An effective website should be the perfect fusion of design, functionality and branding. A well designed website guides the user through a journey from first impression to conversion in a seamless progression, conveying a strong brand image and delivering positive user experience.
By providing a negative user experience, you are potentially turning users away from your website and minimising your conversion rate. Even if you are lucky enough to experience high volumes of traffic, your website will be falling short in its potential to convert these visits into sales.
Take a look at the following five pitfalls and make sure that your website design avoids these common user experience (UX) mistakes.
1. Your Website’s Navigation Is Confusing
Just as the information within a website should be organized in a clear hierarchy, so should the path to this information be laid out in an intuitive way that lets customers find what they want in the fewest possible clicks.
When it comes to designing a websites’ navigation, it’s key to remember that the simpler they are, the better. Navigation layouts that are cumbersome and unfamiliar to users will just make it harder for them to find what they need, causing them to give up and leave.
Stick to information architecture that comes naturally and maximizes engagement in a straightforward way.
2. Your Forms Are Complicated
The interactive elements of a website should subtly enhance functionality rather than govern it.
Forms should be laid out in a logical manner to request information in an anticipated order. Fields should be appropriately sized and not extraneous. Buttons should be clear and instructions should be included to indicate progress, required fields or any other helpful guidelines.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that creativity has no place in form design, far from it. Forms that are fun and visually appealing can be more engaging and give you an opportunity to solidify your brand personality.
3. Focusing on Products and Search Engines Rather than the Users
The cardinal sin of UX design is caring more about showcasing a product or service rather than focusing on the needs and core motivation of the end user. Taking this approach is a sure-fire way to ensure your website has a poor conversion rate. No matter how sophisticated a website looks, if it isn’t well designed with the convenience and need of the target audience in mind then it will fail to deliver any tangible results for your business.
Start by asking yourself who the audience is? What do they want? Are they in a rush? What kind of budget do they have? What are the problems they want fixed? How do they physically interact with a website? On what device will they access my website?
Answering these core questions will help you to build a website that delivers key information quickly and keeps the deeper layer of details hidden intuitively through secondary levels of navigation.
4. Your Contact Page Isn’t a Key Focus
Make sure that the contact page is accessible from every other page on your site, and it is clearly visible in the navigation. You should also decide whether to include a prominent contact link or button within the site’s header.
First and foremost when it comes to the actual design of a contact page it is important that every single means of connecting with your company on the page should be accurate and work well. While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It is also good practice to periodically double check your details and make sure that your contact form works well on all browsers and platforms.
As well as providing a quick means for a customer to send an enquiry, the contact page needs to set the client up for their future relationship with your company. The type of information requested, as well as the language used can shape their expectations and as such should reflect your brand’s personality.
As the online environment is becoming ever more crowded and competitive, websites need to pay attention to these key areas to offer visitors the best experience possible. By focusing on putting the user first, your website will deliver a high conversion rate ultimately resulting in happier clients and more sales.
For more information and tips on web design for small business visit Magicdust, a Sydney website design company.