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Your business’s website plays a crucial role in maintaining your brand’s presence online. A well designed website can elevate the way people view your company. Conversely, a poorly made website can discourage visitors from trying your products/services.
One key aspect of web design that has been steadily growing in importance over the years is user experience (or UX). Many small business owners who are unfamiliar web design treat the user experience as an afterthought. However, experienced web designers will always point out that UX should be one of the main considerations to take into account when designing a website.
Populating your site with quality content is certainly important, but designing the web page so that users enjoy browsing through is just as, if not more important. Research has found that every dollar invested in UX brings one hundred in return.
Let’s take a look at the different aspects of web design user experience and how it can be applied effectively.
What is user experience?
At its core, the “user experience” (UX) can be described as the way a user feels while interacting with a system. This concept applies to any application, website, or software that users interact with.
Optimizing the user experience can be an-going process as web design teams are constantly learning from user feedback. For this reason, many define UX as a process, rather than a fixed aspect of an application or a website.
The importance of web design user experience
The user experience your website offers is important for a number of reasons. These include:
Representing your brand
An organization’s online presence will be dependent on the quality of their website to a large degree. After all, for many potential customers, their first interaction with your brand will be through your website.
A business webpage essentially performs the same duties as a sales person. This includes greeting visitors, helping them learn about your product/services, and answering any questions they may have. For this reason, improving your website UX is like training your salesperson to become better at interacting with potential customers.
Boosting conversion rates
Websites that offer a good user experience aren’t focused on just creating a great first impression, they can also boost conversion rates. Businesses do spend a lot of time and effort trying to attract visitors to their websites. However, these efforts will be in vain if visitors leave the site without making a purchase or interacting with its content.
A good user experience encourages users to stay on the website and consume more content. The longer they stay on your site, the more likely it is that they will convert.
If you’re lucky, some of these users may become loyal customers who share your webpage with others on social media and continue purchasing your products/services into the future.
Tips for improving your website’s UX
Here are some ways you can improve the user experience your website offers.
Focus on users
The main principle driving user experience is to focus on the user during all steps of the design process. This is important to keep in mind, as a particular design that seems appealing to designers may not necessarily be enjoyable for users. For this reason, every design choice on your site should be made with the user in mind.
Many website design services conduct user testing regularly to ensure that their design offers the best possible user experience. The valuable feedback from this testing can be utilized to improve the site in the future. This is usually an on-going process, as web designers are always looking for new ways to improve UX.
Work on navigability
A website with great content will be wasted if users have a hard time navigating through it. Web designers should ensure their site features a friendly navigation bar that directs visitors to other parts of the site with ease.
A navigation bar is simply a collection of links for getting around your site; however, it is important for converting users and reducing bounce rates from your site. An effective navigation bar should offer guidance for visitors who may have specific questions about the brand and its products.
The text on your navigation bar should be simple and easy to understand. In addition to this, each section will need to be labelled in a clear and concise manner. It’s also important to keep its appearance consistent across all sections.
On mobile websites, navigation bars should have the appearance of clickable buttons. Otherwise users may assume it is just website text without additional functions.
Improve page speeds
Studies have found that 53% of users will leave a mobile site if it doesn’t load within three seconds. For this reason, ensuring your website features fast page speeds is important.
There are many different ways to reduce loading times for your website. These include:
- Using compression to lower the size of certain HTML and CSS files.
- Optimizing images so that they are the appropriate file size and in the right format. Excessively large images can slow down loading times significantly.
- Reducing the number of times users are redirected while accessing the site. Redirects force users to sit through unnecessarily long HTTP request response cycles.
Use bullet points
Users often visit websites when they are looking for answers to their questions. However, they may find it difficult to trawl through long paragraphs and multiple pages when seeking answers.
Presenting information in clear and concise bullet points makes it easier for visitors to find the information they are looking for. This format is also more visually appealing than a wall of text and is easier to remember.
The aforementioned tips are just a few of the many ways to improve your website’s user experience. Using professional website design services can help take your website to the next level by optimizing its UX. If you are interested in building a website yourself, you can also try one of the numerous free website builders available.