Improving Your Website User Experience

Positive user experiences lead to increased word of mouth, higher engagement rates and faster growth. The sad thing is, most of the issues that turn consumers away can be easily fixed.

The mistakes that most businesses make in creating their websites are actually quite small issues, but the consequences pretty much suck, among which include plummeting conversion rates and ineffective user data.

Let’s cut to the chase and uncover the most important and simple steps you can take to achieve maximum user satisfaction with your online presence.

Usability Vs. Impressions

Most businesses have goals of making a splash within the online world. They design impressive websites in hopes of gathering awestruck consumers, but often take very little time to work out the kinks and produce a simple, straightforward website that can be navigated seamlessly.

You want people to be wowed, naturally, and you imagine that the best way to wow them is by your beautiful graphics or video-embedded landing page. In this scenario, you and your consumer have two very different goals: you want the website to wow your customer and your customer wants to use the website. This alone supports the argument that simple is better.

Aesthetic remains of vital importance, but of equal value is usability. You can draw people in with the most beautiful landing page on the web, but if you don’t have an easy-to-use interface, you’ll lose them within minutes or less.

Don’t sacrifice your consumers on the altar of impression. Let them use the website that you brought them to - without headaches, frustrations, and lack of resources they need.

Offering Value Before Asking for Sign-Ups  

The most likely scenario for this is a mobile app. The user downloads the app, opens it, and then gets stuck at a “signup or login” screen. Or maybe it’s just a landing page with nothing but images of icons and selling points.

It pretty much says to the consumer, you’ve got no choice. If you wanna try our product, sign up or leave.

It’s a lot to ask your visitor to give up their information without even knowing if they want the product first. In other words, try this if you want to see a major decrease in your conversions.

Imagine you try to walk into a jewelry store but the owner stops you at the front and demands your credit card number in exchange for coming inside.

Most of us would be pretty weirded out by this, especially considering the fact that you haven’t even browsed the jewelry selection yet.

You lose people the second they hit the signup wall. Although you’ll probably get a large percentage of people willing to sign up to try your app or get access to your website, you will have built a user base of most likely uninterested users. Newsletter pop-ups are a different story, and are know to be successful. Customers have the ability to easily click out of the screen and continue shopping.

As an alternative route for collecting information, give visitors as much content as you can before asking for their information. An example of this would be websites or apps that allow you to begin creating something, and don’t require user information until you’re ready to publish it.

Allow consumers to browse your product’s content, and then prompt them for login details when they want to interact with it. At the very least offer them some images or video of the product being used.

The goal here is to prove to your user that your product has real value for them. As a result, you receive a user base of people who signed up because they actually want to use what you’ve built.

Design Appealing Calls to Action

Your customers are already accustomed to following visual cues to determine which content is important to them, so they are predisposed to look for and follow calls to actions. The calls to action that are clearly marked with an action word enable your user to seamlessly navigate your site and get to where they want.

When creating buttons for your website, think about the psychology of color. In a study done by Maxymiser, researchers were shocked to find an increase of 11% in clicks to the checkout area of the Laura Ashley website, just by testing color variations and action messaging.

Colors evoke a variety of messages. Think about the message that you want to evoke for a user and choose your colors wisely. 

A second thing to think about is the words you use for your buttons. If the words include a verb, the user will be excited to do something.

Choosing the right words or psychological triggers is highly determined by the level of emotional identification that word prompts. Use time-sensitive words like “Get Access Now,” or action-infused language like “Get Started.” No emotional connection means no action, so don’t be afraid to make your words bold. 

Use White Space

While some argue that white space is essentially unused real estate and ought to be converted into advertising, we disagree strongly. White space is necessary for good design. It makes your content more legible while also enabling the user to focus on the elements surrounding the text.

According to multiple studies, white space around text and titles can increase user attention by 20%. White space can also make your website feel open, fresh and modern and if your branding is consistent with these then it can help you communicate those emotions to the user. One downside of white space to keep in mind, however, is that it does indeed take up space. 

The key is to find the balance between what is most important to communicate and surround that with some space to highlight the image and/or text.

The reader can focus his attention on the meaning of the branding phrases, and on the supporting descriptions. The reader is able to feel a sense of openness and clarity.

Offering Help at Easy Access

This past week my internet began working at the speed of a turtle, so I went online to my service provider’s troubleshooting page, where I proceeded to look for the help section.

There I was, sitting on hold listening to jazz music while scrolling the company’s web page for help, which continued to be a wild-goose chase. When I finally found the online chat page, it took me twenty minutes to figure out how to use it and by that time, the consultant had answered the line.

This example of poor functionality and usability is what drives the entire world of consumers to continually switch companies and try new products.  

So in the spirit of my earlier sarcasm, if you want to see a sharp decrease in the retainment of your customers, make finding help on your website similar to finding Waldo in a maze of candy canes. 

Position the help page or button within the easy glance of your customer. FAQ’s and troubleshooting pages might serve the initial purpose of filtering questions and common problems, but having access to a live person is like a breath of fresh air for your customer.

They’ll feel like you’ve got their back from the beginning of the online process to the very end, and even when they find themselves in trouble.

Listen to that collective sigh of relief. Who doesn’t want a website experience like that? Lets jump on a call to discuss your business objectives and strategize around your new website build. Contact 10twelve today!