What are the most important principles to follow when optimising your website for user experience?
Everyone wants their website to look good, but in recent years business owners have learned the hard way that a pretty website doesn’t always pack a punch, and neither does forcing a sale down a customer’s throat.
Welcome to the age of UX web design, where websites are built with the user in mind. And it’s no coincidence that everyone is spending more time (and money) online; once an experience is tailored to our behaviour, we are far more likely to remember it and engage with it.
Simply ‘existing’ online is no longer good enough.
Think of it like this – you own a shop on a popular street in your favourite city. Your shop sells mobile phones, and that’s what your customers want. Do you decorate the shop with a chandelier and fresh flowers whilst hiding the latest iPhone at the back? No way. If customers have to fight to see the product they need, they probably won’t enter at all. The same goes for your website.
Knowing your audience is essential
It’s no good focusing on ‘user experience’ if you don’t know your users, so do your research! Understand how your audience thinks and how they enjoy buying products. Visit the websites of competitors and sector leaders to see how they display information and convert users.
Create8 Top Tip: Just because you think your website looks great doesn’t mean it’s going to be successful. Take your ego out of the process, step back and do some customer research to find out what they want.
UX at Create8
If you are looking for a UX web design agency that can help optimise your website to cater to your audience’s needs, look no further. At Create8, we specialise in building unforgettable websites to suit the specific characteristics of your user. If you want to learn more about what we do or see examples of our past projects, follow the link below.
Understanding your website hierarchy and how wireframing helps
If you have read any of our web design blogs before, you’re probably well aware that we are wireframe mad. However, one of the fundamental principles you need to take into account when considering UX is the hierarchy of your website.
Website hierarchy is essentially the organisation of your site and how a user travels through it. At Create8, we always build a wireframe before designing the graphic elements of a website and talk through this with our client. This allows us to define the user journey and dictate how we want potential customers to use the site.
Knowing your site’s hierarchy allows you to optimise content to drive purchases and capture user data. Missed opportunities can be costly to a business, so understanding which information should go where is essential.
Create8 Top Tip: If you’ve paid for a web development package and your designer hasn’t offered you a wireframe, ask why. Wireframes are incredibly helpful; they can iron out potential navigation issues before graphic elements are implemented, saving both time and money.
Putting usability first
Rather than focusing solely on aesthetics, consider how easy your website is to use. Concentrate on clarity and purpose to ensure every aspect of your website has a logical reason for being where it is. In many cases, minimalistic web design has been seen to improve click-through rate (CTR) and overall conversions, so keep things simple.
Create8 Top Tip: A cluttered website is bad for business, just like a shop with too much on sale. Think strategically about every element on your website and ask yourself why it’s present. If you can’t name a good enough reason to have something, get rid of it.
Market consistency and user experience
Never ignore competitors – regularly check out what they’re doing and why. Your users will directly compare the experience of buying a product from you with buying a product from a competitor. Don’t reinvent the wheel; tweak it to improve usability.
Web developers should strive to create similar user experiences to what’s already out there. The products or services you offer should stand out from the crowd, but your website usability should not.
Create8 Top Tip: We know how tempting it can be to be groundbreaking. But, if your web developer provides something that looks and feels totally alien to your competition, you should question the reasons behind their deviation from the norm.
Accessibility for all!
We live in a world where accessibility is essential; and online it’s no different. Your developer should ensure as many people as possible can use your website, including those with disabilities. Remove obstacles from your website that will shrink your audience. For example, use contrasting colours to help visually impaired people.
Create8 Top Tip: Sometimes, thinking about accessibility can make life more difficult for whoever is designing your website. However, modern businesses should never overlook inclusivity.
How important are text and language?
Pivotal. Why? Well, users might be busy or on the move when they find your website. Use language and sentence structures that are simple to understand. And don’t forget that clarity is key. Avoiding terms like ‘OK’ and replacing them with ‘Yes’ will help make interactions more straightforward.
Typography also has a huge role to play in UX web design. Choose fonts that are legible and always differentiate headings from other content to improve readability.
Create8 Top Tip: We don’t just choose fonts because we like how they look, we also assess whether that font will benefit the user journey. Ask your web designer to implement different fonts on your site so that you can see how each feels when in use.
At Create8, we are UX web developers with a difference. Our team of experts have been building user-friendly and fully optimised websites for as long as we can remember, and that’s precisely why choosing us is a wise choice.
When it comes to knowing what customers want, we do the legwork so you don’t have to.
Take a look at some more of our blogs for helpful tips, tricks and advice: