User experience (UX) is quickly becoming the priority of every aspect of digital marketing. Thanks to the oversaturation of options available to users online, companies are growing increasingly user-centric to ensure sales and brand loyalty. Your product may be available from another seller at a lower price, but if you can offer a better UX, the chances are high that a customer will be willing to pay that extra amount for the added convenience, security, and support.
UX is so important that it has become the cornerstone of web design. Professional Portland web design companies closely study trends in user behavior and preferences to better design websites optimized for conversion and prime UX. For companies facing difficulty getting conversions and leads through their site, maybe you’re just not taking your users’ needs into account. This article discusses how you can improve your site design by keeping several UX principles in mind.
Essential UX principles for web design
When creating and optimizing their brand’s website, business owners often focus too much on pleasing search engine bots instead of their users. Remember that your goal is to build engagements and lasting relationships with your human audience, which is why you should prioritize giving them a pleasant browsing experience.
We asked Portland web design for advice on the best UX principles when building a website, and here is their response.
1.Apply for adequate security
Website security is of utmost importance to your users, especially if you seek to collect sensitive information like their names, email addresses, credit card information, etc. It’s also important to prevent the spread of malware. If your site is full of suspicious ads and pop-ups, it will not only inconvenience your user and discourage them from patronizing your business, but it will give you a negative reputation. Poor security could also lead to search engines blocking your site from their platforms, negatively impacting your site traffic.
Improve website security by ensuring your software and plugins are updated, adding HTTPS and SSL certificates, using a secure web host, applying for a web application firewall, and keeping the passwords to your content management systems private
2.Increase site loading speed
Studies show that over 40% of visitors abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load. Ensure that user browsing isn’t interrupted by slow-loading pages—use site auditing tools to determine if any pages exceed the optimal loading time. There are various reasons for slow loading, including uncompressed images, Flash content, unused scripts, unoptimized code, poor web host service, etc. If you’re still encountering trouble even after going through your site, there are multiple free tutorials online that offer advanced assistance in improving site loading speed.
3.Be mindful of user convenience
You may be designing your website in a way that adds inconvenience to the user. Users dread things like horizontal scroll since mouse wheels and trackpads only scroll vertically by default. Avoid such design features, along with messy and inconsistent layouts, illegible font choice. Instead, add more features like a search bar, filtering, and sorting options. Organize your content using broad categories to assist users in finding articles relevant to their interests.
Over 61 million adults live with a disability in the US, which means, if your site isn’t accessible to PWDs, you’d be alienating a considerable number of people who may be interested in your content, product, or service. To start, you may want to consider doing the following:
- Including transcripts or closed captions on video or podcasts
- Using alt text on images
- Allowing for text resizing and recoloring
- Using adequate spacing between text
- Avoid flashing, blinking, automatically playing videos, audios, or other distracting features
There are many other ways you can make your site more accessible. Resources like Chapter 5 of the ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Government and W3’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) exist to help business owners take concrete steps in making their website more accessible to people with various disabilities. Read up on them to determine what else you can do.
5.Use colors wisely
Colors can be a great way to lead a user’s eye. Use bright colors to highlight important things like in-text links or buttons that encourage conversion, like the Buy Now or Add to Cart function. Don’t use too many colors as this can be garish and unsightly. Use colors that are consistent with your branding. If a specific shade of red is prevalent in your logo, try to use that shade for most of your site elements. Use complementary colors for a more pleasant viewing experience
People will access your site through multiple browsers and devices, and you must guarantee that your site is functioning well regardless of what your visitor uses. You could even build a mobile version of your site for a better experience for mobile users. Patronizing mobile users specifically is important due to the increasing rate of mobile device usage versus desktop. Consider that browsing on a mobile device offers new challenges that desktop users don’t have. For one, desktop users benefit from a precise cursor, while mobile users only use their fingers, which means if your buttons or links are too close to each other, the user might mistakenly click the wrong one. For mobile websites, you might want to space out your links or buttons to decrease the chance of this happening.
Your primary concern should be how to better serve your customers, so any major decision should keep your users in mind as a business. Anytime you change your website, gather user response by asking for their feedback directly or monitoring analytics like click-through rate or bounce rate. The better you listen and cater to your users, the more likely they’ll stay loyal to you. For those who want to further improve their site’s UX, you can partner with a Portland web design agency that has all the technical expertise you’ll need. Besides web design and development services, they also offer consultations and tech support for brands struggling to connect with users through their website.