User experience (UX) is the experience a web user has, after they interact with your website, brand or online business.
It is one of the core factors of website development. And it can that can affect your search visibility, web traffic and your overall returns on investment either as a website, product or brand.
In spite of how important it sounds, too many 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 your user experience (or UX).
You can drive thousands of visitors to your website, but if they have a bad experience trying to use the website, they may simply move onto the next website.
When it comes to user 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.
Customer Experience is Beyond your Business
Before we proceed, I want you to understand that when it comes to customer experience, it goes far beyond your business. It encapsulates everything from 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 while creating 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 the measures you can take to get started 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 your website.
In addition to simplifying the number of items on each of your web page, look at how each photo and word functions toward the primary purpose of the page.
Any visuals used on a web page should be highly relevant to the topic on the page. Your headlines should cover pain points. The text should expound on solutions.
Create Responsive Web Pages
According to Statista, 91% of internet users access the worldwide web using 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.
So, you want to focus on helping your users to have a seamless experience no matter how they access your webpages.
Before launching your website or after a redesign, test run the website to be sure all web pages are displaying properly on all devices.
Pay attention to the way photos and headlines scale to smaller screen sizes on mobile devices. 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.
Where possible, 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 from your users.
Speed Up Your Site
According to Google, websites that load in less than three seconds perform better. This is because users are impatient. 53% of mobile users will leave if your website does not load within 3 seconds.
So, basically, If your site takes too long to load on a desktop or mobile device, visitors move onto the next website.
There are numerous ways you can improve your website’s page load speeds and the overall user experience for your website.
For example, you can start with choosing the right web hosting company and the hosting package you use.
Because depending on your traffic and resource usage, 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.
So, before getting a web hosting account, consider getting one that will be suitable for the goal you have in mind as regarding the website. Where the website and business outgrows your resources, consider talking to your host about how alternative options that can help you to get your website as fast as your budget allows.
Also, 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 home 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 on your website. 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 on your website. They can make your site easier to navigate or more difficult to click through.
Your primary focus should be 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.
For a website with a diverse audience, 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 for better user experience, 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
After all is done, the best way to ensuring your website has excellent user experience 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.
So, do you need a stunning website with a good user experience that will drive your returns on investment? Talk to our developers here.
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.