It’s hard to get visitors to your website. If they find your website hard to use, dull, or confusing then they’ll just disappear, more than likely never to reappear. User research outfit Nielsen Norman Group have shown that most users stick around less than 59 seconds. So failing to grab the user’s attention in less than a minute means you’ve probably lost them. Good User Experience (UX) gives you a fighting chance to hold their attention just long enough to get your message across, as well as making their trip to your website a positive one. Let’s look at what the important factors are here and what bearing they have on your success in achieving your goals for your website.
What does good UX look like?
As you’d expect, first impressions are important. Your landing page (most often your homepage) is a key factor in drawing visitors in. Clean, clear and clever are the order of the day. Use of wacky fonts (comic sans anyone?) is a no-no. The most critical content must be the first thing they see and that content must be on point.
If you get all that right then your visitor may well start to invest their time in noticing your design. Easy to look at and a clean, crisp, approach to design will pay off (and please, no auto loading sound clips). Top this off with quick loading times and you may just find your new visitor begins to want to investigate navigation. Descriptive, less than seven items (usability studies bear this out), keep it standard (no placing in weird places on the page) and lastly, consider a menu-less design (all the items on the page in plain sight).
That’s a lot to take in, so let’s look at some practical examples.
OK, a small site you might not have heard of. Let’s face it, nearly every netizen has visited Amazon at some point. Key elements of their fantastic UX are
- Easy to find their search facility. Results are easy to read and the key information is well placed
- There is a massive amount of information on this site. However it remains clean, clear and uncluttered to browse
- The things you want most often are presented to you without you having to hunt for them
- Check out is fast and simple
No surprise that the kings of good design make their site a great place to visit.
- Menu-less navigation. If apple can do it, so can you.
- Super clean page design. Whatever you’re looking for is likely to be on that first page and only a single click away
- Buying something? Simple step-by-step stages seamlessly lead you to your final payment.
What does this tell us about good UX?
The takeaway message from this is “Don’t make your visitors work at finding what they are after”. That means don’t make them puzzle over the design, wonder at what you mean with the content or get frustrated at not being able to find what they are looking for.
How can you tell if your UX is turning away visitors? Failure to adhere to good UX practices will see a high bounce rate, low conversion, poor social engagement and disappointing online sales.
You’ll understand why I make good UX an important element to all the sites I get involved in. If you’re wondering if the UX of your site is holding you back, get in touch and I’d be happy to help.