25 Simple Tips How You Can Improve Your Website User Experience
Why Should You Improve Your Website User Experience?
It doesn’t matter if you have a website, a simple landing page, an online store, a site for your online classes or training, or simply a personal blog. You have this for a reason, to sell a product or service, to add subscribers to your mailing list, to book an appointment with you, or simply learn more about your wonderful self.
For that to happen you need to convince your visitors that your business or product brand is what they are looking for. The best way to engage online consumers is to meet or even exceed their expectations. Here is how you can delight and convert your website visitors.
When website visitors first arrive on your site, they begin what I like to call their journey of conversion. Yes, I know you are ready to sell. But your visitors are not quite ready to buy yet. They have certain expectations regarding your website’s usability and the mobile-first user experience it provides.
What is UI Design?
You probably come across the term UI a lot. However, what does it stand for? The term UI refers to the user interface, which is the graphical layout of your website. Your website’s user interface consists of all buttons and elements that your visitors interact with, including the layout, calls to action, animations, and page-to-page transitions. UI is all about serving important elements in an aesthetically pleasing manner. And that makes it an important part of improving your website user experience.
What is UX Design?
Before discussing UX best practices, we need to understand what UX is first. The term UX stands for user experience. The user experience of your visitors is determined by the way they interact with your website. Is the navigation responsive, logical, and easy? Are your website elements easy to interact with?
Thus, in short, the aim of UX is to determine the functionality, organization, and usability of your website’s interface. If all these points are satisfied, your visitors will have a great website user experience.
Why User Experience Design?
Simply having a responsive website is no longer enough. And if you have an e-commerce site there are even more things you need to consider. Your website is the core anchor for your digital marketing efforts. Designing a great mobile-first user experience requires understanding the problems that different types of website visitors have to solve.
Let’s say that at least some of your website visitors actually sign up for your newsletter, or even purchase a product. Even if some of them do convert, they’re not coming back. Your website didn’t create much of an impact in their minds that they would come back.
Quite simply, if you do not provide at least an adequate user experience across all devices your visitors will simply go and look elsewhere.
How Does UX Design Affect You?
If you make it easy and intuitive for your site visitors to find what they are looking for and take the intended action, your online presence will support your business objectives. But if you provide a bad user experience it doesn’t really matter how awesome your content is. Nobody will stick around long enough to actually find it.
Only if you put consistent effort into improving the user experience of your website and everything that goes with it, will you turn things around and improve engagement and conversions on your website, online store, or blog.
If you want to improve your website user experience you must first understand the problems different visitors have to solve. Here are the most important things you should keep in mind.
How to Improve Your Website User Experience
1. Make a Great First Impression
Making a good first impression is important when a new user visits your site. Your website should impress them with its speed, content, and design. They should immediately know what you are about and that you will be able to satisfy their interests and needs.
If you are contemplating a website update to help improve your website user experience, make sure you determine what your audience wants or needs. What content will visitors look for and how easy will it be to find that information. Understand your audience and give them that fast, rewarding, and seamless user experience that will keep them coming back.
2. Be Mobile-First
In 2022 it is absolutely imperative that you have a mobile-first website. In order to meet the demands of ever more demanding and sophisticated mobile consumers, your website must be easy to navigate no matter what type of device they use to access it.
Google started penalizing sites that aren’t optimized for mobile devices, making the need for mobile-first web design even more crucial. This is probably the single most valuable way for improving website user experience and usability. If you’re not sure if your online presence is mobile-friendly use one of these 3 free tools for checking your website on mobile devices.
3. Optimize Your Page Speed
The next step to improve your website user experience is to keep your page load speed to 3 seconds or less. Modern consumers are increasingly impatient. Whether browsing online at Starbucks or while watching TV on their laptop, they expect fast results for the content that they want.
When they don’t get that, they will leave your site in less time it took you to reads this. Slow page load is an interrupting experience for the user, and it can be a source of frustration and often users simply don’t have the time to wait.
