Perfecting your Website Visitors User Experience in just 13 Steps
11 March 2014
All businesses need a website, but most businesses don’t consider the people visiting the website.
We’ve found most businesses want what they want on a website because that’s what they want. Believe it or not, there is a better way. By considering your users first and taking this approach with the planning, design and goal setting of your website, your website will become much more relevant to your web visitors. By reading this article you will learn to create a much clearer and enjoyable user experience – which will ultimately increase your users experience and the effectiveness of your website.
Important points you must consider before you get a new website:
1. Don’t Make Users Think
The website overall should be obvious and clear. Include page headings, use obvious buttons, and have clear text that is easy to read and not too long (get to the point as quickly as possible). Clarity and simplicity above all else – Everyone appreciates clarity.
2. Know What Your Own Business Goals Are and What Your Target Market Wants from your Website
Make it really easy for your visitors to get what they want out of your website. We’ve also created an article to help get you started with your Website Goals – 6 Reasons Why Goals Are The Most Important Elements Of Any Website – Part 1
3. Be Upfront and Clarify
If your Home page doesn’t quickly convey to your visitors, what your site is about and why they should be there, they will leave your site and are likely to never return.
4. The Big 4
If someone goes to a page on your website and cannot answer the 4 questions below quickly and easily, that page (and possibly the website) has failed in regards to usability:
1. What page am I on?
2. Where do I begin?
3. Where do I go from here?
4. What are the most important things on this page?
5. Keep It Simple
Avoid background noise and clutter. It’s very distracting and causes poor focus. Is including that photo, background image, or paragraph of text going to increase sales or help turn more web visitors into customers? If not, leave it out!
Users scan pages, they don’t read ALL text on all pages, so content needs to be easy to scan. The majority of users will not read all of the nicely written text, they look for key points or headings which resonate with them. Design websites for easy scanning. (Just like this blog post.)
7. Less is More
Omit needless words. Pages and content should be clear, concise and straight to the point. Users want to get right to the beef – “Happy talk” is pointless clutter. Remember users scan more often than not. Try it out for yourself: go to any random website, do you read all the content, or just skim for the most relevant parts?
8. Avoid Instructions
If you need to have instructions, then your website isn’t as obvious and self-evident as it should be. If you absolutely must have instructions on your website (because you have something totally unique no one has ever seen before) keep them to the bare minimum. No one reads instructions the first time – they try to figure it out several times, only checking instructions after failed attempts at trying to figure it out.
9. Don’t Over Complicate it
Over complicated forms with too many questions are very bad and your website visitors won’t want to complete it:
+ people are also very busy and get annoyed very easily with these forms.
+ this also goes for lots of optional info. Unless it’s absolutely critical, leave it out.
10. Simple Navigation
Clear, well thought out navigation gives the user confidence. Sticking to Conventions and standardisation makes navigation much easier. Being unique is one thing, but push it too far and you might confuse and alienate your audience.
11. Page Names
Every page needs a name/title, it needs to be easy to find, and it needs to match exactly (or very closely) the name of the button which was last clicked by your website visitor.
12. Never Rely on Colour Alone
If colour is the only cue to something lots of people just won’t notice, some are colour blind and even though Green is your favourite colour, some people hate green!
13. Everything is Obvious to the Creator
Everything makes sense to the people who designed, developed and planned your website. Get someone who has never seen the site before (and preferably knows NOTHING about your business) to test the site. Ask them questions, watch them try to navigate your website and get lots of feedback from them.
Now you know more about Website Usability in 13 points than most people will ever consider in their lifetimes. Most of it seems like common sense, but common sense is not so common.
Before choosing a Digital Agency to design and develop your website, ensure they know and understand how to put the above 13 points into practice.
We’d love to hear what you think is the most important aspect in regards to Website User Experience. Let us know in the comments below.