User experience is just as important as the visual design of your website. At the end of the day, the visitor landed on your website to find some kind of information. The job of your website should be to provide the information or the means to get to the information. It should also get rid of any obstacles that get in the way of that goal. Unfortunately, most websites on the Internet are not optimized for the user experience simply because they lack the understanding of what makes for a great user experience.
Why Does User Experience Even Matter?
User experience is more than just being helpful to the user. You want to start a blog that has a great user experience because it can translate to higher conversion rates. It can lead to more future visits which leads to long term customers. It helps websites achieve better results in certain channels like SEO and mobile. With that said, going through with a big UX redesign is not optimal for most businesses. To help you improve your site’s user experience, here are five easy things that anyone can do.
1. Use a Mobile Friendly Design
For large sites, switching to a mobile friendly design is very difficult. But small and medium sized sites will find it easy to switch to mobile friendly formats like responsive design. Responsive design is a type of design that serves an optimized version of your website for the device that’s being used. There are many free tools that you can use to build a responsive site in a step-by-step manner. There are also free templates and WordPress themes that are widely available to help you convert your existing design into a responsive one.
2. Simplify Your Navigation Menu
The next easiest way to improve your user experience is to simplify your navigation menu. The way you want to approach your navigation menu is to design it in a way that is intuitive and organized. Think of what the user would want to look for and link to the most relevant pages. Also, organize links your menu in an order that is most helpful to the user. Put your most important links in the right categories and don’t get too complex with your menu with things like double nesting. Make your navigation menu big enough to click without any problems and use text that has good readability.
3. Make Searching Easy
Make it easy for the user to find what he wants. Organize your content into different categories and let the user click on the defined categories to help his search. Put in a search bar on the top of the fold or near the top of one of your sidebars. If you have an eCommerce site with many different products, you may want to add advanced search functions like filtering which allows the user to bring up results based on specified criteria and on omitted search options.
4. Create Laser Focused Landing Pages
If you’re selling multiple product or services, you want to create a landing page for each offering. Dedicate each landing page for the specific product or service and make sure you use breadcrumb links to help users navigate back to the previous pages. This creates a system for your site that makes it easy for users to understand and use. Landing pages are also essential if the plan is to get traffic from the search engines. Anticipate the search intent for specific keywords and create an optimized landing page that addresses the intent. This can have a double benefit of attracting more search engine traffic and increasing leads/sales.
5. Cut Down On Your Loading Time
If your website takes too long to load, your visitor will get frustrated and look elsewhere to find what he’s looking for. This is especially the case today where many users are browsing your site with mobile devices. Focus on getting rid of unnecessary scripts, optimize your image sizes, use browser caching and optimize your caching. You may also want to use plugins that only displays widgets on specific pages so that they’re only displayed when necessary.
Those are a few easy ways to improve user experience. There are many other tips that are fairly straightforward like using font that has higher readability, using a layout that highlights your site’s content, making call to actions clearer with web buttons and using more white space to make your website easier on the eyes. The idea here is to start a blog or site that’s designed help the user find what he’s looking for.
To achieve that goal, you have to do more than just make small improvements. You also have to get rid of the obstacles that are getting in the way. Many websites owners turn a blind eye to these obstacles (like bad font, multimedia with long loading times, stuffy layouts, etc.) because they’re unaware of how negatively it’s affecting their website or convinced that it’s essential to their website. This is a trap you need to avoid. You have to think less about what you think the user should be presented with and focus on helping the user.