We all know how important your website is. A website can either help or hinder business success. You should be considering your user experience, and maximising it to ensure your website is working at its best to bring you business leads, conversions and sales.
What is user experience? In its simplest definition, user experience defines how pleasant or easy a person finds your website to use. And while this sounds simple, it certainly isn’t as straightforward as you may think! We’ve put together a little checklist of some key user-experience design faults that could hinder the ease of your website use.
- Page Balance
Your pages should have a good balance of text and images. On your home page, can your viewers begin reading text before the fold? Have you used Inkspots? Do the text and images work together?
Pages should be clean and uncluttered – including the background. Clean backgrounds allow your viewers to pay attention only to what matters on the page – text and images.
- Easy Navigation
Have you made it easy for visitors to find their way around? Does your menu call out the most important pages? Do the labels you have used make sense? We’ve all visited websites with poor navigation. That frustrating feeling where you don’t know how to get to the page you want, can’t find the menu, the drop-down doesn’t work etc, etc. Make sure your website is easy to navigate.
Font, along with your colours will form part of your Style Guide. And if your style includes highly cursive writing that is not easily read, you’ll need to look at choosing a different font for online use. In addition, use text blocks to break up large areas of text (although, try not to use large blocks of text!), and keep paragraphs short and sweet.
Horizontal scrolling is a big NO! If you have to scroll horizontally on your website, fix it – immediately! Expecting people to scroll up and down is fine – just don’t make them scroll left to right. This hinders useability and will increase the number of viewers that drop off your website very quickly.
- Load Quickly
Finally, make sure your website loads quickly. No one wants to sit looking at a white screen waiting for the website to load. Remember, Flash does take time to load, so look at other options to create the look you want without slowing down the speed of your site loading. It’s easy to test the user experience of your website (although you will need to have an objective and unbiased hat on). Visit your website as if you were a customer. Think about what they would be looking for, and what they need from your site. Is it easy for them to find? At what point (if it wasn’t your website) would you have closed the page and searched for a competitor? Get another opinion by asking friends or family members to do the same. Remember, there is no point in having a website that frustrates customers through bad user experience. You won’t only lose the customer, you’ll also leave a bad taste in their mouths and they’re unlikely to do business with you again. Do your best to assess and re-design your website to meet your customer’s user expectations. If you need assistance optimizing your website, or if you’re not sure whether your website is working for you, contact us for a chat. We’re happy to discuss your business goals and provide an assessment of your website with recommendations on how it could be improved.