By Tia Escobar, Senior User Experience (UX) Designer at Web.com Group
Creating a website that is easy to navigate for your customers is the key to a great user experience (UX).
A well-organized navigation bar and easy to find product and service information will help you generate more revenue.
The right website design best practices will help ensure your site appeals to customers and boosts your brand.
You could say that I have always had an eye for design. I began my career as a graphic designer, have experience managing creative teams and currently serve as the Senior User Experience (UX) designer for Web.com. Why UX? Great design matters little if people don’t have the opportunity to experience it and, in my role, I create web resources that help people make the most of their time spent online.
When consumers conduct a Google search for a business, they potentially have thousands of choices. A good user experience will help to attract people to your site, keep them there, encourage them to make a purchase and inspire them to return often. On the other hand, a bad user experience will send them running to a competitor. Based on my years of experience, I can help you enhance the UX of your website and also make it easy for your customers to find the products and services your business offers.
While every business and website is different, there are some common elements that make it easier for your customers to seamlessly navigate your site and locate the product and service solutions they need. Here are a few tips.
Your website is often the first impression a consumer will have of your business and brand and visual design is very important. Web builder templates give you a huge head start by providing you with professionally designed and customizable pages that are attention-getting, easy to follow and aesthetically pleasing. Typically, all you have to do is add your content, photos, colors and logo.
If a website is difficult to follow or complicated to navigate, the customer will quickly exit the page in search of an easier site. Your main goal is to help website visitors find what they are looking for in the most efficient way. While this may sound simple, it’s easy to get caught up in the mindset of wanting to include too much on your site and making it more complicated than it needs to be. Simple is always better.
Finding your way through your site should be fast and easy. Typically, your site should have five basic sections: home, about us, products and services, your eCommerce store and a contact us page. Of course, this is a general guide but your navigation bar should always be succinct, well organized and easy to follow. Also, it helps to have a “home” button on every page so website visitors always have a point of reference and can quickly return to the opening page of your site.
It’s human nature to start at the top of a page and work your way down when you first open a web section. Make it easy for your customers and prospects by leading with the most important information and details that your customers are looking for. How do you know? Ask them – in your social media posts, email surveys and even when they are in your store. A little customer feedback goes a long way and will greatly improve your customer UX.
Less is more when it comes to website design. Make the experience of finding and purchasing your products and services as easy as possible. When website visitors don’t have to spend time finding their way through your site, they can focus on the benefits of your products and services and clearly understand your brand advantages. Eliminating any unnecessary pages and steps in the process will make it easier for your customers and more profitable for your business.
Your website’s visual design is the face of your company and brand. Here are a few mistakes that people make when putting together their website and what you can do to keep everything on track.
Making your customers work too hard scrolling through a long list of navigation options can leave them feeling overwhelmed and confused. Today’s online shoppers have short attention spans and little patience. With this combination, it’s critical that consumers have a clear and easy path to the products and services they are looking for. Try broadening your menu bar category listings so customers can more quickly find the solutions that are right for them.
Consider your audience when labeling or categorizing pages. How does the customer refer to your products and services? Use these terms in your navigation bar and as headers with your product descriptions. You may use “insider” terms that your customers won’t understand. Don’t make the mistake of assuming your customers will know what you are referring to. Too much industry tech talk could result in an early website exit for your customers.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If they are visiting your website for the first time and know nothing about your company or industry, will they be able to find what they are looking for? When creating products and service sections of your site, be sure to test them via surveys and watch out for feedback in customer reviews. This will help you to fine-tune your product and service content to make it more helpful and customer friendly.
Now more than ever, people will be accessing your website on their smartphones and tablets. Keep this in mind with all aspects of your web design and be sure to view your website on mobile devices as you are developing it or enhancing it. Make sure the text is highly legible and that the photos and graphics load quickly. Viewing your site on a small screen should still offer your customers big benefits and be easy to navigate and follow.
As a small business owner, you want a website that provides a positive experience for your customers and prospects and makes it easy for them to find and purchase your products. With all of your responsibilities, you may not have the time or expertise to make this happen. That’s why Web.com has developed great solutions that will help you achieve your website goals with little or no experience required and for an affordable investment.
Web.com’s easy-to-use website builder features hundreds of design templates to choose from and also includes tools that make it simple to create, organize and update your site navigation, including your product and service pages and your eCommerce section. You can “drag and drop” pre-designed elements to build a site your customers will love and will help you attract more website visitors and customers.
If you are looking for more expert guidance, Web.com’s Pro Website Services will give you access to our talented team of writers and designers who will build a site for you. When you’re ready for an eCommerce section, we offer Pro Online Store Services that will result in a seamless buying experience for your customers and will help you generate more revenue.
You don’t have to be an expert website designer to provide your customers with a great online user experience. Follow these website design best practices to enhance your site and convert your visitors into loyal brand followers. I wish you all the best with your business and remember that Web.com is always here to help you make the most of your online marketing efforts.
Images: Shutterstock and Author Screenshots