How to UX Your Site in 4 Steps
4 UX Design Principles You NEED to Follow
There’s a lot of talk these days about user experience (UX) design as it relates to website building, and with good reason. Your website’s user experience can single-handedly make or break its ability to do the job intended for it. With that in mind, there are certain UX design best practices that all websites should follow; read on to find out whether your site conforms to them, or whether it may be time for an update.
- Less is more.
Avoid the cluttered, bells-and-whistles look common with websites 15 years ago at all costs. Make use of white space on your pages, and minimise the number of links and calls to action. Think of it this way: the fewer options you present to your visitors, the more likely they will be to follow the path that is most valuable to them, and to you.
Another huge plus point of using a more simplistic web design is that you’ll enjoy faster load times; an important benefit, considering how attention spans are growing shorter and shorter by the day.
- Design for your audience.
A website that’s geared toward middle-aged small business owners will have a very different look and feel compared to a site that is designed to engage millennial consumers between the ages of 25 and 30 – at least if you’ve built it with your specific audience in mind, that is.
While some design elements are consistent across all user groups (such as simplicity), other elements, such as tone, call-to-action, and site hierarchy benefit from customisation depending on your target audience. After all, the way you speak to millennials looking to buy a pair of headphones shouldn’t be the same as how you’d speak to a small business owner looking to purchase thousands of dollars’ worth of manufacturing equipment!
- Have a clear visual hierarchy.
Regardless of who you’re targeting, your site needs a clear design hierarchy. That means the most important elements of the user interface are highlighted in some way (via different colours, sizes, etc.), while secondary and tertiary elements are given less prominence. This is especially important as it relates to the next point, which is to…
- Provide a sense of direction on the homepage.
Users will judge your site within the first few seconds. Is it what they expected based on where they just came from? Is it easy to navigate? Did it load quickly?
For these reasons, it’s important that users know exactly what you’d like them to do when they arrive on your homepage. There should be one main header and image that captures their attention, and one, max two primary calls to action. The CTA could be to fill out a form, browse your line-up of products, contact you for a quote, or any number of other actions. In all cases though, it should be crystal clear what users should do upon landing on your homepage. If you make people guess, you’ll lose them.
If you’re noticing that your website has a high bounce rate – the percentage of people that land on your site and then leave without exploring any further – chances are your user experience has something to do with it. By following the UX basics outlined in this post, you’ll increase visitor satisfaction and help to maximise conversion rates on your website!