An awesome-looking website is a must. If someone isn't interested when they visit your website, then what's the point, right? Yet, web design is more than high-res imagery and experimental parallax scrolling. As the old design adage goes, form follows function. If your website isn't usable, then it's not worth people's time to stay.
User experience is how a visitor can navigate and engage with your website. It can be the deciding factor between a visitor buying from you or leaving. With plenty of competition at the end of one Google search, you don't want to be losing a potential customer.
It isn't always easy to differentiate between good user experience and a pretty site. Here are six things to consider when you're evaluating the usability of your website:
1) KEEP IT SIMPLE
It’s important to nail first impressions, especially in e-commerce. A simple website that depicts exactly what you need is a user's dream. Within seconds of landing on your home page, a user should be able to tell who you are and what you sell. Avoid using features that take away from the true goal of your website. These can distract your users and reduce the chance they'll turn into a customer.
2) SALES-MINDED NAVIGATION
If you're in a shop and can't find what you're looking for, you'll leave and go somewhere else. This is why the navigation and structure of your website are important. If a user knows what they want, it should take them seconds to find it.
Structure your website in such a way that it's angled towards making sales. Your platform navigation should be as simple as possible. Create a clear pathway towards call to actions and sale points. It’s also a good tool to include a search bar that will help customers find the products they’re looking for. Always aim to keep your navigation onsite as clear and concise as possible. This will avoid any unnecessary detours from the goal you’re attempting to achieve.
3) BRAND CONSISTENCY IS KEY
It’s important to stay relevant to the feel of your website. Keeping the tone and appearance stable will help keep customers on your platform. This is important amongst every single page on your website. Sticking to a theme will have a positive impact on user experience.
Core details regarding how to maintain consistency can be found in our case study right here.
4) THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS SHOULD BE THE MOST OBVIOUS
The content you want to highlight is those that lead the customer towards what they want. As mentioned before, the navigation should streamline towards conversions. A design presenting your products in clear ways makes the buyer’s journey as simple as possible.
5) ACCESSIBLE DESIGN
Websites that work well will always win customers. If your platform doesn’t function how it should, don’t expect users to put up with it. A high bounce rate is indicative of a slow website or one with many broken links.
You should create a site that works across a range of devices. Increasing numbers of internet users browse on their mobile as much as they do on a computer. Your website needs to reflect this if you wish to make the most of the current state of the industry. Mobile friendly websites are important in 2017, and your site should reflect this.
Speed is an important part of websites; nobody is going to waste their time waiting for slow pages to load. There are always better performing platforms on offer. Ensuring your site functions how it should, is a sure way to put you in the best position to make conversions.
6) QUALITY ASSURANCE
Customers need to trust the business they’re buying from. If your website looks unprofessional it doesn’t portray the right message to the buyer.
Enhance the authenticity of your site by displaying credentials and proof reading copy. Avoid facades that may be in place to fool customers into spending more money. These don’t help your business in the slightest.
Present your products in a user-centric way and you’ll receive the benefits you're after. User experience is a huge part of creating a successful site. Follow these tips and your platform will be ready to delight your customers.