In the world we live in today, as soon as you think of something you Google it. A coffee shop near you, where to print the flyers for your latest project, where to take your puppy for a bath, where to gym … any information you need is just a few clicks away. Furthermore, we live in a world cluttered with brands … the experience your brand provides exceeds your product. It is important to realise that your brand does not only sell a product or service, it sells an experience. Therefore as an extension of your brand, your website needs to provide your users with an experience beyond basic functionality. Because the truth of the matter is that if a potential customer clicks on your site and has trouble using it because it is outdated and complicated, they will simply click back and visit the website of the next company on the Google results page and find what they are looking for.
Here are just a few things that may do damage to the user experience of your website:
Humans have been conditioned to expect certain results from certain actions. For example, when they click on a button with a little house icon, the expect to reach your homepage. So even if you have a real-estate business, and it seems logical that a house icon may link to your property listings, this is not how your customer has been trained … and they will be frustrated if your navigation does not feel intuitive to them. Thus it may be best to keep to the basics when it comes to your navigation, use familiar and descriptive page titles, recognisable icon designs and logical placement. Lastly, make sure your site has no dead-ends, that you will be able to navigate to anywhere without reaching a point where you have no idea how to get back.
Overly busy, carnival-style page design
When it comes to the design of your website, it is helpful to approach it with a less-is-more mindset. Although some design elements may be impressive, it can distract the user from the information on your site. Stylistic choices within the design i.e. colours, fonts, lines, icons should always enhance the information on your site rather than distract the user away from it.
Jargon-riddled, inwardly focused content
When you are putting together the information for your website, you should be careful of making the user feel excluded from your brand, by using too complicated industry-related terms. It is easy to get carried away when you are passionate about your product or service, just always keep in mind that the content should be understood by all users, regardless of their level of knowledge. On the other hand, when adjusting your text to all users, be careful of talking down to your customers, make sure they feel like they want to know more from you, and be part of your brand.
Limited ability to interact
Remember that although your website isn’t human, your customers sure are. Humans have the desire to experience meaningful interactions, albeit with other humans, or with their new car. The best chance you have of leaving an impression on a potential customer, is by providing them with a meaningful, interactive experience. There are many plug-ins created to enhance your website’s interactivity, i.e. extensive contact forms, comment forms, social media feeds etc.
No credibility statements
Because almost everything and everybody has a website nowadays, people tend to be skeptical of products and services they find online. If your brand is not yet established enough that users will recognise your name before they even open your website, it is useful to include credibility statements such as BBB Approved or Established 1975.
Slow page loading
Lastly, there can be nothing more frustrating than a page that takes forever to load. Make sure that your website is fast and responsive, there are various ways of speeding up your website i.e. make sure the images on your site are exported correctly, and that the content that can be responsive is added as text and not images.
These are just a few things to take into consideration when creating your website.