Because the way we use the Internet changes so rapidly, user experience is something that isn’t a one-time fix. Think about the way that people now use mobile devices to access the Internet and the importance of mobile responsive design and you’ll realize how rapidly things can change. As technology continues to advance, expect even more changes in best UX practices. Taking the time to focus on the basics is a smart first step, though.
Understanding the ins and outs of why customers come to your website is an ongoing process. It pays to take the time to improve your website continuously. Seventy-nine percent of people who don’t care for the experience on a website will simply go search for a different site.
Technology is constantly changing and advancing
Here are seven different areas/ways your UX can almost always improve
1. Reduce Your Pages
Take the time to reduce the number of pages on your site. This allows users to find content more easily. It also allows you to get rid of underperforming pages and increase the quality of your site. What can you combine into one longer guide instead of fifteen separate pages?
Today’s user expects a more curated experience, meaning that if you don’t make information complete and easy to find the user will simply leave for another site. Amp up search features to make content readily available.
Note the organization of Venus’s landing page. At the top center is a search function so that the user can find the exact item their searching for. Filters allow the user to refine a search by type of clothing further. This makes the inventory easy to find and increases user engagement by reducing frustration.
2. UX Audit
One of the first things you should do when trying to improve your site’s UX is to conduct a UX audit. The easiest way to achieve an audit is to gather a handful of your top customers as well as your staff and ask them to visit your site and take notes.
Are there any elements that are not working correctly? What is frustrating? What can you improve from a user’s standpoint?
You can also use tools to find broken links and fix those. Create a better 404 Error page. Look at your site through the eyes of a first-time visitor and make any changes needed to create a positive experience.
3. Get Right to the Point
As a site grows, it is tempting to add a lot of cute material and fun features. However, each business has a very specific purpose, and site visitors land on your page because they have a need. Instead of beating around the bush, get right to the point of why a site visitor might come to you.
This requires that you put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you were a consumer, why might you land on your own website? What type of products or services would you want?
From the moment the site visitor lands on Glass.com’s home page, they’re provided with clear direction to take them to the area they want. You can find a glass replacement pro in your zip code. You also can choose from options, such as types of glass available.
4. Check Your White Space
A strong design allows the user to process the important elements on the page because there is a balance between positive and negative space. If your home page lacks white space, then you need to figure out what should be removed to create a better visual aesthetic.
Studies show user attention improves by 20 percent when you simply increase the white space around titles. Get feedback from your site visitors about how easy it is to read the text on your site. If you get negative reviews on any area, start by looking at the balance of white space and text.
5. Increase Speed
Users expect your site to load quickly, and one simple way you can improve UX for your site is by increasing load times. Abandonment rates increase by 87 percent just from a small two-second delay.
Don’t just choose the fastest server and optimize your images. Servers and systems are getting faster and faster. It isn’t enough anymore to check this element a single time. Instead, talk to your server about other ways to increase speed, such as caching images. Figure out when you need to move to a dedicated server and how fast it will be. Constantly look for ways to be faster.
If you want to see the lightning fast speed a page should load at, hop over to Feed the Bot and see how instant the page load speed is. The elements on the page are fairly simple, but even then, the page is loaded almost before the brain has time to process what it sees.
Web design trends change frequently. While flat icons were popular in 2017, they might not be as big of a trend in 2020. User preferences change over time. Think about some of the first websites on the Internet and how plain they were. Then, there were the tiled backgrounds of every designer’s nightmares.
The elements that worked when you built your site might make your site look outdated quickly. It is important that you consistently revisit the overall design aesthetic of your website and make any changes needed to keep it beautiful and up with current trends.
If you want to really improve the overall experience your users have when visiting your site, you need to figure out the habits of site visitors. Most people don’t read your website content word for word – only about 16 percent of your site visitors will take the time to do that. Most people are busy, and they simply skim over headlines and pick out the content most pertinent to them.
To create scannable content, use strong subheadings and bullet points. Keep paragraphs short and to the point. Start paragraphs with topic sentences that give the gist of the paragraph content.
Daily Edge has a nice format for their articles, so they’re easy to skim through quickly. Note how they use numbered items for the subheadings.
They then present an image and a short paragraph. Keeping things simple and using lots of subheadings creates a good experience for the reader.
UX Design Efforts and Room for Improvement
Your UX design efforts are something you should revisit every month. While a complete redesign isn’t possible for most websites, you can constantly improve small things that make a big impact on your site visitor. Invest the time into UX, and you’ll see the payoff in conversion rates.
Lexie Lu is a contributing writer for Splendor Design and a freelance designer. She enjoys writing code and learning about new web platforms. She manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
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