Improve Your UX with These Easy Tips
December 24, 2016
UX, or user experience, is moving to the forefront of considerations for modern web designers. A great user experience can make or break your company’s app or website. In fact, it can mean the difference between a visitor and a customer. In today’s digital world, businesses must ensure their apps and websites are easy to navigate. This way, users can focus on learning about and purchasing your company’s products or services, not on navigating the website.
You can take several steps to improve UX and boost conversions, so keep the following tips in mind when it comes time to overhaul your website. Something that seems as simple as easier site navigation can have tremendous effects on your conversion rate and profitability, so don’t discount the effects of stellar UX design.
Interactive content naturally leads to greater engagement. If you want visitors on your website to take the time to investigate what you have to offer fully, construct interactive elements that will capture their attention and motivate them to explore. You can provide several types of interactive content, such as:
- Video games started moving from niche hobby to mainstream entertainment about 20 years ago, and since then, games have eclipsed major motion pictures in terms of industry value. Nearly everyone in the country plays some type of video game on a regular basis, from dedicated gamers with high-powered consoles to casual mobile game players. You can capture this popularity for your website through gamification, or the process of making a customer interaction like a video game. Some brands even have proprietary games made specifically for their websites.
Video games encourage exploration and experimentation and are typically goal-oriented. You don’t have to go overboard and assume you need to create a fully fleshed-out video game just for your business. Keep it simple and fun, and your audience will enjoy a break from typical website offerings.
- People in general like challenges, and quizzes offer them the opportunity to show what they know. You may even want to incentivize your visitors by offering a coupon if they successfully complete a quiz. This can be especially impactful if your brand is highly specialized or caters to a well-defined niche audience. Many brands offer loyalty or points-based rewards programs to regular customers. If your brand does this, consider offering a point bonus for completing quizzes.
- Similar to quizzes, surveys will appeal to a well-defined audience. They are also fantastic tools for gaining customer insight. Use surveys to find out what your visitors like and don’t like about your website, and use what you learn to make future adjustments. Just like quizzes, you can incentivize visitors with discounts or other rewards for completing surveys. However, if you take the time to make these questionnaires fun and engaging, you leave a more lasting impression with the user.
Interactive content will make your site memorable. However, make sure you don’t cross the line into garish, awkward, or interactive content that isn’t appropriate for your brand. Games may not appeal to certain audiences, so look for new ways to reach your audience if this approach doesn’t sound like it would work for your brand.
Even the most creative and spontaneous people appreciate logic. When people visit your website, the main goal should be to allow them to find what they need easily and still draw their attention around various parts of your site organically. If a user can’t easily navigate your site or find what they need without complications, they will more than likely click away to a competitor. You can avoid this by organizing your site using common sense.
Common-sense organization extends to both visual appeal and usability. Visually, you should consider using a grid-based layout to organize the visual elements, graphics, text, and interactive areas on your site. Ideally, your site should be rich in content without being overwhelming or appearing cluttered. In terms of usability, visitors on your website should be able to navigate to the page they need easily without having to spend too much time hunting for it. Whatever the layout of your site, any typical visitor should be able to find exactly what he or she needs within seconds.
If your website uses any type of customer login system, personalization should be a natural choice for better UX. Personalized content is a great way to show visitors to your site that you pay attention to them and want to help them find what they need. You can personalize content by tailoring it to a user’s past purchases, page views, product reviews, comments, and other interactions on the website.
You’re probably familiar with many websites’ “Recommended for You” sections. These websites harvest your user data from past interactions to predict what will interest you most or have the most value to you. If you take the time to construct such a system, visitors to your website will appreciate having content ready just for them. This enhances overall UX by making the user feel more at ease, and most users enjoy feeling special.
Design for Multiple Screens
Tech has evolved to what was science fiction a few decades ago. Today, people spend hundreds of dollars on new mobile devices and want to squeeze every bit of usability out of them. If you haven’t investigated or don’t understand responsive design, it’s time to rethink your UX. More people than ever are using mobile devices to browse the web, enjoy content, shop, and engage with others, so if you’re not capitalizing on mobile UX, you’re likely falling behind your competitors.
Responsive design describes web design that “responds” to the screen on which it is viewed. It’s vital to construct your site in such a way that visitors know what to expect when they connect with your brand, regardless of the device with which they do it. Your website should be consistent and deliver a great experience on any size or type of screen. For example, many new smartphones feature eye tracking, retina displays, and 4K resolution. If you don’t have content ready to make use of these features, customers aren’t going to be very impressed. Conversely, taking the time to design for a variety of devices will enable customers to get the most from engaging with your brand.
Guide Your Visitors
Lastly, guidance is crucial for great UX. Users are more tech-savvy today than ever before, so overt handholding isn’t necessary. Just make sure you offer some kind of wayfinding tool for your users. For example, you could configure your site to play a brief tutorial for first-time visitors. Pop-up graphics can highlight different areas of the screen the visitor can use to find what they need. Additionally, you need to account for legibility.
Screen layout is far more important than you may realize, and your site should guide visitors around your content following natural conventions. For example, people in the United States and much of the rest of the world are accustomed to reading from left to right. Organizing your content with this in mind will help guide your site’s visitors through your webpages in a natural way. When you neglect conventional legibility, users will likely find your website clunky or convoluted.
When you think about how you can boost engagement and increase conversions on your website, keep these UX tips in mind. Different brands are going to benefit from different changes, but remember the basics: Offer your visitors value and capture their attention, give them the tools they need to navigate what your site has to offer, and encourage interaction.