Your website visitors are your most important asset. Which means that your user experience design process, or your website’s UX, is the key to your success! Just think about it: nobody wants to spend time navigating unappealing websites with slow responsiveness. If users aren’t happy, they won’t revisit.
And the data backs this up too. Usability Geek’s founder, Justin Mifsud, shares that 88% of online customers avoid returning to a website after one bad website experience. So, with that in mind, here are eight ideas to help you get started on improving your user experience.
Importance of improving your website’s user experience
Your users need to feel at ease with your site. That’s why you need to improve the user experience on your website to help your users find their way around. You need to guide them through your online store and enable them to make their choice.
For example, you may be running an online store where you sell high-demand designer clothes. But if people fail to reach the checkout, they’ll give up and leave. This could be because they don’t know where the buttons are, or because your site is too slow.
Did you know that seventy percent of consumers dislike buying a product from a website that suffers from slow loading times? That’s why you need to ask yourself: how can I deliver a quality experience?
Website’s user experience: factors
These are a few points instrumental to creating a quality user experience:
- Architecture: The planning and layout.
- Navigation: How the user navigates to different sections.
- Performance: Loading time and errors.
- Design: Look and style.
- Content: What’s featured.
Let’s see how you can improve your user experience by working on these factors.
How to improve user experience on your site
- Improve your website speed
- Follow the norms
- Make your site searchable
- Simplify pages
- Help visitors along
- Use your metrics
- Test, test, test
- Pay attention to feedback
Improve your website speed
You don’t want to wait half a minute for a page to load. And neither does your audience. Slow page load times affect visitors who want to skim through your webpage, causing you to lose visitors. It’s also bad for SEO as it’s one of the core signals Google uses for ranking.
Increase your website speed to avoid losing potential customers. To help you achieve this, you can work on:
- Enabling compression to decrease page elements’ size
- Image optimization to reduce the time it takes to load visuals
- Reducing redirect chains to reduce extra waiting time for the user
- Avoid unnecessary widgets and extras.
Follow the norms
It’s okay to be original. But there are certains norms that people are used to that might be smart to follow. For example, your header logo is the ideal point for users to return to your homepage. It operates as a beacon for lost visitors. They can click it and start again.
Similarly, you can focus on these other common standards of web design to make it easier for your users to find what they need:
- Separated sidebars: Your sidebars should stand out from the rest of the content. Manage the white space around them, and make sure they don’t blend in.
- Clear and simple text: Use button text like ‘About’ or ‘Contact Us.’ Don’t overcomplicate text when directing users around your website.
- Keep navigation standard: Buttons for navigation must be obvious to the user. Some experimentation can be good, but ensure that it isn’t negatively impacting your readability.
- Make use of your footer: You can find easy-to-implement footers through WordPress. They’re perfect for guiding lost visitors.
Make your site searchable
Your website visitors know what they are looking for. Enable them in their search by adding search bars to your site. Our tip? The Google Custom Search. It’s one of the best free tools because it uses Google’s search. Smaller blogs can also use keyword tag clouds.
With custom searches, you’re helping your visitors and yourself. Because all those search terms act as valuable data, providing you with feedback on what people are searching for.
Ever visited a website with widgets, multiple pop-ups and a video that started to play? It can be much, right? The truth is that cluttered websites push visitors away. Because customers have to wait for everything to load while handling pop-ups and (sometimes) excessive noise.
In addition, Web Credibility Project shares that users consider a well-designed website to be more credible. So, strip down your website design to the bare essentials. Avoid sidebars filled with ads or conflicting calls to action. Less is always more.
If you’re a beginner and having a hard time structuring your website pages, a website builder can help. It simplifies website building by providing templates and color palettes. It enables you to build a website that looks good on all screens.
You can also:
- Limit your color scheme
- Reduce the number of pages
- Focus on the essentials
- Fit only necessary information on the landing page
Help visitors along
UX Consultant and author Steve Krug said, “Don’t make me think” when talking about website navigation. So make sure your users understand what’s happening at all times. Nobody wants to decipher each page, reaching dead links and errors with no descriptions.
That’s why you should use placeholder and error messages to simplify text fields. After all, you don’t want a visitor to stop at a checkout page because of confusing directions.
Use your metrics
Metrics let you know how people interact with your website and how they find it. You can use metrics to understand user behavior. A good user experience is always defined by listening to the customers.
Common metrics include:
- SEO ranking: See how much of your traffic is arriving through different search terms. Once you have this data, you can focus on what’s working.
- Bounce Rate is the number of people leaving as soon as they arrive. Examine the pages this is happening to, and see how you can improve them.
- Referrals: Which pages are linking the most traffic to your website? See who’s providing a source of visitors and work on increasing it.
- Conversion Rate: When it comes to eCommerce, you want to know if visits are converting into sales. A clear look at the metrics can display your total conversions.
Make full use of the metrics as the data they provide is invaluable. For instance, if people are leaving on a particular page, it might be time to overhaul or delete it.
Test, test, test
Though mobile devices accounted for 58% of global website traffic during the first quarter of 2023, people still access websites through mobile apps and devices. So your website must run well for all of them. That’s why you should aim for a responsive website that ensures your content adjusts itself to any screen size without any issue.
Test your website for usability on both desktops and mobile devices. The earlier you discover issues, the earlier you can iron them out.
Testing comprises four stages:
- Unit Tests: You inspect every element and check if they’re all working the way they should.
- Integration Tests: You look at how everything works together. Test a group of pages one after the other.
- System Tests: You test the system as a whole. It includes factors such as stress testing, which ensures that the system can manage the pressure.
- Acceptance Tests: You get people to try your website and evaluate how they handle it.
Pay attention to feedback
Website owners often overlook their most valuable resource: their users. Whether you’re a large or small business, users can always help test your product. They can help you catch bugs and other usability issues. They can find issues you’d never have found otherwise. Plus, you may receive a first-hand account from your target audience this way.
Online surveys are one way of gaining feedback. You can try:
Just keep in mind that you have to be open to feedback. Once you are, you can find feedback everywhere. For instance, you could find a hidden gem in the comments, leading to a complete redesign that’s far more fitting.
Final thoughts: 8 tips for how to improve website user experience
These tips are only the beginning when creating an intuitive user interface. You must account for everything: from the meta titles in search engines to the fonts you use.
Consider the user’s attention span and build a good website with full functionality. But remember: All design changes must focus on the user.
How Bluehost can help you
The website’s front end is half the battle. You also need to handle the website’s back end and make sure your website loads faster.
Rely on a dependable hosting partner like Bluehost to help you stay up and ready to serve your customers at all times.