2016’s 10 Web Design Tips To Improve User-Experience (UX)
Creating a good user-experience (UX) is critical to the success of a website. Search engines focus on user-experience within its ranking metrics, and so should you.
If you don’t keep end-users happy, your client won’t be happy either. Let’s take a look at the best practices of improving the user-experience of a modern website.
1. Make the site easy to navigate
This point is pretty obvious to any good web designer, but it is so important, we decided to include it anyway. We couldn’t leave it out really. If a visitor cannot find what they are looking for, they leave. Simple as.
2. Create a user-experience
When end-users visit a website, they expect an experience. Actually they demand it. They want something unique, engaging and functional. The aesthetics of a website are a second thought despite making the first impression. But if the design is crisp, sleek and well plotted, it goes a long way to creating a good UX.
3. Use White Space
Using white space can go against your clients ideals. But it actually makes text more legible and increases user attention. Clients may complain about the amount of white space and want you to fill it with ads or social signals, but when they recognize the positive results for readers, they soon change their mind.
4. Keep the design tidy
When an end-user visits a website, they do not want to be presented with image-overload, pop-up ads and a busy screen offering 101 options. Get rid of visual clutter, keep the design and the copy to a minimum and make decision making simple. Streamlining pages, streamlines the purchasing process.
5. Ditch slideshares and carousels
Slideshows and carousels used to be a popular visual fad, but it’s slowly dying a death. Most visitors don’t stay on a page long enough to watch a carousel and few are interested in flicking through slideshares. They are on their way out.
6. Page Speed
Page speed is so important to mobile users that if a page is not loaded within 4 to 10 seconds, they will leave and look elsewhere. And Google is so intent to patch over this irk, the search engine giant is poised to introduce accelerated pages which will strip away weighty content – therefore if you put lots of time and effort making a star-spangled website, it will all go to waste anyway.
7. Invest in professional technology
The days of a free ride on the internet are almost over – and that goes for web designers as well. Stock photography does not cut it anymore, and end-users are clued up enough to know a free image when they see one. It looks cheap, unprofessional and subsequently untrustworthy.
Using professional images increases conversion rates.
8. Make call to actions stand out
Consumers do not like having to make decisions. They want to be guided through a website and directed what to do at every point and turn. Call to actions that are clearly signposted make it easier to navigate a website and can be used to reaffirm messages and psychological triggers.
9. Design every page like a landing page
Since search engines started ranking webpages rather than websites, the first page a visitor enters a site is not necessarily the Homepage, or a dedicated landing page. Oftentimes it is neither. Stripping away clutter and including key information in menus and call to action buttons on every page therefore becomes a necessity for end-users to navigate the site.
10. Keep sign ups and payments simple
You don’t want to take consumers all the way to signing up for newsletters, emails or purchasing a product only for them to drop the action because the process is overcomplicated. Keep forms simple. Ask for the most basic information and keep the number of fields to a minimum.
The information architecture of a website is one of the most important success stories of SEO. If the web design is not functional, it fails. When designing a website, the user-experience has to be at the forefront of every decision.