9 Simple Tips to Improve User Experience on Your Website
Why You Must Improve User Experience on Your Website
You already know that you need to provide your customers and clients with a fantastic experience if you want to succeed in running a business. But what you may not realize is that it’s not enough to provide excellent customer service in person or over the phone.
Many of your customers will encounter your business online first, so every aspect of your website must provide visitors with a fantastic user experience (UX). Putting user experience first leads to lower bounce rates, higher conversion rates, and better sentiment toward your brand.
In this blog post, we’ll show you how to improve user experience on your website by focusing on the needs and concerns of your users and taking a proactive approach to anticipating their user experience.
Benefits of Good User Experience Design
Good news for you! Improving user experience on your website delivers some key benefits for your business, including:
Benefit #1 – Lower Bounce Rates
A high bounce rate indicates visitors are frustrated with your site or aren’t finding what they’re looking for there. A lower percentage is a good thing and is often only possible when the page is easy to access and easy to use.
Bounce rate (n): The percentage of visitors who visit a page and leave the website rather than viewing another page.
Bounce rate is one of the numbers we look at when your website doesn’t generate the leads you need or expect. It can show us exactly which pages are driving users away. And which pages are more successful in encouraging users to stay on your site longer.
Benefit #2 – Higher Conversion Rates
Conversion and bounce rates go hand in hand. When talking about your website, it’s important to note that conversion doesn’t have to mean that a lead suddenly bought your product or signed up for your service (and converted to a customer).
It can simply mean that they clicked on a call to action or that they filled out a form to get more information about your business.
Every business wants a website with high conversion rates. It means that users of your site are interested, and those small conversion steps they take on your site can lead to them become paying customers.
Benefit #3 – More Loyal Customers
Loyal or repeat customers are a huge factor that many businesses don’t consider in their marketing efforts.
Your ultimate goal in marketing is not to turn a lead into a customer. Instead, it is to turn customers into repeat customers. Repeat customers are every business’ dream: a strong following of people who love their product, leave positive reviews and share that product with other potential customers.
Happy customers often become repeat customers, meaning more sales over time with less effort. A website that provides a good user experience is one way you can help people have a more positive association with your business.
9 Simple Tips to Improve User Experience
We’re going to use these three key factors listed above throughout this article to highlight how each step can benefit both your users and your business. You’ll learn why focusing on user experience is a compelling way to gain happier customers, bring in more sales, and build a strong base of loyal customers.
1. Optimize Your Website
Factors such as page load speed and mobile responsiveness have a considerable effect on user experience. User experience, in turn, has consequences on revenue.
For instance, high expectations regarding website page load speed mean that a visitor is less likely to buy from it when a site is slow.
If a page has a high bounce rate, there’s also a good chance that it doesn’t load quickly enough. Bounce rates increase by 50% if your website takes 2 seconds extra to load. After a 3-second loading time, 40% of users will back out of the site.
That means if your bounce rate is at a staggering 90%, it could be as low as 50-60% (a much more reasonable range) if only it loaded faster.
But what exactly is slowing down your website? There are many possibilities. Suppose you worked with an inexperienced designer or developer to create your site. In that case, they might not have taken the time to properly compress files and clean up any errors in their code. If you used a free website tool, all those fancy themes and extra plugins could be teeming with elements that dramatically slow down your site.
Some common culprits of a slow page load include:
- Large image sizes added to the site
- Embedded videos
- An inadequate web hosting server
- Poorly coded plugins
- External scripts
- Improper compression
Curious to see just how fast your site is? There are plenty of page speed testing and monitoring tools out there that will help you do just that.
If your site takes longer than 2-3 seconds to load, there’s a good chance that your bounce rates are suffering because of it.
If enabling compression or dealing with external scripts sounds like work that’s more technical than you’re comfortable with, the good news is that we handle all of this for you.
Here are some of the ways we tackle slow site speeds:
Use a lightweight theme
Many WordPress themes contain bloated code and scripts that slow down your website performance. Speed is a decisive factor in creating a smooth user experience and can have a massive impact on your conversions. A fast-loading website is also a must if you want to rank highly in Google.
We recently rebuilt our website using a lightweight theme. We immediately noticed a significant improvement in page speed and user experience.
Suppose you want to improve the user experience on your website. In that case, you may want to consider one of the lightweight themes in this comparison.
Get fast web hosting
Many site owners focus on the cheapest option when it comes to website hosting. That may save them a few dollars on hosting, but what about the cost of lost sales? To improve user experience on your website, you need to focus on website hosting.
