User experience (UX) is the way a person feels, after they interact with a particular brand, product or platform. It is one of the core factors that can affects your search visibility and your overall returns on investment either as a website, product or brand.
As important as it sounds, often times, user experience has always been ignored by most website owners and businesses while other factors like Search Engine optimization have always been given preference.
Although Search Engine Optimization is also an important component of Content Creation, Search visibility and website traffic generation but; even more important to your website’s growth is user experience (or UX).
You can drive thousands of people to your website, but if they have a bad experience on the website when they arrive, they’ll simply bounce away, and you’ll lose all your efforts.
When it comes to user experience (or call it customer experience), a lot of businesses have failed to live up to expectations. And most times, this has hurt these businesses, sometimes even without their knowledge.
In an article written for Forbes, Christine Crandell, points out that only a mere 1% of consumers feel businesses meet their expectations frequently. This means that more than 90% of customers are not satisfied with the user experience they get from businesses. Of course this analogy might sound quite awful. But truly, it gets worse in some cases.
Now, before we proceed, I want you to understand that when it comes to customer experience, it goes far beyond your business. It encapsulates everything around your brand, down to your website.
And if you can improve your track record even by a few percentage points, you’ll create better outcomes for your users and clients and thus a more loyal fans and lifelong customers.
That said, making sure your site has great user experience requires consistent effort and testing measures and I will be outlining some of these measures below:
Simplify Your Website
You might ask, “How do I create a good user experience for my website users?”. Here’s how;
To create a better user experience for your website, your work starts with simplifying the concept of your web design. Figure out what each page’s goal is and remove anything not relating to the objective.
When users land on your page, they shouldn’t have to guess what their next step is. The buyer’s journey should be clear from the moment they land on the website.
In addition to simplifying the number of items on each of your page, look at how each photo and word functions toward the primary purpose of the page. Any visuals should be highly relevant to the topic. Your headlines should cover pain points. The text should expound on solutions.
Create Responsive Pages
According to Statista, 91% of internet users access the worldwide web via mobile devices. If your site doesn’t implement a smooth transition between desktop and mobile screen displays, you risk people leaving for a competitor’s platform.
You should focus on helping your users to have a seamless experience no matter how they access your webpages.
Pay attention to the way photos and headlines scale to smaller screen sizes. Think through the features on the page that people must click on. Is it difficult to tap the screen and move to the next phase of the buyer’s journey? How can you make the process easier and the visuals more aesthetically pleasing?
Provide Improved Customer Service
Find out, how well do you respond to customer needs from the moment they interact with your brand to the time after they make a purchase or take an action on your website? Are there any areas needing improvement?
Study your competition and see what they do well in this regards. Match their efforts and strategies then go a step further to create something that’s even better.
Poll your customers and find out where you’re failing. Train your employees to treat customers like gold. Create a brand guide but give your employees the power to think outside the box for solutions to complaints.
Speed Up Your Site
According to Google, websites that load in less than three seconds perform better. This is because users are impatient. If your site takes too long to load on a desktop or mobile device, visitors might bounce away to another place.
There are numerous ways you can improve your site’s page load speeds and the overall user eperience for your website. You can start with the web hosting company and the hosting package you use.
If you’re on a shared hosting platform, you may not achieve the speeds you might attain with a virtual private network or a dedicated server. Talk to your host about how to get your website as fast as your budget allows.
Eliminate bulky files, compress images and remove any scripts slowing your site down. You can run page speed insight tests on Google, Pingdom and other websites to find out what might slow down your website.
Make Info Easy to Find
You want to make your site’s UX as intuitive as possible. When someone lands on your page, they’ll first look at your navigation bar to understand what your website is all about.
Think through the action you want users to take. And then tweak your page navigation to point to the next step. Remove anything distracting from the specific steps you want visitors to take.
Your calls to action (CTAs) are a vitally important part of the overall experience you’ll create n your website. They can make your site easier to navigate or more difficult to click through. Try to make important information easily clickable.
Improve your website Appearance
People respond to a site’s aesthetic. If the colors don’t mesh well together or the images are fuzzy, they might get to see you as less reliable. They may not take you seriously or trust that your company stands behind its products.
You want plenty of contrast between text and background colors. Even though you might love the way red looks on black, it might be very unreadable for users. Stick with high contrast shades such as white and black to make your text pop and improve your page’s overall usability.
Some of your users will have vision impairments or physical disabilities. Find out ways you can accommodate these set of users on your website.
Also find out; Is your page set up to work with various readers and other software to make it easier to navigate? If a website visitor uses voice commands, will your site respond? Is your language similar to the natural language patterns people use in search? These are very important factors that matter.
Those who are colorblind can’t see some colors. If you use grey and red or grey and blue, those hues may blend into a gray blur. Those who are blind rely on readers, so you’ll need to ensure you use alt tags to define any graphics on your site.
Test Your Site
The best way of ensuring your site has excellent UX is to test the site frequently.
Conduct A/B tests and see which versions work best. Do your users like blue CTA buttons or red ones? From time to time, survey your customers and ask them if they find anything difficult to use. Study analytics and see where people bounce away and try to figure out why they do.
Put yourself in the shoes of your average website user. What would make the experience better for you? Remember that UX considers everything from how your site looks to how your shopping cart functions to how you follow up with customers after a sale.
So, there you have the important strategies that can help you create a better user experience for your website users. If you use these strategies, you’ll certainly create better UX results for your website.
Together with our team here, we are committed to creating a better UX experience for all our clients and users on all websites we build. And you can hire us to create one for you and your website, should you have any difficulties.
Now, it’s over to you! Which of these strategies is most important to you?
Lexie is a Web Designer and IoT enthusiast. She enjoys hiking with her goldendoodle and checking out local flea markets. Visit her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.