Whether you are working on a blog or a sophisticated e-commerce website, it is imperative to keep your customers first. The experience they get on your site is what will determine whether they will stay on or click away to another rate. Simply put, your website’s layout has a significant impact on the bounce rate and the level of conversion. So, what can you do to create a website that improves the experience of your visitors?
Focus on Quality and Credibility
The first thing your visitors will look at is how well designed your website is and whether it is professionally looking and with high quality content. This is what your visitors will be looking for and it is important not to disappoint them regardless of what you are offering. Your content should be readable, interesting and should enhance your credibility.
Although your web design goal is to create an impressive website, you must always remember that the sole role of your design is to enhance your content. You may have the best web design, but if your content is poor, you will end up losing your readers. Your focus should therefore be information and not the designs.
The design of your website is only to enhance the delivery of your target message. It should not be a barrier to the information you have to offer.
Design to Skim and not to Read
One thing you may have noticed even with yourself is that; before sitting back to read a long article, you go through the headings and subheadings. You simply scan through the content to see whether it will add value to your life or not. The case is the same with your visitors.
When working on your web design, design to scan and not to read. Your visitors don’t have unlimited time to read through your website. Your content should be scan-worthy if you wish to increase conversion.
To create scan-worthy content, start by ensuring that your content is not long winding. Your sentences should also be short and straight to the point. You should also use short paragraphs to make it easy for your audience to follow. In case of important points you wish for your readers to notice, highlight them.
Your content must also have headings and subheadings. If you can, add bullet-points to make it easy to read. The general rule here is to ensure that when visitors land on your page, their eyes will be directed to the important points you wish to pass forward. Your content has to grab the attention of your visitors.
Focus on User Intuition
Your audiences don’t spend a lot of time wondering why you have designed your website in a particular way. Once they land on your website, they rely on intuition to navigate your page. It is important to note that this intuition is based on past memories of using other sites.
As much as you want to create a website that stands out from the crowd, you must not veer too far from the norm. Your users will expect to find certain elements on your website such as the navigation bar and search tool. If they don’t find anything familiar, they will be confused and be forced to close your web page.
When designing for intuition, usability always comes first. You have to assume that your visitors don’t have any technical skills and only have a basic understanding of the workings of a computer and browser. Make it easy to navigate your website.
Give Your Users Control
Getting your users confused is the worst thing you can ever do when designing your website. This happens when your site is filled up with clutter. Only use the elements that you really need and be consistent in data presentation. This will help users control your website much easily.
Still on control, make sure that there are no distracting elements on your website that your visitors cannot control. For example, avoid adding distracting pop-ups and auto-play media. If you must add multimedia, give your visitors the freedom of playing the media on their own will.
Another important thing you need to do is make sure your design is consistent throughout your website. This means you should not use a completely different layout on different pages. If the search tool is on the top right side of your page, make sure it remains in the same location on all pages.
Do Not Sacrifice Function for Form
The general rule of modern web design is never to sacrifice function for form. It is obvious that your website has to look good and feel unique but your efforts should not be at the cost of functionality. Your top priority should always be your content and ease-of-use.
Your visitors want to use a website that looks good but also a platform that works even better. The functionality of your website is the most important part. Your design efforts must never impede the flow of information on your website.
Load Speed is Crucial
When it comes to customer experience, your website’s load speed plays a very important role. Nobody wants to spend minutes waiting for a page to load. If it takes more than 5 seconds for your pages to load up completely, you should consider redesigning them.
One way of ensuring a fast load speed is to reduce the clutter on your website. Don’t use too many graphics. They will bloat your website. You must also choose a hosting company carefully.
Listen to Your Users
Last but definitely not least, ask your visitors for their feedback. Know what they love most about your website and what they would want you to change. Your visitors come fast. Provide them with what they wish to see and not what you wish to see.
The above points will help you design a better website that improves customer experience. The general rule is to give utmost importance to the users when designing your site. This means you have to start every web design project by first understanding your target audience.
Jack Dawson is a professional blogger and WordPress enthusiast. He has written more than 1,000 articles across the web on WordPress including WordPress plugins for social media and he has no plan of slowing down. Visit his blog here for more information.