Web Design: 6 Ways To Improve User Experience And Engagement
When you invest in a responsive website design, its optimization, hosting, and maintenance, naturally you want it to work for you. You want your website to impress visitors with its elegant design and riveting content and provide them efficiently with the information they are seeking so that they are encouraged to visit again.
But a survey by SODA reports 80% of company websites offer terrible user experience. Reasons varied from slow page speed, cluttered architecture, lack of vital contact information, and unresponsive on different devices.
What do users want from a website?
To understand how you can improve your website’s user experience and engagement, you first need to understand what users expect from a good website and what turns them off.
A Hubspot survey on user expectations from a website found the following:
- 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.
- Cluttered layout is a major no-no for a website. Use of white space can increase user retention and attention by up to 20%.
- 74% people are likely to return to a website that renders well on all screen sizes.
- Simple and familiar information architecture in a website is judged positively by nearly 50% visitors.
- 86% people want product and services information on the home page itself.
- 44% of people will leave a website if there’s no contact information or phone number.
- Use visitor surveys and tools such as heatmaps, Hotjars, and Crazyegg to evaluate your website’s user experience. If any of the above issue plague your website, use the tips below to improve its user experience.
Speed up page load
Google PageSpeed Insight and Pingdom can measure your website’s speed and identify the elements responsible. Consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that stores content closer to a user’s physical location. Save bandwidth by changing your image type and resolution.
Picturefill and Adaptive Images are two tools that help you experiment here. Use browser caching that promptly serves the last viewed version of your website to visitors unless any changes have occurred since.
Make your website design responsive
One of the most frustrating experience for users is when a website looks skewed or minuscule on a mobile device and they have to use their fingers to expand. Use Google Analytics to find out how many people are accessing your website through mobile devices and then invest in a responsive design. A mobile-friendly website is also favored by Google that ranks such websites higher.
Unclutter the layout
Look at your website with an objective eye. Is there too much information vying for attention and distracting you?
An unattractive layout is a prime reason for users to reject a website. Use white space generously.
Organize walls of text into readable paragraphs, bullet points, and infographics. Generous use of images and videos will not only make your website attractive but also engage visitors far longer than just plain text.
Include vital details on home page
Your home page should have all the main menus- about us, services/products, and contact information. People usually like to read about a company and browse through its catalog before they register or sign up.
They also trust a website more if thorough contact information (contact person’s name, credentials, picture, phone number, and email address) are clearly spelled out on the Contact Us page. Websites that have visitors fill out a lengthy query form on the Contact Us page imply they don’t trust people with their information and will invite similar reciprocal attitude.
Place prominent calls to action
Give visual cues to people when you want them to navigate to a particular page by placing attractive buttons or hyperlinking text. This vital element can guide new users to the contact page or register page that gathers their valuable contact information, converting them into leads.
Use bold, actionable words on buttons and different colors or font style for hyperlinks to make them stand out.
Craft descriptive, relevant headings
Best practices for writing effective headings include using descriptive phrases that convey the summary of a page. Match the page heading with its content so that it gets indexed accurately by search engines and also satisfies readers.