Blog > 8 User Experience Tips to Improve Your Website
Posted By Create
Chances are that you've probably heard the term “User Experience” thrown around in the context of web design. But what is User Experience and why does it matter?
User Experience, or UX, is concerned with the emotions, habits, attitudes and behaviours of people using a particular product and has basis in Psychology, Graphic Design, Computer Science and Marketing. The ultimate goal of UX is to deliver a stunning experience to your users by offering a product or service that is easy, efficient and overall delightful to use. After all, as web users ourselves, isn't that what we all want?
At Create we’re focused on delivering a great user experience with our products, something which involves hours of user testing and even more of project planning. But did you know there are many steps you can take to improve the UX of your own site? In this article we’ll share some UX tips that you can use to wow your customers.
1. Keep Your Site's Design Simple
Research has found that too much text badly laid out can cause major confusion for users, but what strategies can we use to combat this? White space (or negative space) refers to the empty space around your page content which can be used to keep things clear and guide your users' eye to the content that matter. Visual content is also important and is more effective at engaging users than text alone.
A user's impression of a site is made within 50 milliseconds of them viewing a homepage, so using white space and visual content can reduce the noise and help them form that impression.
What can you do to make your pages clearer?
Leaving spaces around images, having appropriate spacing between text content and utilising margins can all aid with this. This can be coupled with images and visual content to really capture your customers' attention.
Our Pagebuilder tool is a great way of organising site content for optimal readability and can help you strategically lay out your content without worrying about pesky tables.
2. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency Across Your Site
One of the cornerstones of User Experience is consistency. Consistency helps users to see patterns in your site and allows them to browse and navigate without having to think too much. Inconsistencies in your site can lead to confusion and frustration.
How can you keep things consistent?
Stick with the same layout across your site - don't have a side column on some pages and not others; don't change font from page to page.
With over 50% of global ecommerce transactions being completed on mobile devices, consistency should be across platforms too. Using a responsive template is the best way of ensuring your content is uniform and easily accessible no matter which device it is being viewed on.
3. Use Persuasive Design
Social proof is the psychological principle of looking to others for validation and can be seen in every day life. People are more likely to do something if they see others around them doing it. Adding this form of persuasion into your design is a great way of encouraging users to repeat behaviours you want to see - such as making purchases.
How can you build social proof into your site?
Product ratings are a great way of providing social proof to customers. They offer reassurance by not only showing that others are purchasing products, but they're rating them highly too! Our Shop Builder Pro and Shop Builder Advanced packages all have product ratings as standard - just see our guide, everyone else is doing it ;)
4. Present Site Products Prominently
If you're in the business of selling products, these should be as clear as possible. This not only helps customers find them quickly, but visually communicates what your site has to offer.
How can you make the most of products?
Consider featuring best sellers and new products on your homepage so that they can be found easily and your users don't have to go searching for them, all the while helping communicate your shop content. Our Promotional Product Slider is a great way to show this and can link directly to your products.
Within your categories, large images will show off your products. You can toggle the size of your product images easily in your account.
And don't forget to use high quality images. The quality of these can influence your customers.
5. Use Clear Labelling for Your Site's Products
Taxonomy is the science of classification and names and is incredibly important for your user experience, especially in your site's navigation. It is important to keep these labels simple and familiar. Straying from conventions increases your customer's "cognitive load" and these extra milliseconds can lead to frustration and even leaving your site!
How can you label clearly?
Stick with typical conventions as these are likely to already be known to your customer. Call your main page "home" or "homepage" and your shop a "shop." Use page titles to always let your customers know where they are on your site. This way they are never confused as to where they are or where they're going.
When it comes to your shop category and product names, make sure you speak your customers' language - use terms that are best for them, not necessarily best for you.
6. Increase Shareability Through Social Media
Making content shareable is increasingly important, especially on visual social networks such as Pinterest. It adds the opportunity for additional engagement on your site and can bring even more customers to your products.
How do you make your content shareable?
Adding a Pinterest "Pin It Button" to your site is perhaps the easiest way of making your content more social.
7. Make It Easy For Site Visitors to Contact You
In addition to being a requirement of distance selling, displaying your business information and an option to contact you is fundamentally important for building trust with your customers. Though it's rare, the reassurance that should a problem arise they can talk to a real person to resolve them will immediately put potential customers' minds at rest.
How can you build trust?
Simply setting up a contact page is a great place to start, and making this accessible from your primary navigation. Also be sure to add your business address to your site, perhaps on a terms and conditions page.
8. Do Some User Testing
So you’ve followed these tips and your site is really usable, but you’re still not sure how your customers will interact with it. One of the UX Designer’s greatest tools is research which allows them to identify potential issues and make improvements to greatly enhance their site.
There are a number of different techniques you can use, but the easiest is "guerrilla testing" where you sit a friend, family member, or even a stranger in front of your site and watch how they interact with it.
How can you begin user testing?
Once you've found a willing user, have them look at your site. Perhaps you show them your homepage and see if they can tell what your business does. Maybe you ask them to find a specific product and go through the checkout process. Do they encounter any problems doing this? Ask them what they liked and, more interestingly, what they found difficult. This is the litmus test for your shop and can help iron out any issues.
With everything in place, your users should have no trouble finding their way around - something which will extend to your actual users.