In today’s hyper-digital reality, your website has become one of the most critical factors to your success. If you want to expand and boost your brand, then having a website is a must. However, you should keep in mind that just building a website without considering the ongoing trends and ignoring the user experience your visitors obtain will not lead you to a good place. In today’s world, change is the only constant.
So, if you want the users to be satisfied with their journey on your website, you should pay great attention to the user experience and the overall web design. In this article, we will explain what is UI/UX and provide you with 8 UX best practices you can apply to improve your website’s user experience.
What is UI Design?
You probably came across the term UI a lot. However, what does it actually stand for? The term UI refers to the user interface, which is the graphical layout of your website. Your website’s user interface consists of all buttons and elements that your visitors interact with, including the layout, calls to action, animations, and page-to-page transitions. So, shortly said, this is all about serving important elements in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
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What is UX Design?
Before discussing UX best practices, we need to understand what UX is first. It’s the next most important attribute of web design or UI/UX design. The term UX stands for user experience. The user experience of your visitors is determined by the way they interact with your website. Is the navigation responsive, logical, and easy? Are the elements created by the UI designers easy to interact with?
Thus, in short, the aim of UX is to determine the functionality, organization, and usability of your website’s interface. If all these points are satisfied, your visitors will leave your website with a good experience. Therefore, if your website is hard to navigate and causes confusion, your users may simply abandon it and never come back. So, if you want to avoid the second outcome, then you should work on improving the UX of your website. To help you in this process, we picked 8 UX design best practices you can consider to enhance your visitors’ user experience.
How to Improve Your Website’s User Experience: 8 Best Practices
Now it’s time to improve your website’s UX. To understand the “HOW,” let’s take a look at the following UX design best practices.
1. Use White Space
White space is one of the most efficient design elements with which you can pepper your website. It not only allows you to draw your visitors’ attention to the most important buttons but also makes your content more legible.
White space can increase your viewers’ attention as it makes the website look cleaner and neater. Furthermore, this is also one of the easiest methods you can apply to make your website look modern and open. Keep in mind that it is also important to find the right balance of white space and the information you want to show on the page. Too many design elements or text can make the website look cluttered and unattractive.
We simply cannot discuss white space as a design element without mentioning Apple. As shown in the picture below, Apple is a big advocate of white space. Here you can see only two call-to-action buttons: Learn More and View Pricing. When you go with the “Learn More” button, you run into another page with a lot of white space, as shown in the second picture. As you scroll down, Apple provides you with the most important elements you should know about their product without any extra information. This saves you visitors’ time and is also aesthetically pleasing. You can’t predict your consumers’ taste preferences, but you can apply this technique to come up with something neutral and less risky.
2. Optimise Your Loading Time
This is definitely one of the most important aspects and can never be enough to mention. According to Section.io, an extra five seconds of page load time can increase your website’s abandonment rate by more than 20%.
However, the loading speed of your website doesn’t only affect your bounce rate but also frustrates your visitors. So, if you don’t want your visitors to abandon your website with a bad user experience, you should consider optimising the speed of your website. Make sure that your users can easily get what they are looking for without waiting for a couple of minutes until your pages load. In the picture below, you can find the top 10 most fast-loading e-commerce websites.
Google Page Speed Insights can help you to determine the load time of every page of your website. Don’t forget to check the speed of the mobile version too, as users are using their smartphones very often nowadays.
3. UX Writing
When you think about UX design practices, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably well-designed and structured layouts. However, no matter what design elements you use, you should always have UX writing in mind.
Make sure that your content and the information you give are user-oriented and easy to digest. Don’t use complex words or too much terminology that will make your visitors search for definitions every two seconds. Users should be able to understand the content without extra effort.
Furthermore, you can combine well-written content with some visual treats such as images, emojis, and custom illustrations. Such additions won’t let your visitors get tired or bored.
A designer’s job should not only end with well-structured layouts. Do not forget about UX writing. Work in a team and demand quality material. Use the language that your users are familiar with, be user-oriented, and make sure that your contact with the user is transparent. Also, a sense of humour is suitable.
Do some research on your customer segment. Detect their age range, and see what can walk harmoniously with the concept of your brand and their preferences. Maybe some humour or cartoon illustrations. That’s something you should find out.
