What is the purpose of your website? Is it a content-based website, like a blog or magazine? Do you sell products? Will users need to register for a class or event? Every website has a purpose, and it’s important your users know what it is, instantly.
In many cases, the site’s purpose may be to attract more traffic and hopefully convert your visitors to potential customers. In order to accomplish this, your website needs to provide a good User-Experience, or UX. Below we’ll outline a few questions you can ask yourself to help put you in your users’ mindset.
You are the guru when it comes to your business. You understand the intricacies of your business and how to navigate your website, but what about first-time users? Can a user understand what you do, how you can help them, and where they should go to get what they need?
When a user gets to your website, it has to be abundantly clear what the purpose is. If your users have to wonder where to find the information they are looking for, even for one second, you may begin losing potential customers.
Below is an example of a website with a clear purpose and headline compared to a website with a poor purpose and headline.
Image Source: Unbounce
A user comes to your website interested in learning more about your products or services – how do they find them? Does the user-path make sense to someone with no knowledge of your business? Is your main navigation intuitive, with clear call outs like “Learn More”, ”Buy Now” and “Contact”? If you offer many services, are they categorized or listed in an order that is logical?
If your main navigation and Calls-To-Action (CTAs) are unclear, users will have a hard time finding what they are looking for. When a user lands on your website and leaves right away or without converting, it may indicate that:
The user didn’t or couldn’t find what they were looking for
The webpage was unclear and too difficult to use
Below is a link to an infographic that provides tip on decreasing your bounce rate and enhancing the user experience.
Image Source: Quick Sprout
What feeling or vibe does your website convey to users? When someone enters your website, either on a landing page or your homepage, do they feel welcome? Is your website inviting and easy to browse? Does it provide a clear road map to get users where they need to go?
Offering a good user experience means presenting your content in a way that is easy to digest. You’re probably well aware that people don’t like to read much on the internet, and if they do, they don’t read every single word. Just think of your own behavior. Do long paragraphs with no spaces in between entice you?
Creating hierarchy within your content helps users quickly focus on the important topics within a page. Clearly highlighting CTAs and buttons also helps users when moving through your pages or completing a step in your conversion funnel.
If your website doesn’t have well defined headlines and clear calls to action, you may be losing users and business; your website has to meet the “ease of use” criteria to succeed.
Your website passed the easiness criteria, and your users can navigate through it with no effort. How does that translate into your conversion goals?
Analytics tell you that 90% of users were able to quickly find the product they were looking, yet only 5% are completing the checkout process? What is happening?
Maybe users can’t find your checkout button because it blends in with the colors of your website and isn’t obvious. Or maybe your form was complicated and required too much information upfront that discouraged users.
The best thing about websites is they are fluid and easy to edit and improve. How can you improve? Try running some A/B test to compare different headlines, form fields or button colors to see what resonates with your users. Unbounce, the leading landing page development tool, highlights one case study that generated over 31% more signups.
Image Source: Unbounce
Imagine you’re at work and decided surf the web during your break. There’s an article that interests you, but when you click on it, it only has the video. You’ve forgotten your earbuds at home. Given that you’re at work, watching the video with its volume on is not a feasible option. What do you do? You’ll most likely move on and that article will be forgotten. A simple text explanation or a transcript of the video could’ve solved this issue.
People consume content differently on the web. Some people like to watch videos and others like to read. Yet some like listening to audio such as podcasts. Your website has to tastefully integrate these factors and find the best way to present the content.
Moz, a company that provides inbound marketing software, excels at offering content in various mediums. Every Friday the host a video series called “Whiteboard Friday” where they post a video containing whiteboard illustrations on a particular topic. Beneath the video they post the final whiteboard illustration AND the video transcript. Bing, bang, boom! Audio, video and copy.
“Mobile first” has been in practice for a while, but are you merely converting your existing website to show up well on mobile devices? Mobile experience is entirely different and your website should reflect this.
Your mobile website needs to be easy to read, simple to navigate and contain obvious calls-to-action. Eliminate pop-ups like “sign up for our mailing list” because they’re annoying on a small device. When in doubt use the KISS principle: Keep it simple, stupid. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.1
Does Your Website Need a Mobile Makeover? 8 Mobile Optimization Tips To Improve Your Site’s UX is a great article by KISSmetrics about optimizing your website for mobile viewing.
Example of the NFL’s mobile makeover
Image Source: KissMetrics
Hopefully the questions above have made you reconsider the organization of your website and its purpose. While every user is different, observing your own web browsing behaviors and patterns, can improve the quality and usability of your own website.
The next time you are browsing a website, think of the questions above. Can you find what you’re looking for? Is the content easily digestible? If you are surfing on your phone does the website you are interested in provide a mobile-friendly option? If you put yourself in the mindset of your user, you’ll be able to create the perfect user experience.
1. Wikipedia: Kiss Principle
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