When talking about what makes a good website, we often point to a good design and useful content. However, there is a component to web design and development that isn’t actively talked about at the surface level. To industry professionals, this is called UX, which stands for user experience.
What is UX?
According to Wikipedia, it is defined as:
"How a user interacts with and experiences a product, system or service. It includes a person's perceptions of utility, ease of use, and efficiency."
This is a critical and often overlooked component of web design and development. Having the most beautiful graphics and well-crafted content means nothing if it is not arranged in an easy-to-navigate manner.
Improving your UX
Our team of Designers and Developers is always focused on the user experience in all of our projects. From our cloud-based business tools to custom application development projects to sites we design for customers just like you - user experience is a critical consideration for everything.
You don’t have to be UX Designer to make sure you are providing your customers with the best experience on your website. Below are a few tips you should consider when working on your company’s website.
Have a simple and organized navigation
I know it’s tempting to immediately focus on the design of your website. However, a critical first step is to determine the purpose of your website and then creating a sitemap to map out all of the pages you need to create.
Part of the sitemap process is to determine how you will organize your pages into the website's navigation.
Your site navigation should:
- Not exceed more than 7 top-level navigation items. If you have more than 7 they should be arranged into a sub navigation beneath ‘parent’ top-level items.
- Not feature a sub-sub navigation, meaning having a dropdown menu for your dropdown menu items.
- Pick clear and simple page names so users know where to go to find the information they need.
- Make sure your navigation is easy to access and click on mobile devices. Over half the world’s web traffic is browsed on mobile after all.
Consider “above the fold” content on your home page
Every website has a purpose. Be it lead generation, sharing information, sales, etc. “Above the fold” refers to content that is seen on a web page without requiring any scrolling. The “above the fold” space on the home page is your most prime piece of real estate when it comes to hooking your customer/site visitor. When used incorrectly it is the quickest way to lose them as well.
When creating your website determine what is the ultimate goal and use this space to funnel those requests to this location. If your website exists to sell products, focus on popular items and link to pages where they can purchase them. Do you gather leads? Send them to a simple online form (we have an online form building tool for that).
Keep it simple
Nobody is more passionate about your business than you. So it goes without saying that it is tempting to give site visitors all of the information they would ever need and more.
Unless the purpose of your website is to deeply document information it is always recommended to keep the content and layout simple. The fact of the matter is these days customers want information at their fingertips as quickly as possible. If they are looking for an answer but find an overwhelming amount of text that is poorly arranged, they are likely to bounce and find that information elsewhere.
We are just scratching the surface on what can be done to provide site visitors with quality UX. However, following the above steps will get your website off to a good start so you can maximize its impact.
If you would like some professional assistance auditing your existing website’s UX, please reach out to us. We have years of industry experience on tap to help you and would love to help take your website project to the next level.