Designing a website user experience is hard work, but it's important. The better the user experience, the more likely users are to want to experience your website and to share it. Good UI/UX draws in traffic on its own -- and when selling products and services, it encourages commitment.
1. Different platforms and devices.
Websites are now visited through all types of devices -- most commonly smartphones. But it's more than just making sure that your website is easily viewed; you also need to make sure that it's consistent among all platforms. Otherwise consumers may be confused when they switch from a desktop version of your site to a mobile site. Responsive design is intended to adapt to any size of screen and any resolution; both easily used and consistent.
2. Social engagement and connection.
Websites today are not monoliths. They need to be connected to social media in order to bring in engagement. Promoting social media sharing and linking out to social media profiles is one of the key ways to ensure that traffic keeps returning -- and that new, organic traffic arrives.
3. The positioning of top content and media.
Promoting your top content and media makes it easier for your customer to find the information that they're most likely to be interested in. It isn't always possible for even experienced content management professionals to figure out which content will be most popular. Tracking the most visited and most shared content is the easiest way to push your best content towards the top.
4. Call to actions and content funnels.
Customers need guidance to be directed to the next step. Otherwise they may quickly move on to other things. Having a clear call to action is designed to inform the customer about the next step towards their path -- and it's especially important as there are so many things competing for their attention. Make sure that your content funnels provide a direct path across the customer journey for better potential for commitment.
5. Clicks to most accessed content.
In addition to trying to promote the most interesting content, you should also consider how long it takes customers to get to the content they need. In general, it should only take one to three clicks for customers to get to the content that is most commonly accessed -- such as help desk pages, customer quotes, and product information. Customers don't want to have to search for information and they may abandon the site if they can't find it.
6. Volume of content per page.
Large volumes of content can be overwhelming to customers -- but you still need to balance the amount of content on each page. Long format pages tend to be promoted by search engines, but they may be difficult for customers to manage. Because of this, the volume of content per page needs to be balanced out by different forms of media, such as infographics and videos.
7. Infinite content formats.
For a while, infinite scrolling was the most popular type of format. Infinite scrolling automatically adds content to the bottom of the page and keeps readers interested. But infinite content formats can also make SEO more challenging -- and it's only well-suited to content heavy site. If your site does have a large volume of content, infinite scrolling may be a good choice.
8. Loading time and optimization.
Most viewers will only wait one or two seconds for a page to load on desktop -- and three or four seconds on a phone. Loading time is considered to be one of the most important aspects of user experience. By staggering loading times -- loading top content first and ensuring that something is always on the screen -- you can ensure that your pages aren't abandoned while waiting. Optimizing images and other media can also reduce loading times and bandwidth used.
9. Readability and scannability.
Knowing how users interact with a page can be important. Users start at the upper left, but then they scan to the most prominent items on the page from top down. Readers also tend to focus on people, faces, and eyes. Watching readers and what they focus on can make it easier for customers to focus on the information that they need.
10. Accessibility and disability issues.
Finally, it's important to remember that a substantial portion of the Internet may be visually or hearing impaired. Screen readers and other devices are often used to interact with websites. It's important to adhere to disability standards, such as captioning all images so that a screen reader will be able to easily determine what's displayed on the screen. Menus are also particularly important.
There's a lot that goes into developing a solid UI/UX, but the above ten things encompass the most important aspects of solid user experience and design. Most of all, testing is important; by testing your website with multiple users, you'll be able to catch any potential issues with the design early on. FOO-lance can help you find the right employees to complete your project to the best design practices.