Your website and User Experience.

As a business one of your key priorities will be to ensure you have a website to showcase your products or services.

While you might have all the key information contained within the website, how easy is it for users to actually USE it?

User experience is all about creating Effective Design for Real People.  In other words, it is all about ‘giving me what I expect to see’ when I get on your website.

Attractive design

Use a design that visitors will know how to interact with on your site.   The user journey is like a funnel so you need to map it out for them with visual clues of where to go to next.

Use a great font that is easy to read and a good clear background without any clutter.  Nicely laid out ideas that are easy to digest work best so break up the text.  Images that enhance and don’t take over will work better so choose wisely.  Spend some time reading and re-reading your content to ensure you have no spelling mistakes or incorrect grammar.  Better still get a fresh pair of eyes to check it out for you.

Getting around

Navigation is what will help people get around the site.  Take a look at your menu and ask yourself if it makes sense.  Don’t put every page there, be mindful of mobile users only having small screens.  Think about leaving an easy trail for users to follow to find exactly what they are looking for.  The technical term is ‘breadcrumb navigation’.   An example of this would be when using a purchasing a book, starting off in paperbacks, then going to fiction, then going to crime thrillers.  Easy to narrow it down to exactly what you want and purchase it with the final click.

I just know it

What is your site like for user experience?  Ten out of ten?  How do you know – don’t just decide it’s wonderful because you like it.  Are your decisions made on assumptions or on results of research?

It’s worth spending some time doing a little research to see how you can improve on what you already have.  First take a look at some great websites that you use and like, what are they doing right?  Have a look at others in your industry and what they have or don’t have.  You can also do some human testing, ask some friends that are not involved with the business to give your website a test drive.  They must be brutally honest with you!  Give them a task to complete a purchase or find information and then ask them how easy was it for them.   What you can learn from this experience will surely result in a better user experience on your website in future.

Good or Bad

User experience exists – it’s either good or bad.  When creating or updating your website use empathy.  Firstly, know your user and how they will search your website and secondly make it easy for them.

Always design for use by humans first then consider the search engines afterwards.  Finally, you cannot be all things to all people so aim for the 80% of core users and try make their experience fantastic.

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