In the 90’s most things on the web was text-based; it’s not the case today. Consumers have a lot of options in this fast-moving world. The desire to keep moving has never been more prominent whether it is traffic on the road, fast food or even websites.
Getting web users to your site is hard enough as is; it is even harder to keep them there. User experience directly or indirectly effects SEO rankings; it certainly affects consumer buying process.
You must be thinking “I don’t have a budget that will stretch a UX or User Experience designer”.
While big brands and names need a UX designer it does not mean you neglect UX completely. Here are some handy tips that you can adopt to improve website user experience.
You can use any of our Infographics in your site with a link-back to us.
1 – Capture Your Viewers Attention Upfront
Let’s take a blog post for example, the user should have a good reason to scroll down the page. This could be a relevant image that catches the reader’s attention. Some people use a story and that can be effective too. You can also try to create an emotional connection with the user upfront.
2 – Improve Website Loading Speed
Most users expect a website to load between 3 to 4 seconds and anything more will mean a bad user experience. When you have a bad experience at a restaurant what happens? You never go back there again.
3 – Avoid Pop-ups
There is a war between people who love pop-ups to build an email list and those who hate them. Pop-ups are bad from a user experience point of view and avoid them if you can. You can use a slider to collect email addresses and they are less intrusive.
4 – Provide Content that Interacts with Users
User experience is not about plain text, it is how the user interacts with your content. Check out this interactive infographic for an idea. Content that gets the user to think, click and ultimately enjoy is what will make them come back for more. Interactive content means the user stays on your site for longer and will reduce your website bounce rate.
5 – Embed Social Content and Buttons
It is easy to embed a Tweet or a screenshot from Facebook to break up the content to make it more engaging. You can also embed Pinterest or even Flickr images to achieve the same result. Make sure to include social sharing buttons that are visible and easy to use. You can even use Facebook or Google+ comments in your site instead of the standard comments but be sure to check performance impacts.
6 – Use Images to break up Text
Engaging images are a great way to grab attention. Images can also help break a wall of text. An image can speak a 1,000 words so why not use them? Images enhance a user’s experience with the content. Here is a list of 28 free image sources in an infographic. Images can also enhance your story telling
7 – Keep Website Design and Menu Simple
KISS principle in design states – “keep it simple stupid” and this is so true when it comes to website design and menu structure.
Remember, designing a website or navigation structure is not about you rather it is about the user. Make sure the important things such as blog posts are visible and provide a search feature so users can find things that they want.
8 – Include UX in the Responsive Design
Think about UX in mobile devices. Mobile traffic is slowly overtaking traditional – wide-screen traffic. It is easy to make your site mobile friendly in various content management systems and plugins. Responsive design and loading times are now part of search engine ranking factors.
9 – Get Feedback on Site Structure and Design
Use website feedback sites to get real feedback from a user’s perspective. Sites like fivesecondtest, and criticue can help. Be aware these review sites are a give and take community; so you will have to provide feedback first.
10 – Engage with Users via Comments and Social Profiles
User experience is not limited to just the content on your site; it is also about comments, feedback and engagement. Use comments and social media to engage with your users. Customer service and branding are all part of the user’s experience.
11 – Use Multimedia in Your Content
How about using video or audio to enhance the user experience on your site? Multimedia is the future of content and they enrich the user experience. Did you know YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google? Video content can also help with lowering bounce rate as they keep the audience engaged for longer.
12 – Scrolling is Faster than Paging
Purely from a user experience point of view breaking up content into multiple pages will result in a bad experience. Don’t get me wrong, if you have bucket loads of content then by all means break them up into pages but if you just have a bunch of words and an image or two, you’d rather combine content from two or more pages. Don’t forget each time you load a page the user has to wait.
13 – Reduce Scrolling Where Possible
Just because scrolling is faster than paging, it does not mean you go overboard with it. Paging can help provide a break in the content and also the mind. The important thing is to have the right balance. Check out Neil Patel’s ultimate guides where content is broken down into pages and chapters to reduce excessive scrolling.
There is a fair amount of scrolling in Neil’s guides but he has logically broken content into pages and used scrolling to his advantage.
14 – Use Common Design Patterns
People like to innovate when it comes to design and especially web design. A button should look like a button and link should look like a link; don’t go overboard or change things on your website or blog on a daily basis. By all means be innovative and unique but also observe common design patterns and principles.
Wrapping it up
UX alone with ordinary content is not going to cut it; user experience and good content go hand in hand. UX will enhance the time a user spends on your site and gives your awesome content some much-needed time with viewers; hopefully there is a spark and a relationship can be built.
Remember improving a user’s experience is anything you can do to help the user; it could be a search box or even reducing ads – it does not have to be overly complicated or fancy. Good luck.