You have a fancy website; it looks the business and your friends comment on how polished it looks. It would be a real shame if your fancy looking website couldn’t be used properly. A good website may look good however a great website will look great and also be a joy for everyone to use. A great user experience (UX) is essential for any website owner that hopes on seeing happy visitors and a healthy conversion rate. Without a good UX, customers are likely to fly away in their droves. Poor navigation, illegible text, slow loading and difficultly using the website on a mobile device are all common factors that lead to a user-unfriendly website.
You may be wondering how to make a website user-friendly?
Great UX is all about the details. Here we try to explain some straightforward techniques that should help improve your own websites UX.
I remember paying a visit to an Amazon Fulfilment Centre on a tour to see how a big business like Amazon deals with so many orders. I noticed a poster on the wall that said something along the lines of ‘we always start with the customer and work backwards’. It’s an obvious point but you will be surprised how many websites get this wrong. Vanity is preferred over substance. Whenever you come to add a new element to your website you should be thinking like the user, what would they expect to see, design as the user?
It’s becoming increasingly popular for companies to publish a ‘tone of voice’ guide that sits along with their brand guidelines. With each industry becoming more and more crowded, having a consistent visual style is just as important as the language used within the websites copy and on social media feeds. Language is probably the most human part of any website so it needs to be delivered right on point.
If you could imagine your target audience for a moment, their demographic and what you want your website to achieve then you can tailor the language or tone of voice to suit. The last thing you want to do is alienate a potential customer with industry jargon and a complicated language style. It’s always good to get feedback from impartial people who have never used your site before.
We cannot stress enough how important keeping things simple is. It’s a rule we always try to stick to here at Abstraction. One of the key principles of great UX is simplicity. The website visitor should be able to get from A to B in the easiest way possible. A cluttered menu with an overwhelming amount of choice will confuse the user. Displaying every single detail of a product as it comes into viewport is also going to overwhelm the user. Do you need to display so many different options of a product straight away? This can cause what is known as ‘choice paralysis’. A user has been shown that many different products and options they aren’t able to digest everything in front of them and that, in turn, becomes off-putting.
Go too far the other way and your website can look bare, cold and unwelcoming. It’s a fine balance between the two. What we say is, access your website and see if you can remove or hide any elements that don’t really need to be there. Is your navigation as simple as it could be? Who knew that simplicity can be so complicated!?
Ensuring you have clear CTA’s (call to actions) will help your visitors complete the tasks at hand. A call to action element is an interactive component that informs the user to take a specific action, this could be to take them to a sales page, make a purchase or sending an online form. Having clear, visible and consistent CTA’s make it easy for your user to get from A to B. Pay close attention to the microcopy that appears within the CTA itself, this can also give a helping hand to the user. We would suggest once you’ve gone through the steps above you should find some of your CTA’s naturally become more noticeable.
Now you have a few pointers to make your website more user-friendly you’re now on the path to making your site a joy for your visitors (potential customers) to use. If you would like some help implementing these improvements, we are always here to help.
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Article Written by Matt Partridge
Web Developer & Digital Marketing Specialist