4. Focus on the Journey of Conversion
I already mentioned the importance of focusing on your visitors’ journey of conversion if you want to improve your website user experience. Your website is there to take your customers through the buyer’s journey, hopefully ending in a conversion. Therefore, every aspect of your online presence must have a reason for being there.
If you want an effective online presence it needs to answer the following questions:
- What product or service do you offer?
- Why is your product or service better than those of your competitors?
- What do your (hopefully satisfied) existing customers have to say?
- What action do you want your website visitors to take?
That’s it! Nothing else is really required at this stage. Once you get your target audience to take action, then you can direct them to other content or pages on your site. If you overwhelm them when they first arrive, they will simply leave and head over to one of your competitors.
5. Be Conventional
Yes, I get it! You want to stand out from all the digital noise. You want a website that is totally different. But that is usually not the best way to improve your website user experience. Why? Because website visitors are used to certain standard website conventions.
Here are some of the most common website conventions:
- Logo placed on the top-left corner.
- The main navigation menu placed highest up on the page, on the right side, or centered.
- Contact included in the main navigation menu.
- Call to action button on the home page.
- The search feature in the header.
- Sign-up form in the footer.
- Social media links (as icons) in the footer.
- Social sharing buttons sticky on the left side of the page.
Of course, there are ways to differ from the above. But if you want to improve your website user experience, I recommend you don’t stray too far, and keep the above elements easy to find and use on your site.
UX Consultant and author Steve Krug said, “Don’t make me think” regarding website navigation.
Your website navigation is your table of contents for your website. The structure of your website should be simple and the important information needs to be easy to find.
- Avoid having a navigation that goes more than 2 levels deep and minimize the options to avoid overwhelm.
- Keep all pages at the top level and only use child pages in rare occasions.
- Don’t make it difficult to know what a page is in the navigation. Use common titles for pages like About, Contact or Service Area. The navigation headings can be different from the actual page titles.
7. Use Hamburger Menus
I am sure by now you are familiar with the hamburger menu. Its delicious name comes from its design: it’s comprised of three horizontal lines resembling, well, a hamburger. And much like its real-life counterpart, the hamburger menu is a space-saving mechanism.
The hamburger menu is ubiquitous—found everywhere from apps to websites, to computer software and video games.
It’s a simple solution. It’s unassuming. And it doesn’t get in the way of your user’s experience. So, if you’re looking for a way to include easy access to your navigational menu without bogging down your users, a hamburger menu is a good answer.
8. Reduce the Number of Website Pages
Another simple way to improve your website user experience is to eliminate unnecessary pages and content. There used to be a time when having tons of pages on your website lead to higher search rankings, more user engagement, and better conversions. And website content is still an important usability and search ranking factor. Just don’t have too much of it.
A website with dozens of pages for each and every bit of content is not efficient, especially when someone is in the initial stages of the journey of conversion. You can greatly improve your website user experience simply by eliminating unnecessary pages and content.
9. Keep Pages Consistent
Inconsistent web page design or layout is a common complaint from website users. This is especially important on mobile devices. If you want to improve your website user experience, it is important that your visitors know they are still on your website. Drastic design changes from one page to the other can lead your user to feel lost and confused and to lose trust in your site.
If you want to improve your website user experience you must aim for consistency. Heading sizes, font choices, coloring, button styles, spacing, design elements, illustration styles, photo choices, everything must be themed to make your design coherent on and between pages.
10. Use White Space
Your website visitors will have a much easier time consuming your content if you provide them with visual breaks. Cramming your site and pages quickly becomes visually overwhelming. This causes visitor fatigue and is a leading cause of website abandonment. White space is essential to good web design. It makes your content more legible and enables visitors to focus on the elements surrounding the text.
If you want to provide a better user experience be sure to keep white space around your titles and text, and around your images. Simply by doing this you can increase user attention by 20%. White space can also make your website feel open, fresh, and modern and if your branding is consistent with these then it can help you communicate that feeling to the user.