4. Detect Your 404s
Although search engines won’t punish or blacklist you for having 404 errors, your visitors do. When someone clicks on a link, they expect it to take them to the page they want to view. Thus, encountering a 404 error will annoy users and make them leave your website with a bad user experience. So, remember, when someone follows a specific link, the last thing they want to see is a 404 error page. Therefore, make sure that the conversion links you have included on your page actually work.
There are many tools and plugins that can help you detect broken links. You can use this one for example, or do your own research and find the best tool for your website.
5. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Mobile-friendliness is one of the key elements you should consider while building a website. First, it is crucial for your SEO; search engines, including Google, consider this factor to index your website. So, if you want to perform well on Google, mobile-friendliness is a must.
However, SEO shouldn’t be the only stimulus to create a mobile-friendly website. Did you know that mobile devices account for more than half of overall web traffic? So if you’re ignoring mobile-friendliness, then you may lose around half of your potential customers.
Does your brand provide such exclusive products or content that will make your visitors put their phones aside, grab a laptop and spend more time accessing your website? No harsh feelings, but I am not really sure about it. You probably have lots of competitors, and if users are not satisfied with the user experience on your website, they will likely turn to your competitors.
Mobile-friendliness is one of the UX design best practices. This allows your audience to access your page whenever they want without causing any extra inconveniences. I’m not saying that this approach will give your customers a WOW effect, but it will ensure that they don’t leave your site due to a terrible user experience.
What to do?
Below you can find several ways to make your website mobile-friendly.
- First of all, use the following platform to see whether your website is mobile-friendly.
- Optimise the content of your website your customers find on a desktop for mobile devices. Make sure that you provide them with the most important points which also fit their display.
- Consider placing the call-to-action buttons in the central parts of the screen. This is done to make sure that people can easily reach them with their thumbs.
6. Keep Your Website Design Consistent
By consistency, we mean matching heading sizes, colouring, fonts, buttons, illustrations, and spacing. Consistent choices will make your website’s design coherent. Sharp and unexpected design changes will cause confusion to your visitors. Besides, consistency will also help you to increase brand credibility and awareness. Your brand will become more recognizable if you use consistent design and wording on all your marketing and sales channels.
So, if “am I in the right place” isn’t the first thought you want to trigger in your visitors’ minds, then you should consider keeping your website consistent. So, make sure that your design and choices make actual sense when your users navigate between the pages.
In need of some inspiration? Elementor have put together lots of free downloadable brand boards.
7. Segment Key Information
Adding some bullet points can be yet another method to save your customers’ time. This will provide them with the most important information about your product or services. The simpler and clearer your content, the easier for users to understand and digest it.
As a piece of additional advice, you can add some icons to them to create eye-pleasing bullet points. Such creativity sparks will help to segment the key information without using the traditional method of “bullets.”
Thus, info segmentation is something you should consider. With this technique, your customers will easily access the key points they need without struggling to find them on their own.
8. Ask for Feedback
Last but not least, listen to your customers. If you want to improve your visitors’ experience, what else can be more informative and guiding than their comments? To hear them out, you can either dedicate a separate space for your users to share their thoughts about your website’s UX or create a survey. Ask them direct questions, such as “How can we improve your experience?” or “Are you satisfied with your experience?”.
Through this, you allow them to speak up and tell their honest opinions on your website. This not only creates a strong connection between you and your visitors, making them feel that you care, but it also is a great practice to get on the right track.
The experience your users obtain while interacting with your website’s interface is detrimental to your success. Do they abandon it frustrated, or do they stay on your page without encountering any significant inconveniences? These are questions you should ask yourself as a website owner.
All the effort you put into building and designing a website is to share some important information with your audience and find out about your brand and its products. If they are not satisfied with the user experience, then what was the point of creating a website in the first place?
Hopefully, these tips about how to improve your website’s user experience can help you get more satisfied website visitors and attract more of your target audience.
UI is the user interface of your website. In short, this is all about the very interaction of your visitors with your website’s specific assets. The list may range from visual design elements to conversion buttons. On the other hand, UX refers to the overall experience your users obtain while interacting with your website.
When UI design is executed well, users won’t even notice it. Only when it’s poor, users will get frustrated and be unable to navigate to what they need. There are 4 principles of good UI design:
- Place users in control of the interface;
- Make it comfortable to interact with a product;
- Reduce cognitive load; and
- Make user interfaces consistent.
Good UX design is all about creating a user-oriented website that ensures an undistracted application independently of where your users live or what’s their at-hand device.