When you invest time and money in web design, you expect your website to work. You want to provide users with the information they want, impress them with simple but elegant design, make it easy to complete tasks and navigate, provide clear direction from initial engagement to call to action to sales and do all of it quickly and efficiently on both desktops and mobile devices.
After all, if users are turned off by a website that hurts rather than helping your reputation, what’s the point in having a website?
Unfortunately, most websites don’t do what they are designed to do. That’s the assessment of a report from the Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA). Almost 80% of agency members reported that the biggest problem with their clients’ websites is poor user experience.
The report found, among other things, that clients of those agencies reported repeated complaints about everything from pages that loaded too slowly to lack of contact information to difficulty finding the information they wanted.
What Is User Experience?
“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products. The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother.”
User experience is more than simply a user’s ability to complete certain tasks (which is more accurately defined as “usability”) on your website. It includes everything that happens to them on your website, whether they liked the design, and if they could easily find the information they came there to find and take the actions they came there to take.
What Do Users Expect?
User experience has to do with what users expect when they visit a website and the extent to which that site meets their expectations.
So, what do users expect? To find out, Hubspot surveyed thousands of users. Here’s some of what they found:
- 51% think the most important thing missing from website is clear contact information, 64% want to see contact information on the homepage, and 44% will leave the site if they can’t easily find that information
- 39% will leave a website if pages load too slowly
- 38% of users will abandon a website if the layout is unattractive
- 86% of users want to see information about products and services on the home page
- 52% of site visitors want to see “about us” information on the home page
How to Improve Your Site’s User Experience
If your website isn’t giving you the results you want, you need to think about improving the user experience. Here are six ways to help achieve your business goals by improving user experience through web design on your site:
Test your site’s page speed
Users are busy, and they expect sites to load quickly. In fact, a 2-second delay in load time will cause 87% of visitors to abandon a site. If your pages are loading too slowly, chances are you’re losing prospective customers.
You can test your page speed with a free service offered by Google. If the results are disappointing, Google offers free advice on how to improve page speed on both desktops and mobile devices.
Make it easy to find and use calls to action
The reason you have a website is to encourage customers to take certain actions, from filling out a form to adding to a shopping cart. That means your calls to action have to be easy to find and work well.
Choose the color of your call to action buttons carefully, and make sure that color stands out clearly from the background, so they’re easy to find. Finally, use verbs that inspire action. Some of the best are “start,” “join,” “discover,” and “learn.”
Make hyperlinks stand out
You use hyperlinks because you want users to click on them. Make hyperlinks clearly visible with underlined text or color, or both. According to studies, blue and underlined text are the easiest for users to find, but it’s also important to make sure the color of your hyperlinks stand out clearly against your background color.
Use bullets to convey information quickly
When you want to provide a lot of information, use bullets to make each item stand out. Also, use your white space wisely, you do not you’re your sentences to be cluttered and difficult to read.
Studies show that users prefer getting information in bulleted lists rather than running text. Another good way to do this is to limit the size of your paragraphs to only a couple sentences.
Use headings that clearly define content
well-written headings help users move through your site quickly by telling them exactly what to expect in the content. Strong headers which precisely match the content that follows them will also help you rank higher in search engines.
For example, if the page is about favorite baseball players, you would want to use a heading like “My All-Time Favorite Baseball Players” or maybe “My Favorite Baseball Players,” you would not want to make it general like “Baseball Players” or “Athletes.” Remember the more accurate and descriptive the better.
Make sure your site works on mobile devices and is mobile optimized
About 30% of all e-commerce now occurs on mobile devices, like tablets and smartphones. You need to make sure you have a responsive design, so your website works as well on mobile devices as on desktops. This is important because Google and other search engines recommend responsive web design and use it to determine where your site ranks in search results.
If visitors to your website have a good experience, they’ll stay there, do the things you want them to do, and return again and again. If they don’t, they’ll leave, and they probably won’t come back.
If you have questions about or need help making sure your website works by meeting users’ expectations, reach out to the knowledgeable folks at Results Driven Marketing, LLC. To learn more about the ways experienced web developers can help improve user experience through web design on your site, contact us or call today at 215-393-8700.