Mercy Livingstone, World Executives Digest | With all of the online users that take advantage of the multiple websites and social media platforms that are available to millions of people every day, there are still some similarities that many users expect as a map site to site; particularly as it relates to the web design and the layout as well as the user’s overall web experience.
Most users are expecting to experience some basic commonalities regardless of what site they are visiting. And when these common items are not present on a particular web site, (mainly as it relates to usability and the overall user-friendliness of the site) users may likely move on to the next one.
Planning In Advance and Forethought
The time to think about functionality, ease-of-use and adding components that will improve the customer’s experience is during the web designing process, not after the site has already been built.
Having a website properly designed should be done during the development stages and as early on during this process as possible, as is critical for capturing and maintaining customers. Especially when considering the fact that we all have only one time to make a good first impression. The same is true with developing a website. Once a web user discovers that your site functions poorly or that it just does not have that ease-of-use that they were expecting, they may leave and never return again. In an effort to prevent this from happening, we’ve developed a list of five ways that can be used during the web designing process to improve the user’s experience and increase customer retention.
1. It Must be Fully Functional and Easily Accessible
Having a website that is accessible is one of the primary aspects of a customer having a good user experience. If the site cannot be assessed for whatever reason, then the site owner has missed out on an opportunity to meet the need of the user was attempting to visit the site.
To that end, if the site is loaded with broken links, videos that do not operate properly, loading and server uptime issues, and the inability to respond to different screen sizes, not only does this frustrate your user, but it also wastes their time and diminishes their trust. They now view you and your company as the site not to visit in the future because of these challenges. This is a horrible reputation to develop, as having a web presence is now the lifeblood of any business.
2. It Must Have An Easy To Follow Clutter-Free Appearance
Websites should always be easy to read and have clear and concise eye-catching images and messages. The appearance of the site should make it easy for users to know what to do next. It should provide a logical order in which users should flow with the intent of solving their problems or answering their questions. Users should not wonder if they’ve arrived to the right site because the content on is inconsistent with either the domain name or other advertisements that led users to your site in the first place.
A website should have an up-to-date modern design and should offer parallax scrolling that allows users to overlay certain areas with visual components that appear on the webpage.
Remember, the images are designed to not only break up the text that appears on your site, but also to allow users to quickly obtain the messages being sent by the visuals just by glancing at your site.
3. Clarity and Guidance
Visitors should not be unsure about whether your site can provide them with the answers they are looking for, but it should be simplistic, provide clarity and is easy to follow. It should maintain a certain level of consistency throughout the entire site and provide some form of guidance by letting users know what your site offers and where to find it.
During this process, there should also be a way for users to interact with you by receiving some form of direct feedback as an indicator of their success or failure in their attempt to interact with your site.
4. Overall Ease-of-Use
Overall, your website should be designed so that it is easy for users to know how to use your site. For example, if the site promises additional information, how to guides or other information that allows users to learn more about a particular subject area, then the site should be well designed with easy-to-use interfaces that do not require the need for excessive instructions or difficult procedures that the user has to figure out.
5. Social Proof
Nothing eases site users mind like testimonial (or other forms of social proof.) This increases the trust tremendously and helps users feel comfortable about moving forward with your company and your brand.
Not only are testimonials a great way to provide social proof but providing information about your company to include the staff and their track record also builds immediate credibility and trust.
Part of having a well-designed site is to make it inviting for the user so that they feel like they’re at a safe place and interacting with a well-trusted company.
To sum up, websites that are planned out far in advance and have a lot of forethought put into them are the ones that provide the greatest user experience. When research is performed, and an assessment of the standard, common components that are found within your industry are present on your site, users will feel like they’re in the right place and that your company is as competitive as other companies within in your industry.
When sites also provide a mixture of things that are relatable to your users, this also improves the customer’s user experience and makes them feel more comfortable. This could include things such as images of the owners or staff members, or stories that let users know that your company is comprised of real human beings that can address real life, day-to-day problems, and solutions that are relatable to the users. Being relatable is a major part of the web planning and designing process that can help improve the customer’s overall user experience.
Mercy is a one-of-a-kind Marketing Manager for Dot Com Infoway, holding more than eight years of experience in Digital Marketing. Dot Com Infoway’s a multinational web development & digital marketing agency with undisputed expertise among various web and mobile solutions, catering to your business needs.