There are several different types of website hosting. Which option is best for you depends on your business and your website.
Compress your images
One of the critical things we do is to optimize the images on your website. One study found that 90% of slow websites have unoptimized images.
Ideally, your images should be as small as they can be while still maintaining their quality. Therefore, we aim for optimized image sizes of 500kb or less.
Eliminate unnecessary plugins
Sometimes, improving site speed means taking a deep dive into the back end of your CMS or website platform to investigate more technical and code-related issues.
Often, we’re dealing with a site that uses an excessive number of plugins. Many site owners focus on adding all the latest tools and functionality. And that can work against them. We recommend limiting plugins to the essentials, using tested and reliable plugins, and always focusing on the user experience your site provides.
2. Consider Mobile Users
You’d have a mobile-first website in an ideal world, which means it can scale up or down to fit any screen size (whether that be a desktop, tablet, or smartphone). But a responsive design isn’t something you can have with just an easy click.
Still, the fastest way to send mobile and tablet users away from your site is to ignore how your website functions on mobile and tablet devices. For example, if a mobile user has to zoom in to view your site on their device, or if your buttons are too small for them to click quickly, many mobile users will back out of your site.
Mobile-first web design best practices include:
- Ensuring that the font size is large enough to read on a small device. You don’t want your user to have to zoom in, especially on buttons, since the screen likely won’t let them zoom in and click simultaneously. Also, tablet and mobile users are using their fingers instead of a mouse. So it’s essential to make sure that everything has a bit more padding to keep things comfortable.
- Sticking to one main focus for each page. Screen size is extremely limited on a mobile device. Trying to clutter too many things onto the screen is a quick way to frustrate your mobile users. We typically emphasize white space, minimalism, and one key focus for each page.
- Including a mobile menu. On a desktop, your navigation probably stretches horizontally across the top of the screen. On a mobile menu, it’s all about the vertical. Suppose a user can tap on a button that displays the menu vertically down their mobile screen. In that case, they can navigate around your site much more quickly.
- Reducing the size of your forms and including functionality that auto-generates the right keyboard for the field. For example, if you have a field for “zip code,” the ideal situation is for the keyboard to load a number pad when the user clicks on it. However, if they have to input a number manually, they can get frustrated.
3. Use Layout Strategically
When it comes to styles, brutalism continues to be on the rise in 2021. Brutalism involves a natural and minimalist approach to layouts with a focus on user experience. Alternatively, a beautiful, artistic site can go a long way in establishing your brand as a leader in the market and a true risk-taker.
If you want to be more conservative, thinking about how a layout can help visitors understand the information presented is the way to go.
Other trends that have popped up are minimalism and broken-grid layouts. These trends also highlight the importance of reducing clutter, which we will discuss later in the text in more detail.
4. Focus on Information Architecture
Visitors go to websites intending to get information. The previous statement might seem redundant, but some businesses don’t understand this based on their web design.
By providing information in an elegant and structured way, you can ensure that users get what they need.
Web designers today seem to be gravitating toward simpler designs. For example, many are implementing bullet-point lists to convey information and experiencing great results.
While 55% of users look at lists without bullet points, 70% look at lists with bullet points. Providing information is also profitable, as businesses can successfully convey the intended message and draw attention to appropriate elements.
5. Use Clear Calls to Action
It’s easy to forget about calls to action when focusing on big-picture elements like the look, feel, and page layout. However, calls to action are crucial elements of your website design that deserve particular attention.
Every page on your website needs at least one clear, compelling call to action — i.e., a link, form, or button that helps users take the next step. A call to action can be as simple as linking to your services page from your homepage or as complex as offering an online scheduling tool that allows users to secure an appointment.
There’s also an excellent chance that many of your pages will have the same call to action. Most commonly, businesses want to send users to their contact page. If this describes you, we would likely have a call to action that leads to your contact page from nearly every page on your website.
CTAs are a part of the design process that should be thought about critically. Some pages are more suited to specific calls to action. We know every business website is different, so we never take a blanket approach when it comes to your customers’ user experience.
Here are some ideas for calls to action that we’ve included in some of our previous projects:
- An option to subscribe to your blog or newsletter
- A link to your contact page with a form for the user to fill out
- Links to other pages on your site with more information on a topic
- Downloadable PDFs (spec sheets, product catalogs, and helpful guides)
- An online scheduling tool that allows the user to make an appointment
- A link to log into your website (as an employee, paid user, volunteer, etc.)
