Improve Your Website with User Experience in Mind
Posted by Rachel Hyun Kim on January 4, 2012 in Web Design [ 0 Comments ]
If your small business has a website, blog, or social media presence, then you’re certainly following the technological curve. However, there are a number of advanced tips that webmasters can use that will have an impact on their business. Many companies understand the importance of SEO and PPC, which will increase traffic to their site; however these visitors are wasted if they are led to a poorly designed site. The website is a window into the business, often the main face for small businesses. Therefore, it is important to design a website with your audience in mind.
What is User Experience?
User experience, otherwise known as UX, is the study of the interactions that a user has with a product. In general, designers who specialize in UX create websites that provide content and information with certain specifications in mind. These specifications can range from improved navigation, simplified design, or additional features. User experience is dynamic and constantly changing, and websites are often adjusted depending on the audience.
5 Tips for Improving User Experience
Small businesses can choose to either hire a skilled user experience designer or implement the changes themselves. Regardless of the method you take, there are several important tips when designing with UX in mind:
Typically when creating a foundation for web design, designers would typically use a table based layout. However, more and more websites are integrating layouts built with CSS. CSS based layouts are preferred because they improve the usability of the website and are generally compatible with various Internet browsers. Another benefit of CSS based layouts is that it uses less bandwidth; thus allowing your site to load more quickly. For more information about CSS web design, explore the resources provided by W3.org.
Before starting to make changes, it is important to understand your target audience and their preferences. Research the demographics of your audience, their search methods and how long they typically spend on a site. A website designed for children will look vastly different than a website commonly visited by B2B professionals. Make sure that your website fits your core audience before implement any drastic changes.
In general, websites should possess simple navigation, allowing users to move quickly from one link to another. One important tip is to make sure that your links are consistent, whether they take the form of a tab, picture or text link. In addition, on any given page visitors should be able to quickly move back to the homepage.
Generally websites focus on user experience in order to ensure that their visitors have a positive experience. However, it is hard to determine whether your efforts are successful if visitors are unable to comment on your site. Ensure that the site possesses a feedback mechanism that is easy to find and simple, such as a comments bar or a “contact us” page.
When it comes to user experience, there are an endless number of changes that can have an effect on a website. Even changing the color of a certain button can have a significant effect. In order to determine which is the best change for a site, webmasters can conduct several tests to measure effectiveness. A/B testing is a common test that is designed to measure and improve response rates. Through testing, webmasters and designers can ensure that their site is optimized and primed for user experience Visit ABtests.com for more great information on how to get started with A/B testing.
A successful website makes use of multiple elements such as content, accessibility, and social media. However, user experience is arguably one of the most important aspects of a website. With seamless design and easy navigation, customers can move from one page to another and have a positive experience on the company’s website.
Photo Credit: uxbooth.com