User Experience (UX/UE) is often one of the first things thrown into conversation when discussing building or critiquing a website. Essentially, how well a user can interact with and experience a product or system is vital for deciding how good a website’s UX is.
At And-Element, we pride ourselves on committing to optimised User Experience across any and every website, service and product we provide. If you are looking for ways to perfect your own website’s User Experience, take a look below at the simplified list we’ve put together.
- Utilising White Space
- Optimise Page Speed
- Appealing Calls to Action
- Use Hyperlink Differentiation
- Key Information Formatted in Bullet Points
- Insightful Use of Images
- Artfully-Written Headings
- Consistent Webpages
- Reduce 404 Errors
- Responsivity and Mobile-Friendly
1: Utilising White Space
When first visiting a website, users can feel overwhelmed by masses of visuals, text and images. It can be hard to sift through all the information to extract the content that appeals to themmost.
Reducing the proportion of text and images obscuring the page and increasing white space can be imperative for seamless readability. When there is a reduction of content, displayed information becomes easier to digest. Users may also find that text encased in blocks of blank space are highlighted, and therefore will pay more attention to what your page is communicating.
From a design perspective, white space creates an open, fresh and modern impression for users, helping your brand image to come across as clean and professional. However, since negative space compromises the ability to have your key messages above the fold, it is important to prioritise which content you place here.
2: Optimise Page Speed
Any user accessing content wants to access content quickly. When load times are slow, bounce rates will increase as frustration builds, meaning your website will get less traffic. Faster page speeds generate an experience that is continual in flow, keeping users on the site.
Compressing images before loading them onto a website, as well as utilising Google tools to inspect your page, are two ways in which load speed can be improved.
3: Appealing Calls to Action
Site visitors will make use of visual cues when visiting your website. They look to differentiate between content as to which part of the page is the most engaging to look at.
‘Calls to action’ are any features that promise a result if the action is followed through with. Examples of appeals:
- Actionable Verbs: excite the user that there is something to be gained, or that following the CTA will be of benefit to them. Eg, “Click here to…”
- Resonating Colours: making use of the meanings behind colour usage can be influential in determining the message your website puts across.
4: Use Hyperlink Differentiation
Visual cues can also be used to make links easily identifiable. In order for a hyperlink to be effective, it should invoke persuasion in the user to compel them to take action. This can be achieved through using pops of colour distinguishable from that of the main body of text. Blue, for instance, is the colour most commonly associated with hyperlinking; it is automatically recognised by the user’s eye as being something that will lead somewhere. Attention is also easily drawn to links when they are longer in length.
5: Key Information Formatted in Bullet Points
Bullet points can be a succinct and simple way to display information to users. Instead of having to wade through masses of text to pick out the relevant details, users can receive the facts they desire quickly through list-like formats. This quick and digestible information, when consistent across web pages, boosts the value of the website’s propositions becoming more appealing.
In order to engage site visitors with the biggest points in your bullet point list, illustrated icons that reflect what is being discussed are a good way of connecting the reader to your message. We often make use of icons throughout our web designs, below are a few examples:
6: Insightful Use of Images
One habit when designing a website is to rely on generalised photography extracted from the first results of Google Images to build your brand identity. Users exposed to images they have seen multiple times before can lead to a lack of trust, as well as making your website appear non-personal and generic.
Staying on a website can be dependent on how appropriate the imagery is; this is something users will look for immediately after the site has loaded. The key with image selection is to choose ones that will establish a connection between users and your brand.
It is essential to steer clear of using licensed or stock photography. If a website appears non-personal and generic, bounce rates will increase as users lose interest in the content your site has to offer, solely based on imagery alone. The best way to communicate what you want your brand to represent is through employee-produced images that no other company can replicate. Strategic placement of images will allow for any written content to be referenced and supported also.
7: Artfully-Written Headings
Appeals and interests of expected customers should be the anchor behind the headings on your website. Keywords can be imperative for striking interest within the target audience, so they should be chosen with consideration to be specific as well as meaningful. Headings will also stand out to search engines as more captivating than any mass amount of lengthy content. When content is made scannable through precise headings, SEO is further improved.
8: Consistent Webpages
Designs across all web pages need to be coherent with each other, displaying the same typography, colours, icons, layout, etc. Repetition of these design elements will reinforce your brand image, as well as confirming to users that they are still on the same website. Inconsistencies in web design can produce a feeling that products of lower quality are being offered.
9: Reduce 404 Errors
404 errors occur when a page cannot be found. Often, links listed on web pages can lead users to 404 errors if a page has expired or is no longer in use. This can create a sense of frustration and bad user experience as users are led to dead-ends instead of the content they are expecting to find. Bounce rates will then increase, and users leave your site with the likelihood of the same desired content being sourced from a different site with ease.
Google Webmaster tools check crawl errors
Buttons that act as a ‘backspace’ to take site visitors back to the page they were previously on can rescue feelings of irritation in the odds that links on your site will lead to 404 errors.
10: Responsivity and Mobile-Friendly
A website’s ease of use can be improved by making it compatible with a wide range of devices. Any company needs to have an incentive to make their websites more user-friendly for mobile devices since Google penalises them for not doing so.
Optimised user experience equals optimised business. Hopefully from reading these 10 helpful tips listed above, you should now be enlightened with how to embark on forging your own website with highly optimised user experience.