Think of the way you feel when you find yourself on a website that clearly has not made user experience a priority. What are the indicators?
- A content-dump home page is a common one. New website/online business owners make the mistake of thinking their visitors want to see everything they have to offer right up front, while testing has shown that the highest converting landing pages are direct, concise, and easy on the eyes. The fewer details you give your visitor to process, the better.
- Another indicator is gaudiness. Flash was huge for a while. People assumed that if their content could arrest your attention visually, then that was as good as a conversion. It’s a dying technique, but we still see it manifested in beginner sites.
Ask a designer why they made certain design choices on a client’s home page, and if they answer, “Because they sell porcelain dolls, and I wanted it to feel like the inside of a doll house,” it’s a strong indication that their philosophy is not the kind that will win you conversions. It’s actually an antiquated philosophy when it comes to designing for the web. Aesthetics is not the end-all objective. User experience must be foremost.
Basically, you want a designer who will say, “Oh, I styled the header this way because testing shows visitors tend to gravitate to these sections of the page.”
These are two general considerations to improve the usability of your site. Below we’ve listed a few other targeted ones that you can quickly address to make immediate improvements to your website.
You’ve gone through a lot of effort to get clicks to and within your site. The last thing you want is for one of those clicks to lead to a broken page. If your site’s been around for a while, you may have lost track of all of your pages. Use Google’s Webmaster Tools to track down each of your pages that are pulling errors, and then fix them.
Internal Search Tools
How often do you look at the searches your website is receiving internally? Think of how such information would help you target your content strategy, product development, or the information you choose to include on your home page? It’s direct insight into what your visitors are thinking and looking for.
If you haven’t already guessed, we’re working on the assumption that you’ve already installed an analytic tracking tool for your site. Bounce rates are going to inform you substantially on which of your pages are just not cutting it with your audience. Hone in on this information to determine the best and most effective ways to improve the stickiness of your pages.
Furthermore, don’t forget to check the origin of your traffic to these pages. It is always a possibility that an incorrect link was used in your social media and affiliate marketing efforts and your visitors arrived at a page expecting something different than what they found.
Finally, how quickly your site and pages load is going to affect your user experience in a huge way. People don’t want to wait any longer than 2 or 4 seconds (yep, that’s how spoiled we’ve become), but more than that, it will affect your SEO. Google values quality and user experience above all, and poor load speeds will ping you in the algorithms.
You can improve your site speed by switching to reliable hosting and by condensing images and other media.
What are your greatest pet peeves about websites with poor user experience?
Capper, Tom. “6 Easy Ways to Improve User Experience Using Analytics Data.” https://www.distilled.net/resources/6-ways-to-improve-user-experience-using-analytics-data/?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRonv6TOZKXonjHpfsX97uwrXaS%2FlMI%2F0ER3fOvrPUfGjI4ATMBnM6%2BTFAwTG5toziV8R7fHK816y9AQWxXm. (October 10, 2014).