User Experience: also known as UX is defined as the overall experience you have when you are using or interacting with something. Most often we think and talk about this in terms of ‘technical’ devices like smartphones, but the truth is UX is much broader.
In this article we’ll be referring to UX as the experience your visitors have when browsing through and interacting with your website.
“If you can get visitors to stay on your site for 30+ seconds, there’s a good chance they’ll stay much longer on your website — often times 2+ minutes.”
Why Should I Care About My Website’s UX?
plays a critically important role in getting potential customers to spend time on your website, interact with your site and/or complete a specific action on the site (i.e. e-book download, contact form submission, purchase, phone call, quote request, etc). Without a good website UX you’re basically handing your potential customers over to the competition.
You have about 10 seconds to convince a web-visitor to stay on your website.
Even if they decide to stay, they’re still highly likely to leave within the subsequent 20 seconds of their visit. So your website has to draw them, the content has to get them reading or scrolling through the page, while your CTA’s and other call-outs entice them to want to dig deeper into your site (whether it’s looking at more of your products, services, or learning more about your company).
“If people perceive the opportunity to interact and are confident that the interaction will help them reach their goal, then the probability of interaction is very high, and we will observe focused and intentional interaction.”
How Do I Know if My Website Has a Good UX?
There are a number of ways to tell if your website has a good UX. Below is a compiled list of some of the top UX requirements you should have on your website, why they’re important, and what you can do to improve your website’s UX and increase conversions.
The more ‘yeses’ you can answer on the statements below the better User Experience your site has.
- Your contact form button(s) doesn’t say “submit”
- All of your web pages have breadcrumbs on them
- You change the content on your homepage frequently to keep it fresh for returning visitors
- Your blogs/ news articles are written using the inverted pyramid style format
- (For service/ B2B based businesses): You have a pricing page or information about your pricing somewhere on the website
- You have an ‘About Us’ page
- Your website provides anticipatory feedback somewhere – (typically on product category or blog/ news pages)
- The majority of your site content is laid out/written using short paragraphs and bullet points
- You don’t use any/ many stock photos throughout your website
A form button that says ‘Submit’ gives users the impression that the form isn’t focused on a specific task. It also gives off the impression that your website isn’t user-friendly because you’re speaking in a technical way most users aren’t familiar with. If this is the impression they get when they fill out your form, you can bet you’re going to lose a few users.
Use text that is task specific and describes what the person can expect to happen after they click the button, (i.e. “Get Your Results, “Create Account”, “Subscribe Now”, “Register”, etc.)BREADCRUMBS: are little navigational aids that help people visualize where they are on your site, and also help Google determine how your site is structured.
Electronics > Computers & Accessories > Computer Cases
Advantages to using breadcrumbs:
- Visitors take fewer steps when navigating from section to section – enhancing user experience (UX)
- They clarify site navigation that shows visitors where they are on a site’s hierarchy of pages
- Google loves them because it helps it make hierarchical sense of your website structure
- They lower bounce rates
Changing content frequently on your homepage is a way to keep it fresh for returning visitors.
The inverted pyramid style:
- Start with the conclusion
- Explain the most important facts
- Write in small chunks
- Give each new idea its own paragraph
- Give more background detail after the important facts
Even if you give the whole story away in the first sentence, your visitors are likely to continue reading, because they’re after information and they’re going to continue reading/ skimming the blog/article until they get to the level of detail they want.
(For service/ B2B based businesses)
The lack of pricing on B2B websites is one of the biggest frustrations for potential customers and is likely going to play a role in your business losing a sale. Studies show that pricing information is 2x as important to B2B purchasers as a contact phone number.
You may have many reasons why you can’t/ don’t want to show pricing information on your site, but regardless of what the reason is, there is a way to provide customers information on your pricing (whether or not that includes actual $$$ values).
Your pricing page/structure should show one of the following:
- Let visitors use a cost calculator on your site to calculate some sort of hypothetical cost
- Give examples of work you’ve done and the price for which that client paid
- Why you can’t provide a pricing structure online?, be specific as to why
If you have an ‘about us’ page, does your content answer “yes” to the following questions?
Does it provide info that helps them understand/ determine if you a good match for their needs?
Does it evoke a sense of trust?
This is one of the most underrated pages on most websites. All too often organizations/ businesses see this simply as a page they must have on the website because everyone else does, but it’s almost never optimized or changed.
The ‘About Us’ page might as well be called the “Can I Trust You Page?” Visitors/ potential customers need a way of knowing more about you so they can be sure you’re okay to do with business with, or that the information you’re providing is accurate. They also need to be able to determine if you’re a good match for their needs.
What you should include on your ‘about us’ page:
- company history (i.e. how long have you been in business?, what’s the story behind the business?)
- who are some of your clients/customers or typical types of businesses you work with
- information about/ links to your service or product offerings
[ANTICIPATORY FEEDBACK: is information provided before a person interacts to help them understand what the outcomes may be.
Visitors/ customers are already overly impatient when it comes to browsing the web, so incorporating anticipatory feedback/ design into your web-pages is crucial. Whether they’re booking a trip or buying a board game for the family game night, the priority is not so much freedom of choice as it is efficiency in arriving at the desired end.
(This helps people avoid interactions and choices that are not going to help them achieve their goals,) and move them quickly and easily navigate through the desired pathway to their destination as quickly as possible.
More is not better when it comes to websites, in fact it’s almost the exact opposite. As mentioned above your site content and structure should be in a way that answers your visitor’s most important questions, but it should do it in a way that is simple and easy to find and understand.
By focusing your visitor’s attention on what’s important and making it easier to understand means customers are less likely to go to a competitor for the same service.
Tips to help focus your visitor’s attention on important information:
- use bullet points when possible, as they are easier to scan and read over
- keep pages clean and simple (don’t overload them with sidebars, forms, etc.)
- have service pages that describe in detail the different services your company offers
Your visitors should feel like the site is specifically tailored directly to them and not an overall general user type.
(Answer Honestly) Do you utilize stock photos on your site?
It’s okay to utilize some stock photos, as long as they don’t scream “stock photo”
However, studies have found that although the perceived trustworthiness of poorly performing vendors was increased when they used stock photography, perceived trustworthiness of vendors with good reputations was decreased.
If you have the ability to utilize customized photos of your actual office and employees, do so.
- Your contact form button(s) doesn’t say “submit” ➣
- All of your web-pages have breadcrumbs on them ➣
- You change the content on your homepage frequently to keep it fresh for returning visitors ➣
- Your blogs/ news articles are written using the inverted pyramid style format ➣
- (For service/ B2B based businesses): You have a pricing page or information about your pricing somewhere on the website ➣
- You have an ‘About Us’ page ➣
- Your website provides anticipatory feedback somewhere – (typically on product category or blog/ news pages) ➣
- The majority of your site content is laid out/written using short paragraphs and bullet points ➣
- You don’t use any/ many stock photos throughout your website ➣