Website user experience is one of the most important things that a business can focus on, particularly as more and more of our business is being done online.
Having a website that’s cluttered and difficult to navigate is the digital equivalent of having a shop front that’s strewn with rubbish. No matter how great your product or service is, potential customers are likely to be put off if they have to go hunting for it. A bad user experience can actually send customers away from you, and it can damage your ranking on search engines like Google.
If you want to ensure that your website has a good user experience, there are a few things that you should be focusing on.
Focus on communicating your message efficiently
Writing effective website copy is something that takes a good deal of thought, and not everybody gets it right.
The mistake that a lot of people make is that they set out to promote their skills and experience at every opportunity. Sound good? Actually, it isn’t. Most website users won’t care as much about your skills and experience as they will the problem that they are trying to solve by coming to your site in the first place. It’s important to prioritize the needs of the user with every bit of content that you write.
Say, for example, that someone came to the website of a DIY store looking to paint a room in their home on a set budget. If they had to wade through pages of information about the history of the store and how experienced the staff were, they would probably quickly get bored and maybe even navigate away! However, if they quickly came across the information they needed – the price and range of paint available, then their visit is likely to convert into a sale.
When you are writing website copy, you should follow these steps:
- Determine the purpose of the page. If you want the customer to buy something, you should be writing your copy with this, and only this, in mind. Don’t confuse the user with information that doesn’t serve the main purpose.
- Identify the user’s problem. This is how you communicate with the user by presenting them with the problem they are having (even if they don’t know that they are having it!). This helps them to see that you understand their needs. So, in the paint example above, the problem might be that it’s difficult to find reasonably priced, high-quality paint.
- Show that you have the solution to the problem. Once you’ve illustrated the problem, quickly demonstrate how your product or service is the solution.
Make blog content useful and engaging
Everyone knows that it’s important to have plenty of blog content on your website to demonstrate both to users and to search engines that you know what you’re talking about.
However, it’s important that you are careful when choosing the type of content that you put up on your site. If users feel as though you have lots of seemingly unrelated information on your page, it will make it difficult for them to understand what your business is actually about, which will undermine their trust in you.
Always make blog posts specific to the needs of your target audience, and be sure that content is interesting and relevant to them.
Choose the right color combination
Have you ever been on a website and found that it was inexplicably difficult to read?
It could be that the website designer has chosen a combination of colors that didn’t make the text stand out enough to make it easy to read and understand. Use a color contrast tool to help you to see which combinations of colors work well together. This will make your site easier to read and understand, which will increase conversions.
When choosing your website color scheme, it’s also important to choose colors that accurately reflect the message of your brand. For example, you’ll notice that a lot of businesses use blue because it’s a color that symbolizes calm and clarity, as well as stability and expertise.
Prioritize clarity over clutter
It can be tempting to put as much content on your site as possible, but don’t!
The average person only has an attention span of about 8 seconds, and they only read 28 percent of what’s written on a web page.
That means that the more you put on your page, the more distracted they are likely to be from your main message.
When you’re designing a page, try to keep it as free from clutter as possible. Don’t pepper it with unnecessary images, and make good use of white space. Good use of white space (which doesn’t have to be white, this is just a term for blank space!) will help direct your user’s eye to your text more efficiently.
Don’t annoy your visitors!
If someone makes it to your site and then finds it annoying to use once they get there, they will go elsewhere.
Some of the things that really annoy website visitors are:
- Sites that talk about themselves too much. It’s great to demonstrate a little of your individuality, but most people don’t care who you are. They only care what you can offer them.
- Difficult navigation. Generally, people want to be done with a website visit as quickly as possible, which means that it’s important that they can easily locate the information they’re searching for. If your menus and links are tough to spot, visitors will find this irritating. Test your page on people who aren’t familiar with it for feedback on this, as it’s often hard to tell when you’re the one who has built the page.
- Spelling errors. They make you look unprofessional.
- Distractions. Autoplay videos, lots of imagery, and ads are all things that distract your user from their main purpose. It can also be quite overwhelming if there is too much happening on a page.
Optimize for speed
Your website speed is an essential part of a good user experience. It’s also part of the criteria that search engines like Google use to rank your site, so it’s well worth investing some time and energy into improving.