Sep
09
Website Design – Enhancing User Experience!
Posted by Navneet Kaushal on | No Comments

Website Design - Enhancing User Experience!
Before we start talking about user experience, here is a number that might interest you- you have close to 10 seconds to hold on to your user. Yes, the time is limited and visitors have a very short attention span. This is a primary challenge as well as guidance tool that you have to keep in mind when you work on enhancing the user experience on your website.

So, the basic task is to capture the visitor’s attention in those few seconds you have and also make sure that he is led towards what he came looking for, or what you want the user to look at. You have to tell them/ answer them/ sell them or whatever in those 10- 12 seconds only, otherwise the loss is all yours.

Essentials Of User Behavior

Users are in a hurry, they have already chosen your site from search results/PPC/social media or whatever, and they know what other options they have left behind in the previous page. That is why you have to be pretty clear in putting forth what you have to say.

Users like quality, credibility and of course relevance- If your page has all of these, you are good, and they will stay on. Design should support the content and not overwhelm it.

Users scan your site and don’t read every line- so make sure you have attractive headings, banners, the works.

Users want control – If too many pop ups come on their windows, or videos start autoplaying, it leads to a very poor user experience. They may never come back to your site if the pop ups don’t leave them alone.

Enhancing The Key Experience

When a visitor lands on your page, you must make sure that he is helped in every way possible to find what he is looking for. Also, the first impression of the page must live up to the user’s expectation that built when he clicked on your link. The design of your site must be clear-precise and uncluttered so that the user is lured on to stay and explore.

Using Words Effectively– Words are the most important tool you have to grab the users’ attention. Say what you have to see and be very clear about it. If you have brought a user to your site for latest Nokia Phones, then have a clear-well placed and easily readable line- “Latest Nokia Phones At Great Discounts” on your site. Words are taken seriously by the users and they respect it too. You build user expectation with words, and clear promises are generally easier to keep. Clarity also results in better credibility.

Clear Call To Action – If a user gets confused on your site and is not clear about what to do, then your entire effort is lost. Remember that a user likes your site if he understands what he is doing. You must give clear, straight-forward cues, so that the user understands what is where and what he can do.

Be Speedy – It is a very logical thing, if the users don’t have the time, this means that they want the site to be fast and really fast. If your load time is long, then the back or the close button will be hit much more that you would like. Explore the option of speed optimization versus as it will bring improvement in retention and user experience.

Information Architecture For Usability

The basic idea here is to make sure that the user knows how to use your site- navigate it. If your site navigation is clear and consistent, then the users will stay on the page and will use it. Usability is basically the level of ease and comfort visitors feel when they come to your site and navigate for information -services or products. If your site is not clear about the “buy” button, then you cannot expect the user to comb thru the site to find one, they will get out of the site rather than doing that.

Do Not Make The Users Think- your site navigation must be clear enough so that the visitor is not confused or forced to think where he is and what he needs to do. This will only lead to a poor user experience.

Guide The Visitors- Your site navigation must not be cluttered, so the visitor gets lost. Any page on your site must not be more than 3 clicks away from the home page. Lead the visitors to your goal skillfully and clearly. Clarity is important.

Use Breadcrumbs– Keeping a clear visual hierarchy helps. Visitors must know clearly where they are in your site, and how can they go back or to another category. Keep the home page in front view from any page.

Little Graphics Help- The idea is visual design of a call to action. Like a shopping cart, or a mail envelope, or a verification tick- that guides users clearly as to what they are required to do on the page.

Enhance The Utility Of Your Site

Utility is web designing means that your site is capable of doing many things. You can buy a product- learn more about it, add it to wish list, get informed about the product through emails, chat with fellow shoppers, leave reviews on a site and much more! This is how the utility of a site can be understood. So give your users many options, but do not overload your site with too much of it. Strike a balance.

Think Mobile Usability

Well, more and more people are switching to mobile internet for everything and anything. So make sure that your site has a mobile version too, that can cater to the mobile net users. This version has to be even simpler with vertical navigation and more prominently placed call to action buttons (the mobile user has even less time!).

Testing Your Site

What better way to know whether your site is working or not, than testing it for usability. Testing will give you a clear picture of where you are in terms of usability and what can you do more. You’ll be pointed to the absence of major design flaws which will give you essential insights for your project. Remember that you must design something, test it, fix it and then test it again There are tools like- Google’s website optimizer, with which you can test the different variations of a page in terms of which page produces the most visitors who convert.

The Final Word

You have to make sure that the user experience, on your site has to be simply fantastic- your site should be attractive, uncluttered, clear in words and design, easy to navigate and most importantly highly relevant to what the user is looking for.

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