Outstanding user experience (UX) turns a good website into an exemplary website. It brings new users to your site and makes existing users stay.
Investing in strong UX can produce a strong return on investment. It is more likely to move people through the sales funnel, improve your search engine ranking, and boost your bottom line.
When users encounter your website and have a great experience there, they are more likely to become customers. Conversely, when users have a poor experience on your site, they quickly move on to other sites. Here is what you should know about UX and how to make it work for your business.
What Is User Experience in Web Design?
What is UX? It is the design that makes your site usable and enjoyable for users. It is, in other words, how your site visitors feel when they interact with your website.
Good website UX has an emotional component. That emotional component is made up of how appealing and usable your visitors find your site to be.
User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are not the same. UI is more about the nuts and bolts and behind-the-scenes expertise that go into excellent website design. It makes sure that users can interact with your website.
UX answers the question, “Does the UI work as we intend it to?” You can have a good UI without good UX. But good UX depends on a foundation of good UI.
Effects of Good UX vs. Bad UX
Good UX makes visitors happy to be on your site. They know they can navigate easily, so they’re more willing to explore. When they leave, they’ll remember that they liked your site.
Bad UX causes multiple problems. Frustrated users may not be able to find the information they want. They may be overwhelmed by too many menu choices. Or they may find that too few menu choices don’t lead them where they need to go.
In many cases, user distrust of a website stems from skepticism about the site’s design. UX is a key component of design, so it must be developed with forethought and knowledge to put users at ease.
Key Elements That Support Good UX
Website visitors want several basic things when they visit a website:
- High-quality content
- Natural, intuitive site usability
- Easy-to-use menus, search bars, links, and call-to-action buttons
- Site security and credibility
Your UI design may technically give you the basic elements of menus, CTA buttons, and site security. However, none of those things matter out of context. It is your content and design choices that turn the tools of UI into a remarkable user experience.
The most beautiful paint color doesn’t do much if you don’t have the knowledge on how to apply it properly. Similarly, knowing how to apply the best UI features transforms your site into something special and memorable.
Examples of How to Apply Good UX on Your Website
Some examples of how to put UX to work on your website include:
- Focus on the Audience
- Provide Easy Navigation
- Design Menu Choices with Care
- Put Complex or Detailed Information Behind Clicks
- Don’t Forget Your Footer Menu
- Don’t Neglect UX on your Site’s Hidden Pages
- Be Strategic and Judicious in your Choices
Let’s look at each of these in turn.
User Experience Should Focus on the Audience
Good website UX begins and ends with a focus on your intended audience. Who do you want to find your website? What do they tend to like? What do they tend to dislike?
How are they likely to find your website in the first place? Did they click an ad, use a search engine, or find you through social media? Knowing your audience is a key to creating the UX that speaks to them.
For example, if you know that your audience wants to compare prices before making a purchase, ensure your pricing page is included in the top-level navigation. You could also include a price comparison tool to meet user needs.
Provide Easy Navigation
Don’t make it difficult for your visitors to find things on your website. Placement and content of menus and links are crucial to good UX. Users who have to click through multiple layers of a menu before finding what they want aren’t likely to have a good experience.
Ideally, you should keep your drop-down navigation to two layers. Additional pages could then be included in the footer menu.
Design Menu Choices with Care
While you want every user to have a good experience, you simply can’t be everything to everyone. Your menu choices should consider the main characteristics of your intended audience. Multiple choices are good, but too many choices overwhelm people.
Put Complex or Detailed Information Behind Clicks
Again, this is about not trying to be everything to everyone. Most people scan web pages, going back to dig deeper into the parts that matter most to them. While some people want a deep dive into facts and specific topics, not everyone does. That’s why it makes sense to keep your in-depth information behind a click with a clearly-defined link.
For example, while you could mention your service guarantee on your sales page, you could include more in-depth information behind a click for visitors who want to know more details about it.
Don’t Forget Your Footer Menu
Your website’s footer menu can be great for including links and information that would clutter your other menus. Have a look at your footer menu. Could you add to it to improve UX without adding other menus or otherwise needlessly complicating your page?
Your footer menu could, for instance, include items like your blog categories, a list of your locations (with links to location-based pages if you have them), or case studies they could download.
Don’t Neglect UX on your Site’s Hidden Pages
Some pages, like your 404 error page, are ones you don’t necessarily want visitors to find. However, it’s worthwhile making these hidden pages harmonize with the rest of your site in terms of design, tone, and content.
Be Strategic and Judicious in your Choices
While you want every visitor to find exactly what they want easily, you cannot expect 100 percent success. Therefore, you must choose the content of your callouts, links, menus, and CTAs carefully. A well-curated menu that addresses most visitors’ needs is far better for UX than a menu that seeks to address every conceivable user need.
How Best Websites Puts UX to Work for You
Best Websites understands UX and the UI “backbone” on which great UX is built. We know how to help you know your audience well enough to understand what UX means to them. And we know how to implement the UX features that have proven to be most effective for your industry. We can make your footer menu enhance the rest of your site content, design easy, intuitive navigation, and do so based on solid information about your client base.
Are you ready to make your website UX work hard for your business? Schedule a call so you can have the utmost confidence that your website creates the best user experience for your customers.