User Experience (UX) – Best Practices for Websites
User Experience (UX) is a critical element of designing functional and effective websites. The first requirement for an outstanding UX is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without a whole lot of fuss or hassle.
Despite the rigid academic definitions the terms User Interface (UI) and User Experience are used interchangeably. The definition of the title depends entirely on the culture of the company.
The UI/UX designer is an individual who may be responsible for strategy, organization, and execution of an interface that accomplishes the enterprise’s goals.
Sharpen the Saw
Though there is no doubt that the internet is the place to be in for all those who wish to start their business, however big or small it might be. The bad news is that the internet is becoming a highly competitive place and getting a toe-hold is becoming extremely tough and difficult.
The first requirement for an outstanding UX is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without a whole lot of fuss or hassle.
As such, there is a need to find out ways and means by which traffic to website increases and eventually results in better revenues and improved sales. However, this is easier said than done and there are quite a few things that must be taken into account, improving User Experience (UX) is of paramount importance.
Unless the website is good enough, visitors will not engage with your site for a decent period of time.
New technology can always make your website look old and obsolete. While redesigning a website might become a necessity, time and money constraints might prevent it from happening. Hence you may belong to that group of people who may not be keen on investing too much of time and money on redesigning the website.
You might rather be looking at ways and means by which you can improve UX by tweaking the existing elements on your site.
Below is a list of some proven ways by which user experience can be improved.
Make Use Of White Space
There are many website visitors who often complain of too much white space lying unused. While some bit of white space is essential for good design, too much of it might make the website look barren and dull.
Hence, you must try and ensure that the white space is well utilized. It must not be underused or overused and you must get the right mix. For example having white space around titles and texts increases the attention of the viewers by 20% and they tend to read the contents that much more frequently. Hence this is an important aspect which never must be lost sight of.
Page speed is an important point to be kept in mind when it comes to enhancing user experience. We are all today living in a world where time is a major constraint.
Hence it is important to ensure that the page speed must be optimal and waiting period must be as little as possible. It must be in line with accepted international norms and practices. You could use some good websites as a benchmark when it comes to speedy loading of the websites.
This is too important a feature to be given the miss and if done, it could damage the user experience of your website beyond repair.
Importance Of Call To Action
Customers are smart and they spend some looking at the contents and audiovisual impacts and draw a conclusion as to what is important and relevant to them. As a website designer, having the right call to action is extremely vital. It helps the user to take a call whether to spend money on the products and services based on the information and the user experience that he has gone through.
Hence a good quality call to action with a suitable action word would help your customer to not only take a buying decision but also help them to navigate easily to various parts of the website and get the information which they want. You must carefully choose the action word or words and generally it should be a very that could excite the visitors and actually take part in some action.
Importance Of Hyperlink Differentiation
The main purpose of adding a hyperlink is to try and persuade the user to click on the link. Hence this forms an important aspect of user experience (UX). There are a few things you must do to ensure that the links are easily identifiable from the rest of the text.
There are simple things which you could do. You could highlight the linked text, change the colors, or even increase to font size so that it stands out from the crowd so to say. Blue and underlined text are effective link formats, but testing of different colors and fonts could still bump your conversion rate.
The size of the link is also important. The more number of words in the link, the easier it will be identifiable. However the link text should be relevant to the search being done by the user and it should not be out of the way.
Do Not Write Big Chunks Of Text
Another great way to improve user experience is to ensure that you break up the content into sub-headings so that it becomes easily readable. Just writing big chunks of text will put off the reader and you will most certainly see the visitors leaving the site within seconds.
You also must understand the importance of bullets. They make the content readable and capture the attention of the reader, especially on specifics which are extremely important as far as the product or services are concerned.
Use Images But Ensure That They Are Wisely Used
There is no doubt that having an audio or visual content on your website certainly helps your cause in more ways than one. Images, pictures and videos “say” a lot more than text and therefore they must be used generously. However, the use of the images and pictures must be done judiciously and you must try and avoid cluttering the site with too many images, which may distract from your Call To Action (CTA).
Be Careful With 404’s
While search engines might not punish you for 404 error pages, you can be sure that in most cases users will not forgive you. If they come across 404 error pages, you can be sure that the users will just move away and the worst thing is that they will not leave any reason why they exited the site.