Alex Graham - Studio Director

As of March 2022, there were over 1.93 billion websites. With so many sites to compete with, you may ask yourself about the steps you can take that would allow your website to stand out from others in its industry. The short answer- a great user experience design.

For those new to this topic, user experience design (UXD), in short, is the way in which websites are created so that they maximise the easiness of interactions between user and site. The main purpose of doing this is to drive engagement that then leads to a key conversion. On an E-commerce site, this may be to make a purchase whilst on an informative site, the conversion could be to fill out a form.

You may ask, why is UXD so important and does it play a vital role in my business? The answer is absolutely. A study found that 74% of visitors are likely to come back to your site if has a good mobile UXD. On the other hand, 48% of users get frustrated when a website is not responsive on a mobile device.

There are very simple steps that a business can take to maximise success with their UXD…

Declutter

We’ve all been on websites that are flooded with different text fonts, images and colours and the chances are, we clicked straight back out. It’s important to remember that we, as consumers, have very strict criteria when deciding if a website is trustworthy and a large part of that is its visual appeal. It was found by Kinesinc (a world renowned B2B marketing firm) that 75% of people form their opinion on websites purely by their design and aesthetic and this opinion is negative if the user feels the site has a general ‘messy’ theme.

There are many ways that sites can be decluttered but arguably, the most important tip is ensuring that information is displayed in easy to navigate pages that are easily recognised by the user. For example, If a button says ‘My Account’ then that page should only include relevant information about the users account. Any additional information that you may wish to include but perhaps doesn’t require its own page can be stored at the bottom. For example, business opening hours, telephone number, directions etc.

There is also a functional benefit to having clear pages on your site. From an analytical point of view, it allows you to track your customer behaviour flow so that you can see which elements of your site are the most visited. The impact this has is it facilitates gaining a better understanding of your consumers wants and needs which, eventually, can inform your marketing strategy later.

Ensure a quick load speed

Loading speed is massively important in UXD. As consumers, we are impatient, we are so used to clicking on links and expecting instantaneous satisfaction and when this does not happen, we become frustrated and usually click back out. Google found that, on average, it takes 7 whole seconds for a landing page to load however shockingly, if a page takes even more than a second to load, the bounce rate can go as high as 123% which does no favours to sites organic search rankings.

Functional steps to take when trying to minimise site loading speed are minimising HTTP requests (this also links in with the idea of decluttering a site), a large majority of site speed is used when trying to load files, images and videos therefore if they do not serve a specific purpose then it is advised they be removed. More technical aspects to improving site speed are minifying and combining files (this can be an especially useful tactic if your site is hosted on a template builder website such as Wix or Wordpress) and reducing server response time.

Optimise for both desktop and mobile

Statista published a report that showed that 56% of organic traffic is gained through a mobile device thus highlighting the importance for optimisation in both formats. Furthermore, global management consultancy firm McKinsey’s research showed that their user experience feedback was much more positive when fully optimised for mobile usage.

So how do you do this? Well, it is quite simple. On a template builder website, you can switch between mobile and desktop view and make the relevant changes. For other sites, you can test your site mobile friendliness by using Google’s free tool – Which you can find here. Once this has been determined there are several steps that can be taken including choosing the right host for your site- this is foundationally important as if this doesn’t give you the resources you require then all work after that is wasted. You can also improve your sites speed (this plays a big part In the mobile friendly world), optimise your pop up ads for mobile devices and finally, if resources allow, you can create an app (this creates superior performance as apps are written in programming native to mobile devices- Swift for iOS and Java for Android).

On average, only 1% of consumers say online stores meet their full expectations every time. This really shows that UXD is a constant learning curve and new ways to improve will continue to evolve. It is important as business’ that we continue to stay on top of the latest methods to providing good UXD to our consumer bases.