11. Choose Colors Wisely
Colors carry a whole lot of meaning when it comes to branding. A recognizable and consistent color scheme is an essential part of building an effective brand. Customers associate various meanings with colors when they are used by a brand. For example, blues evoke confidence and honesty while orange is seen as innovative and creative. Be sure to use the colors that support the type of branding message you want to communicate to your audience.
12. Focus on Your Message
You can do all of the above updates to your site and still present a less than valuable user experience. Your message should clearly and simply tell your audience what you do and how you can help them. One of the biggest website design errors small businesses make is to have their homepage be about them, not the audience they are trying to attract.
Spend time working on your message. Then make sure your homepage delivers that message to your visitor. You want to make them feel like you totally understand them and their needs. If you get their interest, they will go to the about page to find out more about you.
13. Simplify Text Formatting
When it comes to formatting text in a more user-friendly way, here are some suggestions:
- Use a sans-serif font for better readability
- Sans-serif fonts like Arial, Helvetica, etc., are easier to read on digital screens than serif fonts like Georgia, Times New Roman, etc.
Also, do not use too small font sizes because they pose challenges to the reader. Keep your font size no less than 16pts. If readers have to zoom in on your text to read it, they are likely to dump your website and move on to your competitor.
14. Use Clear Page Headings
Another way to improve your website user experience is by optimizing your headings and content. They should be driven by what your target audience is looking for. Including keywords in your title is also very important for targeting your message and attracting the right audience.
Search engines typically give headings more weight over other content, so choosing the right heading and making it stand out can significantly improve your searchability. But more importantly, headings are important signposts for website visitors, making it easy for them to scan through and find content that speaks to them directly.
15. Make Content Scannable
No one likes to read a wall of text. And no one has time to read everything written word for word. Therefore, writing your content so that visitors can scan it for important items will help them:
- Get the information they need
- Stay on your website longer
- Gain a better impression of you.
Bullet points will enable the user to quickly get all the information they want, such as benefits, ways you solve their problem, and key features of your product or service, in a short amount of time. This will make your propositions more attractive and enable your user to get all the information they need.
And bulleted lists no longer have to be boring. With tons of cool icons out there, you can get creative with your bullet and further engage visitors with images that represent your point.
16. Keep It Short
In 2022 website visitors, especially those coming to your site from mobile devices, don’t read content; they scan it. This means that long blocks of text will not work if you want to improve your website user experience. Instead of writing a lot of content, make a habit of saying more with fewer words.
You need to eliminate content that is likely to be get ignored. Ask yourself what it is that you care about the most and what your visitors should care about the most. You don’t want to overwhelm visitors with too much content. Remove everything that doesn’t directly affect people’s decisions.
17. Be Helpful
Help your visitors with feedback. Use placeholder and error messages to simplify text fields. You don’t want a visitor to stop at a checkout page because of confusing directions.
Make sure users understand what’s happening at all times. Nobody wants to decipher each page, reaching dead links and errors with no descriptions.
Give the user full context. Notes and messages can help them gain a better grasp of their journey.
18. Use Images Wisely
Do certain websites already seem overly familiar to you when you first visit them? You are not alone if you get that feeling! Modern consumers can easily pick out a generic stock photo they’ve already seen elsewhere or that resembles the non-personal style of stock photography.
Bottom line? While stock photography can be of high quality, it fails to create a connection between the user and the brand. Using stock images stands out as generic and non-unique and can decrease trust. Unfortunately, these associations carry over to your business as well.
Ultimately, no stock images will be as capable of conveying your brand, services, and products the way that you want them to. Only your own actual images can do that while also speaking clearly to your potential customer. Use images strategically and place them on your website to support the content and allow the users a visual break from text, but make sure they are relevant and non-generic.
19. Optimize Your Calls to Action
Your customers are already accustomed to following visual cues to determine which content is important to them. Calls to Actions (CTAs) that are clearly marked with an action word enable your website users to more easily navigate your site and get exactly what they want in the location they expect to find it.
