What is User Experience?
User experience (UX) is a term used to describe a person’s feeling towards a system that they are in connection with at that current time. This could be a website, an app or even a software. The general principle is to ensure that your designs are created in a specific way that promotes user friendly content that enhances their experience.
Websites overtime have become much more complex as our world continues to advance and change. One of the biggest changes that has been prominent is the incorporation of rich content, imagery and stimulating add-ons to websites. There are thousands of plug-ins to choose from on WordPress which are all designed to ensure the best user experience with better and innovating ways to present information.
What’s the big deal?
All website owners want to ensure that they are receiving a significant amount of traffic coming in without many drop-offs. This is why there is a huge demand for creating user-centred designs. However, web designers that have been in the industry for a long time will know that the way in which we build websites now is a whole lot different compared to a few years ago. There were only two justifications used to back-up the design; create what we think looks great and what our client expects. Little thought went into thinking what thoughts and feeling the audience would have.
This is why now many web designers and clients themselves take a more user-centred approach and discuss the overall process of the site and how it needs to work in order to provide a satisfactory UX. Below you will find some tips and factors which we have picked up ourselves over the years and have also researched to help you understand the importance of user experience and how to enhance it.
Page loading time
A crucial factor which will determine whether users will even make it to your site is your page loading time. The longer it is taking to direct your user to your website the less likely they are to sit and wait around for that to happen. This means that you need to ensure that all content present on the site is optimised and regularly updated. Ignoring this could leave you with some long-lasting consequences i.e. users that experience a prolonged delay entering your website may never try coming back.
Things that can help speed up you page loading time are:
- Optimising images
- Minifying code (Java Script & CSS)
- Deleting plug-ins that are no longer being used
- Updating your website regularly
Minimalism and simplicity is not industry specific and in fact has become much more trendy and versatile over the years. Not only does a minimalistic web design reduce your page loading time but it also means that the space on the site is less cluttered and easier to read, grabbing user attention.
People love content! They are not there just for the pretty pictures, they want to get to know you and what you have to say. Minimal websites remove distractions that could potentially prevent users from wanting to read your content as it may be getting lost in the design. It makes the website feel more modern and open with plenty of breathing space.
Simple websites offer more engagement with calls to action as they appear much more compelling. Headings and titles also give the impression of being much more clear and concise so users know exactly what they are looking at. In fact, text and titles that have white space around them increase user attention by 20% (HubSpot).
Calls to action & hyperlinks
Visual cues are one of the most effective tactics to prompt users to interact with your website. One of the best ways to encourage users to interact with your website is through using calls to actions (CTAs). These can be presented through attractive button designs which can consist of one or two words that make it easier for users to navigate through the website without needing them to locate it. CTAs need to feature trigger words that excite the user and encourage them to interact with it. Therefore when you are creating these CTAs you need to ensure that they are bold, attractive and provoke the user to click on it.
This follows on to using hyperlinks on your website. There are two main types of hyperlinks which are internal and external. Your internal links consist of URLs that direct users to a page of section that is present on your website. External links to refer to URLs that are not present on your website and instead take you to a different website. These are great to quickly direct users to the relevant sources and pages which also makes their experience much more simple and less time-consuming as the information is all linked to the relevant places.
Be Responsive & mobile friendly
As technology continues to change and innovate we need to ensure that our websites keep up with that and different devices to ensure that user experience is maintained at a sufficient level.
Recently it has become more apparent that there is a need for optimisation for mobile devices as Google has been seen penalising websites that are not responsive/mobile-friendly. Statistics from last year show that in 2019 52.2% of traffic was coming from mobile devices and this figure only continues to grow as the years go on (BroadBand Search). This means that it is most likely that the majority of your traffic is coming from users that are on mobile devices which highlights the importance of creating mobile-friendly websites.
Create exciting user experience!
User experience (UX) is a major component of creating a website that keeps visitors coming back for more. Get in touch for more info!
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