Website User Experience Best Practices
What is it that makes a website excellent? Think about your own experiences. Are you attracted to the quality content, the appealing imagery, the intuitive nature of navigation, its speed, or just a conglomerate of multiple performance and appearance factors? The appeal to users is not a given; it requires a fundamental basis of principles and creative approaches. This post will dive into the UX principles that are essential to building a complete, user-attractive website.
What truly converts a visitor to your website into your customer is their experience while at your business’s website. UX-unfriendly websites can no longer compete in a world where the user experience is so pivotal. If your website does not provide a quality user experience, losing potential customers to your more UX-friendly competitors is almost a given.
While the landscape of UX design is perpetually evolving and changing, certain fundamental UX principles remain pillars essential to understanding the nature of good web design. Let’s take a look at these basic principles and best practices involved in crafting a website.
Your website is designed for engaging visitors. Those visitors arrive at your site because they are interested in checking out your product or service or considering their options for where to acquire their needs. These visitors are your audience, so the goal of your website is to understand who is visiting your site and what they require from it. This must be the driving factor behind your site’s design. If you can provide your audience what they need, you will help them effortlessly engage with your site, they are more likely to convert to paying customers.
Every website should strive to provide its visitors with the most optimal user experience. This can be achieved with the use of various design and testing tools. Your content is important but how the users can engage with this content is even more pivotal. The way the content is presented has become more important than the content itself, in a way. Rather than a straight information dump, contemporary websites use visuals, emotional triggers, and stories to convey a business’s message to its audience.
Users don’t take long to decide whether your website is attractive to them or not. It takes a mere half of a second for them to make this determination. Therefore, the easier the website is, the more likely your audience is to explore it.
Rather than reading the content of a page, today’s users scan the content first, making it pivotal to capture their attention from the start to have any hope of keeping them engaged. The most significant deterrent to visitors is when things on a site are not transparent or intuitive. Communicating your content and using visuals like infographics is always recommended to keep the visitors interested in exploring.
You cannot simply develop a product in one shot and launch it to a resounding success. Before presenting anything to the world, you need to see what the outcome will look like in its early stages and throughout the development process as it matures. That is why prototyping is an essential part of the design process.
Whether the product being developed is a piece of software, a website, or an app, various prototyping techniques can be used to ensure that the future development will be outstanding in terms of usability. Therefore, it is never recommended to skip the prototyping portion of a UX design process.
A crucial element in UX design is typography, or the power to communicate the content’s message to the user without having them read a single word. An important aspect of typography is the presentation of the content. For instance, the formatting of the content and how it is rendered are essential. Headers of content sections need to be bigger than their subtexts to communicate what the content sections entail quickly.
In a world of short attention spans, the goal is to capture the audience’s interest quickly and use creative tactics and tools to most efficiently and creatively generate long-lasting impressions that will be maximally impactful. Additionally, communicating in an authentic, genuine, and sincere way is a vital factor in gaining the trust of your audience.
It is also essential to pay close attention to the following areas.
● Form fields;
● Validation messages;
● Product support documentation;
● Image captions;
● Error messages;
● Loading screens;
● Confirmation pages.
It is hard to overstate the pivotal importance of content and typography in UX design because it connects with the audience emotionally.
These days, people access websites from various devices, including standard PC browsers, mobile devices, and sometimes even larger screens like televisions. That means that any UX design must be responsive to any device used to access it, regardless of screen size. For instance, 50% of most e-commerce purchases are made through mobile devices, which is why businesses are making sure that they invest sufficient resources into making sure that their websites are responsive on mobile-sized screens.
By controlling users’ actions, top designers work on crafting UIs that make websites extremely easy for users to interact with. There are certain things that an audience commonly understands and certain elements that communicate the same type of message. The ultimate goal is to simplify the users’ website visiting experience. For instance, using bright, vibrant colors to call attention to call-to-action buttons can easily redirect users’ engagement to these aspects of the website.
Tired and dull designs are a surefire way to turn off prospective clients, so it’s essential to experiment with innovation and creativity in UX design. Stagnant websites are not as engaging as those that leverage some level of animation to liven up the website. But creativity cannot be the exclusive driving force in UX design either. It must always pair with practicality and robust functionality. Lacking creativity will disinterest users while lacking functionality will fail to earn their trust.
If there is one thing that websites are perfect for, it is generating data… tons of it. Most web tools provide a dashboard that allows site owners to monitor the traffic flow to their site. These, along with other analytics offered and their evaluation, is a crucial UX best practice. Traffic analytics can be highly informative. If the bounces rates from a site are significant, there might be an issue (or several with your page), for instance. Suppose users are coming to your landing page but never going beyond it. In that case, they see these analytics results that can help you determine that perhaps your landing page needs to be reevaluated.
Regardless of what methods you use to achieve it, the endgame ensures the most optimal user experience for your site’s visitors. With the above UX tips, you can hone your focus on creating an inviting, effective, and highly impactful website. The most important thing of all is to stay consistent across all spectrums of your brand. By keeping a high level of consistency, your customers will begin to recognize your brand, thereby earning you their trust quickly. To delve deeper into the topic, see examples of works of professional user experience design firms.