Another thing to consider is the actual words you use for your buttons. The words should include a verb or an action word that excites the user to do something or instill a sense of urgency. Selecting the right words or psychological triggers is determined by the level of emotional identification that word prompts.
20. Make Your Links Stand Out
A key aspect of having a website is to get website visitors to take action. Frequently that includes clicking on links or buttons. One way to improve your website user experience is to make your links and buttons stand out. Make sure your inline text links are easy to notice. Keep the style of your buttons consistent throughout, and make sure they are easy to click on regardless of screen size!
21. Keep Optins Minimal
We live in a fast-paced world and people don’t want to take the time to fill out lengthy forms. Make sure you are only asking for information that you absolutely need. Many sites only ask for your first name and email address, which usually works best. Once you start asking more than that, though, the chances of someone filling out your form decreases significantly.
22. Eliminate 404 Errors
You probably have had this experience; you click on a link only to be told that page can’t be found. It can happen on just about any website, and for all kinds of reasons. The most common one is moved or deleted content. But it provides a really bad user experience for your visitors, and search engines don’t like 404 errors, either.
To improve your website user experience, try to eliminate page not found errors. You can check if you have any 404 errors by setting up Google Webmaster tools on your website and looking for crawl errors. You can also provide a custom “Page not Found” page with links to other website content to help your website visitors find what they need.
23. Focus on Website Security
If you want to improve your website user experience you first have to provide a safe and secure browsing experience. The main reason many consumers will abandon their cart or leave a website is that something scared them off. Modern consumers are very concerned with the safety of their personal information. Therefore it is essential that you have a trustworthy website.
Therefore, the safety and security of your website must be a top concern to your business as well. If you don’t have a security system in place yet, get one. Be sure to clearly display your security features with trust badges throughout your website – especially on the checkout page.
When customers see a security badge or trust seal on an e-commerce site, they are more likely to complete their purchase.
24. Conduct Website Audits
Any business website will always be a work in progress; it is never really finished. There will always be room for improvement, especially as new trends emerge. Therefore, it is essential that you conduct regular website audits, so you are aware of any errors or shortcomings on your site or e-commerce store. There are a number of website audit tools you can use to analyze your online presence.
Be sure to stay on top of your customer reviews and look for patterns regarding the UX of your website or send out surveys to customers asking them to rate the usability. For a more technical approach, you can try a UX auditing tool that will gather analytical data to identify the areas that need improvement.
25. Don’t Annoy your Visitors
The last step to improving your website user experience is also one of the most critical. Up until now, all our tips have been about things you should do. However, it’s equally as important to discuss what you should avoid at all costs when it comes to web design and user experience.
Website visitors are exposed to pop-ups, autoplay, and information bombardment to the extent that makes them appreciate it when a site avoids the temptation to implement these annoying features.
When designing your web presence, steer clear from clutter, walls of text, background music, and videos that play automatically. These factors certainly don’t help visitors feel at home.
Why You Must Improve Your Website User Experience
There you have it. The basics to improve your website user experience. I hope these tips have given you some ideas on how you can align your website to be more user-friendly without having to do a complete redesign. Because having a user-friendly website that meets mobile user expectations is absolutely critical for the success of your business.
Nearly one-third of customers will abandon a brand after a single bad experience. Furthermore, 54% of consumers are unsatisfied with the UX from the majority of online brands. Your customer’s happiness should be a top priority, especially once you realize how much depends on their online experience. Keep these tips in mind and see what areas of your website could use a little improvement.
Remember, these tips for improving your website user experience are only the start. The next step is to start analyzing how your target audience is visiting your website and what they are doing on it. If you want to continually do well, you need to start optimizing your website, keep testing, and see what works the best. We are here to help.
Need Help Improving Your Website User Experience?
Here at PixoLabo, we offer a full range of WordPress website consulting and design services for businesses and product brands, including custom web design and development, e-commerce solutions, search engine optimization, and WordPress optimization.
And if you are still not sure how you can improve your website user experience, let’s talk! Our expert team will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine the best way to improve and enhance your user experience design. It is one of our specialties, after all!
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