Some businesses are all me, me, me when it comes to website design. What colors do I like? What fonts are my favorites? What image do I want to be the hero? I like websites A, B and C, so that’s what I’m going to do with mine.
You might think your ideas are gold, but if you’re not designing with the user in mind, you’ve already lost. User experience dictates how delighted a visitor is when they’re interacting with your brand website. Emotions are at the heart of this. A study in Harvard Business Review shows connecting with customers on an emotional level is the most effective way to maximize value. Other important qualities of a website with great user experience include:
- Easy navigation
The quality of user experience you create for your website depends on how well you know your visitors and customers. Here’s how to improve user experience on your website and deepen customer connections.
Get to Know Your Users
Researching customer demographics will help you to determine the website’s language and aesthetics. A website for teen girls should have a very different user experience than one for men who are 55 years old and older.
Customer research also clues you in to what devices users access most websites on. Adopting a mobile-first design mindset is increasingly important. Internet usage on mobile devices has surpassed Internet usage on desktop devices worldwide. Smartphone dependency is most common among younger adults. If your website doesn’t load quickly or work properly on mobile, frustrated users will abandon your site.
Also, consider users you might have who are hearing- or site-impaired. Nearly 20 percent of Americans have some type of impairment. Transcribing videos gives hearing-impaired users the ability to learn about video content. Using alt tags for images can help those who use screen readers because they’re visually impaired. Avoid alienating colorblind users by making smart, contrasting color choices.
Make Actions Intuitive
It’s no surprise people’s attention spans today are short. The average person maintains concentration for just eight seconds. If your website doesn’t load within 2 seconds, half of people will not even give it the time of day. How to combat dwindling attention spans? Create a stimulating customer journey.
- Incite a new action with every action taken. Did someone visit your blog about a particular subject? Offer them a free trial coupon in exchange for their email. Make sure the email is relevant and helpful. Give them another piece of related content once they’re done with the trial.
- Use heat map research to enhance the customer journey. Seeing where customers are clicking helps you to optimize where they go next.
- Deliver on what you promise. Fix broken links. Make sure calls to action line up with relevant landing pages. Don’t go overboard with gatekeeping.
Get creative with copy, but make it straightforward enough where users understand what action you’re trying to get them to take.
Throughout your website, make sure some type of contact information is visible at all times. Not having prominent contact info could make your business lose out on a valuable touchpoint. Live chat or contact info on every page’s header makes you available at all times.
Surprise and Delight
Once your website is functional, reliable and usable, it’s time to give users a reason to come back again and again by making it pleasurable. Here are some ways to delight customers with every click.
- Humor them. While some brands use fear and scarcity emotional tactics, sophisticated businesses see the value in humor. Think about the surprise hit of the Dollar Shave Club debut video. What started as a viral launch video led to a $1 billion acquisition four years later. When you think about your favorite brands or the Super Bowl ads you remember the most, some of them are probably steeped in humor. Skittles, Taco Bell and Old Spice are a few examples of brands who have nailed humor in their digital marketing campaigns.
- Appeal to the senses. Websites with beautiful, compelling imagery ignite emotions and can increase the time a user gazes around your site. Integrating relevant audio can also enhance a user experience. Feedback that’s given when a user takes a specific action engages the user with your brand. Think about the blip that occurs when you receive a Facebook message, or a whoosh you might hear when you send a message through a website. Sound signals that a user interaction with your website is important.
- It’s all in the details. Website design aspects that are often afterthoughts, like the copy for a 404 page or a confirmation message, offer up more opportunities for your brand to show off its personality. Whether you want to be soothing and caring or presents a little sass, micro-moments can dictate a customer’s journey with your brand.
Given how many website choices users have and how short attention spans are, surprising and delighting throughout a functional website is a way to stand out.
Need Help Putting UX Front and Center in Website Design?
In everything we do at AlphaMind Studios, user experience is the main priority. Our custom website design is created with your visitors in mind, so that your site is useful, easy to navigate and an absolute pleasure to click around. Contact us for a free website design consultation to see how we can help.