, or how you refer to this object on your site. This is where the layout and category structure of your site steps in. Imagine being an e-commerce behemoth like Amazon that sells everything under the sun (in the ballpark of roughly 467 million products). Would you believe they manage to sort this into only 9 tangible product categories? People become flustered, lost and confused with too many options and too much information. Simply put:
4.) LESS IS MORE
While this might seem like stating the obvious, so many websites still get this concept wrong. This doesn’t just refer to the amount of text on a page either. Less is more when it comes to colors, page elements that pull and attract the eyes, moving/animated objects, headlines, photos, I could go on. We already discussed knowing what your visitor’s objectives are, now you need to figure out the most direct, worry-free, simple way to guide them through the process.
A great example of white space use on an ecommerce site (Source: https://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/)
“ It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them ” – Steve Jobs (1998)
5.) MAKE USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN A COLLABORATIVE GROUP EFFORT
Your artists, programmers, analytics guys and account executives will all have different insights to offer regarding your site user personas, client objectives, branding and site functionality. Work together to combine all of these elements. A programmer or artist may not know the client’s product line or service offering like an account executive would, and in contrast, an account executive may not know the best way to visually present content while working with the client’s input. Bridge the gap, everyone has a hand in the final product and working as a team will allow it to reach its potential.