What Is User Experience for Your Website?

We explore how visitors use your website and how to optimize it to give your users the most value with each visit.

min read

The idea that a website must add a certain amount of value to a user's life isn't a new one, but businesses have been learning the hard way that only helping customers find your website isn't the end of the road.

Once there, the user will need a reason to stay on your site and browse your content before they're willing to consider making a purchase, and that means your website user experience needs to be top-notch.

In this article, we'll break down why user experience is important and how to improve it on your business's website.

What Is User Experience for Your Website?

User experience, in brief, is your user's interaction with your website. Ideally, they should have a positive interaction where their needs are met, instructions are clear, and your website has a pleasant aesthetic for them to enjoy. User experience encompasses many aspects of your website, including:

  • Accessibility – how easily can customers use the website to achieve their goals? This includes people on mobile devices or who need extra tools to navigate or browse, like text readers.
  • Utility – what kinds of tools does the website offer, and are they applicable to the customers' needs?
  • Design – is the website fun to look at?
  • Performance – do the tools provided by the website function properly? Does that still apply to people with limited Internet connections?

Unfortunately, user experience can't be quantified with metrics like many other aspects of your website. It's difficult to measure how people feel about your website, especially since everyone will have a slightly different perspective that affects their goals. However, you can look at reviews, send out short surveys, and get feedback from interpreting metrics like conversion rate and bounce rate.

Why Is Great User Experience Important?

There is no real investment in simply clicking on a website. While enhancing your website's discoverability is crucial to expanding your audience, customers are putting very little time into clicking on your home page. Plus, it's extremely easy to hit the back button or close the tab if your website's user experience is substandard and, in a few seconds, you've just lost a potential customer.

The old adage that users' feedback is always right still applies somewhat to online businesses, so you'll need to ensure that your website appeals to your demographic. So, simply making an interface that looks cool is nowhere near enough if your website doesn't make the user feel good about experiencing it.

Tips to Improve User Experience

In understanding why having a better user experience is such a crucial factor when designing or updating your company's website, you're likely already brainstorming ways to better appeal to your clientele.

More than looks, users want a website that works and provides ease of use and some kind of valuable resource. Consider the following tips to really boost your user experience and stay ahead of the competition.

Add a Search Feature

One of the best ways to create a good user experience is to make it easy for users to find what they're looking for with a robust search feature. Adding a search bar that can process natural language means that you can provide relevant results to their questions no matter how they ask them. Ensure that you tag your products or pages with plenty of keywords, including misspelled versions of the words and slang versions, so that your users can find what they need, even if they don't know the exact name.

A search feature can also reduce the need for your physical call center or support representatives since users will find content that answers their questions within a human-computer interaction.

This is good since most customers would rather do their research and find answers instead of contacting your business.

Add Solid Content

For the most part, even eCommerce websites have seen that users rarely just want to log on, purchase something, and leave. Customers are very conscious of good UX design, how brands present themselves, and how other customers have reviewed them. In addition to checking up on your products or services to see how other people have found them, your users would much prefer to find a blog where they can read more about your company and your products.

Blogs give a good feel for the company, and illustrate how you conduct business and answer common questions about your products or services. Blogs also humanize companies and help users connect with them on a personal level. This is easy to do through storytelling to establish your brand identity.

Catering to user needs by adding videos demonstrating how your product works, tutorials for installing them, FAQ pages for troubleshooting, or addressing other common issues is an opportunity for a customer to see how proactive your company is. And it will save you overhead costs by reducing the user's interaction with your support center with questions.

Evaluate the Layout

Your user experience will depend heavily on how your user interface design. While it is important to make design decisions that will not annoy your customers, it's ultimately more essential that customers can figure out how to use your website, something we address more below.

Videos that start playing automatically, background music, pop-up ads, and loud, abrasive fonts, colors, and designs might seem like a good idea, but they usually end up annoying or startling visitors more often than appealing to your users' emotions. Currently, websites are tending towards a graphic design style called brutalism which is a conservative and minimalistic approach.

Your website doesn't need to subscribe to the same approach necessarily, but a clean and straightforward design will be easy for users to understand at a glance and navigate.

Improve Loading Time

For every second that your webpage spends loading, users become more and more likely to click the back button and navigate away from your website. You can have the best design and content, but if your visitors don't stick around long enough to see them, it won't matter.

To avoid situations like that, consider reducing the number of .gifs, pictures, or complicated elements that need to load whenever someone clicks on your webpage.

Even if your website's loading time is fine under normal conditions, it's important to consider that many people in the world lack access to high-speed internet and may have shaky connections. If your internet is limited, how long does it take for your website to load? Are there ways to reduce the loading time further to enhance the user experiences for customers with less efficient internet?

Consider Mobile Responsiveness

Many people perform the majority of their searches on smartphones and other mobile devices like tablets. Your website will need to be accessible for mobile users if you don't want to discourage a large percentage of your potential customers. Some websites choose to have a separate version of their website for mobile users, whereas others take steps to ensure that their original website can be modified for mobile users.

Mobile users can run into issues when text and image elements don't resize, and they end up needing to scroll around just to read your banner horizontally. This can be frustrating and lead a user to quickly leave your website and find one that caters to their needs more efficiently.

Focus on Accessibility

It might not always be the first thing you think about, but there are plenty of people online who are willing and able to become loyal customers if only websites would make certain accommodations for their needs. So low vision customers will need larger text, images with high resolution, or the ability to convert your text into speech.

For deaf customers, your tutorial videos might be less than helpful if you don't have any subtitles. When you make these kinds of accommodations to improve your website's accessibility, you expand your audience of potential customers. There is no downside to this equation: the more people can navigate your website, the more customers you're able to attract and maintain.

Add a Call-to-Action

All of your pages need to have some kind of direction for users who are looking to proceed down your conversion funnel. You'll want to include links to product or service pages or navigational buttons so that customers know where the next step in the process should take them.

In Summary

User experience is how visitors feel about using your website's functions. Knowing your demographic is crucial when designing your website, but there are plenty of ways to cater to a large number of people. Increasing accessibility, mobile responsiveness, and adding solid content can help customers connect with your brand and maintain an ongoing relationship with users.

Contact us to learn more about how to enhance your website's user experience.

Sources:

What Is User Experience Design? Overview, Tools And Resources | Smashing Magazine

5 Tactics for Improving Your Website's UX in 2021 | Digital Agency Network

How to Improve User Experience on Your Website It's not enough to simply provide great customer | Trajectory Web Design

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