The concept of online user experience (UX) is not much different than any aspect of your daily life. You want a pleasant experience without any hassle. This rings true with everything you do, including checking out at the grocery store, operating a vehicle, or navigating a public place.
Every website offers a distinct UX but the real matter at hand is: how is your own UX affecting your website visitors. Perhaps more importantly, how is that experience affecting your business? There is plenty of research to suggest that the emotions your website visitors feel while visiting your website have a significant impact on how those users view your brand. That means you simply cannot afford to make them feel frustrated, confused, disappointed, or even just neutral.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to watch for on your own website so that you can deliver a positive experience for your website visitors:
DON'T: Assume that everyone will use your site the way you intended
Outside usability testing is an absolute must … no matter how “pretty” your site is. The goal of usability testing is to collect quantitative data on participants' performance (e.g., time on task, error rates), as well as determine qualitative information, such as user satisfaction. This is not something you can do on your own after designing or developing the site. You simply know too much and your biases will sway your results. If you do not have the budget to hire a usability specialist, you're not alone. Check out Peek and get live user feedback for free.
DO: Let your users control their browsing experiences
There are several common irritants that have appeared recently on websites that take control away from users, such as auto-play videos and banners that cover the entire page. When you design a website or user interface, rule number one is to let your users control their unique browsing experiences on your site. To take control away is to disrupt and distract from the core your users' interaction with your brand.
DON'T: Assume that your visitors are always using desktop devices
Mobile devices now drive 56% of traffic on the Internet. That means the majority of your website visitors will view your website on their phones or tablets. If your site is not responsive, the fact is it will not display properly on every device screen size. To make sure it’s easy for everyone to consume your content, invest in a responsive web design. Also be mindful of any images that contain text, as the text may become unreadable when the image is shrunken down.
DO: Use visual elements within your content
When you consider that 65% of people are visual learners, 90% of information that comes to the brain is visual, and presentations with visual aides are 43% more persuasive, it makes sense to use visual content on your website. Visual content taps into the visceral psyche of your audience, encouraging them to discover more about your brand. Need more proof? Just look at the three fastest-growing social networks: Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat.
DON'T: Overvalue the “below the fold” mantra
If you’ve spent any time at all trying learning web design, you will have undoubtedly been told to never put calls to action below the fold. Do not interpret this rule as gospel. If your offering is one that requires more explanation, do not hesitate to use above-the-fold space to describe its value. In certain circumstances, placing a call to action above the fold at all is far too pushy and could be a turnoff in high-consideration purchase processes.
No website is perfect, but every website should be evolving. With UX design front and center, you are truly creating for your customer.
You might enjoy: 7 Breathtaking Examples of Amazing Data Visualization
Review our case studies and engagements where we helped companies just like yours solve a variety of business needs.
Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems. We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward. Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes. With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget. 11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.