To know how to build a better website, it takes more (admittedly) than to simply know how to recognize one. Yet, it does take that. After all, you can’t expect to hit your target, no matter how skilled your computer programming may be, if you aren’t even aiming at bull’s eye.
Learning how to optimize website user experience (UX Design), and how to identify its most important elements, is crucial to improving your website design skills.
Here are 4 ways to do just that:
1. Catch and Hold Visitors’ Attention With Slide Shows
User engagement is a big piece of the UX pie, and one important element in that pie slice is using images to catch attention. Auto-rotating slideshows that appear as soon as visitors open up your website both catch and hold attention, far better than a static image generally can.
As a good example, check out this website slide show of a hotel. You see people enjoying themselves around a pool, gazing out a balcony window for a great view, and doing all the things you’d love to be doing yourself at a top-tier resort. Site visitors can imagine themselves already there, which is a big factor in making conversions and actually getting them there.
2. Include Customer Reviews on the Home Page
Having a separate web page for customer reviews is great, and a must-have feature of almost any website. But you also want to include statements from your customers about how wonderful your products or services were right on your home page – plus, a quick link to the full customer reviews page.
Hearing what past customers have to say about your products/services is viewed by many prospects as more credible than statements your company makes about itself. So make big hay about customer testimonials. Make them diverse, relatively short, credible, and always (of course) positive about your company.
Learn more here about customer reviews on the home page by seeing it in a real-life example.
3. Minimize Load Time
When you go overkill and pack too much data into one web page, especially the home page or a landing page, you can slow down load times and drive away impatient prospects.
There is no need to load down your site with an overabundance of ads (or maybe have any at all), and too many videos, too many “bells and whistles” can be counterproductive. They really can’t up UX via better engagement if they slow everything down to a grind.
Your pages should come partially up (at least the top fold) in one second and fully up within two seconds, under all normal circumstances. And they should load fast on all devices, including mobile ones.
4. Aim for “Intuitive” Navigation
There is plenty of room for being creative in Web design, but when it comes to navigation issues, aim for an intuitive rather than a creative structure.
Ease of use and never managing to “get lost” or “get stuck” at some point in the Website is the key. To accomplish this:
- Place your drop down menus either on the top or the left side. With top bars, put the most important entries toward the left. With left-side bars, put the important slots toward the top. People naturally read from left to right and top to bottom.
- Use short but sufficiently informative labels. For example, “Account” is too vague: “Manage Account” is clear. “Manage Your Account Here” is unnecessarily long.
- Always have the navigation bar appear on each page so people can quickly shift to another part of the website, back up a level, or hit the home button to start at the beginning again.