The reasons for having a website include to improve your online presence, generate more leads, and convert visits to sales. Having a website helps to drive traffic, create interest and earn more revenue for the business. When users are looking to buy or research, websites often give them their first impression for brands. 48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business1.
Good design is one that fills the gap between business goals and user needs. For a design to be considered successful it must be functional, easy to use and visually aesthetic.
Visiting a website can inform the buying decision of users. This was corroborated by the findings in a study carried out by Lee and Lin which stated that website design positively influences overall customer satisfaction and perceived service quality2.
Hence, not having a good user experience may cost your business. To achieve your business goals it is essential to create a website with great user experience that will keep users coming back.
Many online retailers make little mistakes in the design of their website that can significantly affect the user experience and ultimately limit conversions and reduce revenue.
“76 percent of people say the most important characteristic of a website is ease of use.” – Hubspot
The components of design include the structure, content, interaction and presentation.
The structure refers to the way information is arranged on the website. When it is hard for users to find relevant information on your website they will get frustrated and make an exit. A lot of websites try to cram too much information, call to actions on the pages which end up being counterproductive.
Understanding of visual hierarchy, arrangement of content and aesthetics is important. You have to identify the most important content of your website and place them appropriately where they are visible.
The content is the information on the page. Your aim should be to tell clients how you can add value to them through your products and services and help them achieve their goals. Your website copy should not be focused on how much your company has achieved over the years or unnecessary information. By making use of clear copywriting, product descriptions and clear call to actions the website will provide a good user experience to visitors.
Interactions refer to the way visitors can browse through the website and perform actions such as make a purchase, add to cart, find contact information or submit email address.
A bad user experience will discourage prospective buyers from making the decisions that you want them to. For instance a complicated process for checkout in an ecommerce website can easily lead to users abandoning the cart and end up not purchasing your products.
For example when your user sign up process is too cumbersome users can get frustrated and abandon your website. Another thing is making it easy for returning users to access their account when they forget their passwords.
There is also the issue of trust especially in online shopping. Users can be reluctant to provide personal information on a website, that’s why utmost effort must be put in the design for the purpose of gaining users’ trust.
Here are some tips to guide you in building a website that is user friendly and sells your business better.
Define your Goals
Before you start the project of building your website there should be clearly defined goals and objectives. The goals could be to get more sign ups, create awareness, sell more products, and build email list e.t.c.
Ensure Proper communication
Work with a professional web designer who does not just build website but understand how to build for the complexity the business. There should be adequate communication between the business and designer. The designer should understand the business, problems to be solved, goals, user behaviors and other relevant information.
Each feature included in the website should have a UX reason. Should be justifiable.
Website designer should take time to understand the business, problem to be solved and objectives of the website.
Usability tests should be carried out to determine if the website meets the needs of the users and is easy to use. People who use the services should be asked simple questions about how easy they can use the website. A/B testing is used to choose between similar content with slight variations to see which one will work better.
Identify the important information that your users need. Create a simple and easy to use site structure. Your homepage should give a clear picture of what your company does; your products and/or services. If your contact information is too hard to find, a simple way is including the contact information in the navigation bar at the top of the page.
Avoid clutter on the website, include only necessary information. Including a search feature can make it easy for users to find what they want.
To earn the trust of users, include testimonials of real life clients on the website, social media integration. Use photos of your business or staff, to enable users relate with your brand. You can even share some of your cool stories in a blog.
Optimize Website for mobile and accessibility
A good way to building a website that will impact your revenue positively is to build with the user in mind. The users are your primary target and once you can have them hooked then they can make the decisions that are beneficial to your business.
- SME Website Statistics. February 27 2014. Rareform New Media.
- Lee, G.G. and Lin, H.F. (2005) ‘Customer perceptions of e-service quality in online shopping. Journal of Electronic Commerce, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp 75 – 91.