How many times have you landed on a website and instantly jumped due to slow load times, popups, confusing navigation, or the worst…..auto-play videos! I swear websites like these should be reported to the Internet police but then again, a lot of popular websites are guilty of this. Too many unnecessary features cause a detrimental effect on the site’s usability. I don’t need a background media player or floating bars that get in the way of my reading. All I want is a website that allows me to find the information I was searching for.
Aesthetics Vs User Experience
Having a great web design is good and all but it’s pretty useless if it ends there. A lot of businesses make this very elementary mistake all because they believe humans in general are visual creatures. Albeit true to a certain extent (94% of a customer’s first impressions are design oriented), your customers aren’t just there to drool over your brand colors and modern website feel. They are there to use your website and if they realize it’s actually hard to use then they might turn around and never look back. As a matter of fact, up to 88% of consumers won’t think about going back to a website after a bad experience.
Why Focus on User Experience
Remember that 90% of the time, it will be the customer who will be using the website. What works for you as the owner might not be something that your customers will like. First of all, the website should be useful. People should get something of value from your site. It might just serve as a place where your customers can read news about your company but they will be more than happy with it if they can get their daily dose of news and information without any hiccups. So no matter what you do, always put yourself in your customer’s shoes and try to use the site from their perspective. Is it easy to use? Does the website provide features that make everything accessible and usable?
If your site is a bit older, you might realize that it’s getting a bit outdated. It might still “work” but you may be losing customers because of the fact that people have a hard time using your website.
So what can you possibly do? Well, why don’t you do what the best website developers have done since the beginning of time?
But you have been doing that in the past, right? That you are actually putting your customer first when creating your website or that you are always prioritizing their experience, right? Well, I know you haven’t really thought about that but it’s OK. A lot of brands with older websites are now realizing the problem and are now redesigning their websites to ensure that their customers get the best experience possible without jeopardizing the brand messaging.
Enhancing User Experience in Your Website
Like what I mentioned above, there is still a chance for you to enhance the user experience on your website through a redesign. Remember that what you should put in mind will be the customer’s experience while using the website. By definition, user experience is the overall impact of the website design, content, marketing, and site usability. Here are some of the web elements you might want to consider for your website redesign to enhance the user experience for your customers.
1. Long Scroll
Before, the whole idea of a website is to have a home page then have multiple pages to complement it. The idea was good back when your visitors all used their desktops and laptops to visit your site. Nowadays, a good number of Internet users are using their mobile devices. This is aside the fact that people’s attention span has shortened. So what does this mean for you and your website? Well, this just means that we have to change the way we design our homepage. The idea of a long-scrolling page with a storytelling approach appeals more to people who have little time to spend in browsing. With a long-scroll home page, you can give tidbits of relevant information to your visitors without them going to another page. It’s as if you are giving your customer the power to control their pacing towards immersion that they can’t get with a page-by-page design.
2. Card and Grid Layouts
Sometimes, the biggest problem that websites have is presenting content to their visitors. The card and grid based layout solves this problem for a lot of brands. Multiple websites have adapted the card and grid approach for a very simple reason – it presents your content in an architecturally organized format. It helps your customer “see” the content they want to look at. It provides a sense of consistency in your website that gives your customer the idea of a content hierarchy that helps them understand which of the content is more important than the others.
3. Hero Images
Don’t worry, you won’t be seeing images with laser vision or superhuman strength. In a nutshell, hero images are large attractive headers. Their main purpose it to be visually pleasing to your site. Most of the time, hero images are used above the fold and this is where you put your brand slogan and/or a call-to-action.
4. Micro Interactions
They say that a team is only as strong as the weakest member – no matter how small his/her job is. This can also be said with your website. Your website is made up of a team of micro interactions with each of them accomplishing one task and one task alone. These tasks include changing settings, uploading an image, sharing an article to Facebook, or playing background audio. All of these are considered micro interactions and they might not be pretty obvious but they play important roles. As the website owner, you need to ensure that the micro interactions are seamlessly embedded into your website. You would know if your micro interactions are working properly if your customer never really notice them. Just make sure they answer a specific need and are useful to your customers. You don’t really want to flood your website with unnecessary micro interactions.
5. Flat and Material Design
They say that sometimes the answer to all our problems is to go back to the basics. This is true with web design. A recent trend in website design hails websites that stripped down all the unnecessary elements and went back to a simple, flat design. This design aims to remove various stylistic choices that give customers the illusion of three dimensionality. The focus of flat and material design is functionality and aesthetics only come second. It makes load times faster while ensuring that the website will not lose its beauty across various devices. In a sense, it makes everything easier both for the designer and the users.
If you believe your website lacks any of the web elements mentioned above and are experiencing some issues with your website then you might just be needing a website redesign. Contact the experts in web design and ask how you can give your visitors a much better user experience with your website.