- A link to related blog posts throughout (and at the end of) a blog post
Ultimately, there should be no page on your website where a user would think, “I want to learn more about this business, but I don’t know how.” Users are impatient and won’t spend more than a few seconds looking for that next step. So it’s important to anticipate how they may want to learn more about your business based on the content they’re currently viewing.
6. Choose Colors and Fonts Carefully
Web designers spend a considerable amount of time thinking about visual harmony when planning out a client website. Of course, we want the layout to look attractive. Still, we also try to make life as straightforward as possible for your users through typography, structure, and color choices.
Incidentally, we often see a correlation between these elements and bounce rates. The harder it is for your visitors to make out what your page says, the more likely they are to back out of it.
For colors, we always aim for a good contrast. There’s a reason that most word processors have a white background and black text — it’s simple, clean, and always easy to read. But most websites aren’t just black and white, so we have to look carefully at the colors you’re using and make sure that there’s a healthy contrast between backgrounds and font colors.
There’s a good bit of color theory that can go into this, but we can break it down quite simply: If your site uses a darker background, we opt for lighter text. If you’ve chosen a lighter background, we opt for darker text.
Next, we help you choose a highly-legible font. Again, it’s easy to gravitate toward the more unique fonts out there. Or, as every site seems to be transitioning to the thinner, more modern fonts, it’s easy to choose a font that’s too thin. But the most important thing isn’t that your site’s font is the most fun or unique — it’s that your users can read it without squinting or zooming in.
Remember, what is easy for you to read may be difficult for others. So we use our design expertise to help you choose the right colors and fonts to express your brand while giving your visitors the best experience possible.
7. Provide Engaging Content
Providing engaging content is key to a good website UX. Nowadays, visitors want more than a purchase; they want an experience. A great way to achieve this is by adopting an engaging content strategy.
Effective content strategies focus on telling a brand’s story to establish a connection between a business and its client.
With the right strategy, content can come in any format, such as a blog post, vlog, or even a separate website. In addition, using content to establish a brand identity helps to ensure that potential clients know more about your business.
8. Make it Scannable
When was the last time you sat down and read a web page? Like seriously focused and read all of the details?
If we had to guess, we’d say it’s probably been a while. That’s because the average website visitor only has time to read 28% of any given webpage. However, in practice, only about 20% of your content makes it through.
Your audience is in a hurry, so if you want them to have a great user experience on your site, we need to make sure they can find what they’re looking for fast.
That starts with the layout. Visitors tend to view websites in an F-shaped pattern, with more attention given to the top left corner of the page. The farther to the right and farther down the page their eyes move, the less time they spend reading.
We can design our way around this by ensuring that your most important and helpful information is always toward the top of the page and the left-hand side.
It’s also essential to make your website more skimmable by leaving plenty of white space between elements. White space allows each piece of your site to stand out more and gives your visitors’ eyes room to rest while they read.
9. Don’t Annoy Your Visitors
Up until now, all our tips have been about things you should do. However, it’s equally important to discuss what you should avoid at all costs when it comes to web design and user experience.
Website visitors dislike pop-ups, autoplay, and information bombardment to the extent that it 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.
Improving User Experience is Worth the Effort
The key to good UX design is making it work for both your users and your platform. In essence, a well-designed user experience is about leading a user to the data or resources they need while cutting off everything that might stand in their path. While the goal seems universally understood, it can be a little bit complicated to achieve it.
If the user can’t find something, it doesn’t exist for them. As business owners, we should aspire to construct interfaces and interactions that are intuitive. We improve the likelihood that users can experience and use our content and characteristics by making our interfaces more discoverable.
If you want to see how user experience principles can significantly impact a business like yours, check out our web design work for companies similar to yours. We’ve seen first-hand how putting user experience first leads to dramatically improved websites and, in turn, more successful businesses and product brands.
Therefore, you must improve the user experience on your website or online store as quickly as possible. These UX design tips will make your design click with your target audience. and make it easy for you and your target audience to interact.
Of course, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble and have our team improve the user experience on your website for you.
Here at PixoLabo, we offer a full range of business website consulting and WordPress web design services, including website design and development, e-commerce solutions, search engine optimization, and WordPress optimization.
And if you are still not sure how to improve user experience on your website, let’s talk. We will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and help you establish and grow the online presence your business needs!
Do you have any other website usability shortcomings you would like us to add to our list? Feel free to add your comments below so our audience can benefit and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our tips on how to improve user experience with your audience!
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