It’s all about your users. It’s all about their experience. Think about it – without them, your website is rendered useless. Like the old adage “If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?” If your website fails to capture and most importantly RETAIN your users, then its content may as well be etched on a cave wall deep within the woods.
User experience (UX) is all about enhancing user satisfaction by making things accessible, easy to use and also by providing your website’s visitors with a pleasant interaction. As beautiful as a coat may be, if the zipper or buttons don’t work – well, it doesn’t serve its purpose on a cold day. It just looks pretty. Your website’s buttons and zippers need to be on point and function properly and this is all part of the user experience.
To ensure your website’s design is up to date with best practice UX web design principles, here’s a rundown of things to check on your own site and improve upon if need be:
You better make it count. Your first impression is a big one and five seconds may actually be quite generous. According to Google it only takes 50 milliseconds (1/10th of a second) for someone to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they want to stay or leave. In this day and age where content is proliferated at a staggering rate, we’re talking over 300,000 tweets and 4 Million plus Facebook posts being published in a single minute – you need to stand out.
You need to capture your audient as soon as they land, use:
If your website is not mobile friendly, are you aware that it is 2016?
In case you didn’t notice, most people use their cell phones for everything. AND I mean everything, whether it’s apps to stream music, watch videos during a commute, film their baby to post on Facebook, find a phone number, RESEARCH A BUSINESS…oh wait, but your website doesn’t appear in the search listings because you didn’t hear that Google changed their algorithm to favor website’s that are designed to be responsive.
If your website isn’t mobile responsive - you need to call us ASAP or any other web design firm. Do yourself a favor and your web visitors a favor and fix that. The pinching and other various techniques to try and expand a screen and access the menu are so 2000!!!
The act of scrolling is like slowly unveiling a story. If your copy is compelling enough, your website’s visitors will take the time to continue to scroll.
Gone are the days of the “above the fold” mentality.
Like an awesome book, you don’t mind turning a page. In fact, you relish in discovering what’s next.
Your web visitors will scroll down to satiate their hunger for more.
By using long page web designs you can guide your visitors through a story…supposing you have a good story to tell.
You want your website to have flow, to have a current that directs your visitors to where they want to go and feels intuitive in the process. If your web visitors don’t know what to do next, that’s on you or, I should say your web designer. Things should be easy to navigate. Your web visitors shouldn’t feel like they need a compass or map to figure out how to get somewhere on your site.
Imagine a coat with 3 zippers, all of which must be zipped to close your coat. WHY? Why would anyone design a coat like that? Or, imagine a computer where you have to jump 2 hurdles, run around the block, say a mantra and then pet it to turn it on – that doesn’t make sense! Same goes for those websites with every bell and whistle but no substance. If your web visitors can’t find what they’re looking for amidst all the clutter, there’s a problem.
Get Rid of Everything that is Unnecessary.
If you can’t read the words – you can’t read them. It’s that simple. If I’m at your site to find out about you and can’t make out the words because of a crap font, I’m leaving and so is anyone else trying to decipher the poor font. It’s a very simple fix - change the font.
You know when a stranger comes too close and infringes on your personal space? Well, that’s what it’s like when your website is a wall of uninviting text, cluttered or has flashy lights coming in and out from every angle.
You need to give your website’s visitors room to breathe, to take in the information, process it and then go further into detail.
White space is essential for giving your visitors that space that they need, to decide whether they want to continue to engage. If you don’t give them the choice, chances are they’ll just choose to leave.
Don’t give up all your goods all at once.
Space it out.
Those links that don’t work – your 404s i.e. broken and dead links are zippers on a coat that don’t work. They’re just as bad as unreadable fonts because they are just as useless.
Make sure your external links open in a new window. You’re trying to retain your website’s visitors. Not send them on an exit path away from your website.