Ever stumbled upon a website with good article content but with a design that doesn’t really make visual sense and hardly makes you read it?
Don’t fret about it – this happens more often than you think.
Many content writers are spending valuable time and effort to conduct their research and consistently produce great useful articles. But what if the speed of opening the article page is sluggish? What if the article is not mobile accessible? Subsequently, great content is killed by bad UX (User Experience).
UX is a multi-process approach that attempts to detect the actual expression of feelings, and perception of the user when using a product or service. It covers fundamental disciplines such as visual design, information architecture, content strategy, interaction design, usability and user research.
There are plenty ways improving UX on a website or personal blog can benefit your brand goals, from refining content structure to making a site more visually attractive.
1. Add the Right Pick-up Lines
Having the right headline is perhaps more significant than writing good content. On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the article copy.
Even if you have an eye-catching banner ad that takes the user to your content page, if the user doesn’t click the main headline, all the time and energy you and your team have spent on research and writing would end up to complete waste, meaning you’ve lost a potential conversion.
Some good practices that improve the effectiveness of subheadlines:
- Keep them simple, clear and straightforward
- Use numbers – a trigger to get your readers to pay attention to your content.
- Make them more contagious by posing them as questions.
- Ensure that they are identical with the main headline of content.
- Maintain normal length up to 8 words and no more than 62 characters.
- Include key search terms for better SEO.
After all, headings should encourage readers finding articles more easily and quickly, hence making your website experience more user-friendly.
2. Add Authentic Images
True fact: People process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
This means that within a millisecond, 50% of all your reader’s traffic choose to trust you based on what they visually see, and not what the content actually talks about.
Even though, stock photos are great for presentations and mockups, when it comes to user experience they become more cliché. While it looks cost-effective and professional to use stock photos for making websites more visually attractive, especially if you’re running an ad agency, it is recommended to avoid them. Why? Because people no longer tend to navigate a website – they prefer to experience it.
Giving your images an authentic, human touch, can leverage emotional triggers that boost your website’s user experience and get you to engage one step ahead with your target audience.
3. Mix & Match Content Techniques
When it comes to UX design, it’s quite important to know if your content is readable enough. The last thing you need is for well-written article posts to turn into as gloomy and tedious. While good headings and pick-up lines help to engage with audience, visual attraction plays also a principle role.
Visual attraction isn’t only about placing nice photos to your website, but also involves contrast and formatting structure of the context itself. Great typography brings better communication of the content intention.
That said, it is suggested to use few mix & match techniques such as:
- Use different color variation formats and contrast to make the content stand out.
- Make certain that the text-size works relatively on each media device. Text should be easy to read, regardless on mobile or desktop PC.
- Organize the content by keeping the structure simple, logical, and consistent so users can adapt to it quickly and easily.
- Adjust the text with subheadings, horizontal dividers and bullet point lists.
- Maintain a web browser-compatible line-height; Google advises to use at least a line-height of 1.2 meaning the gap between textlines are no less than 1.2 times the text size itself.
- Use white space wisely – give users some blank space between the images and text to breath while navigating.
4. Make It More Interactive
Websites offering a decent interactive experience to users, generally tend to receive better traffic and retention. Adding more interactivity to a website, makes user experience even more positive that encourages users keep coming back.
Beneath are few ways to make websites more interactive:
- Update content frequently: to keep the audience always interested, it is vital to update blogposts and web pages with new content more often.
- Boost user interactions: give users more options while navigating a website such as quizzes, social sharing tools and notable call-to-action buttons.
- Leverage social media: social media platforms were always intended for interaction based on information that users like to search and share all the time, especially interactive videos and images.
- Conduct user feedback: offering the choice to review a website helps to perceive how users interact and what can be done to create a better user experience.
5. Optimize Your Site for Mobile
How many times did it happen to jump to a website using your smartphone, only to realize that the page doesn’t display as it should be onto your mobile screen.
Search engines favor websites that are mobile-friendly and express high usability. In fact, as of 2018, Google is indexing mobile search results higher than normal desktop searches, meaning mobile-first index starts to become an important factor for greater user experience.
When it comes to SEO ranking, most marketers pay attention to keywords and nothing much else. However, getting mobile users to remain on a website and interact with content can increase the ranking score, and that can be achieved by improving the user experience and usability of your mobile website.
So what can be done to improve mobile user experience? Here are a few gears:
- Responsive design: Make the website easily viewable and targeted to fit all mobile device screens.
- Add simple yet dominant call-to-action buttons that are easy to notice and click.
- Avoid lengthy forms; include only the form fields that are absolutely needed and ensure that the submit button is clear enough to make the process easy for users to fill out the form.
- Improve the deliverability of images by using proper optimization techniques and maintaining the correct size based on the device without any loading delay.
- Provide simple navigation; enable website navigation and accessibility by integrating easy noticeable navigation menu, search bar and other options that are convenient to the user.
- Have typography clear and sharp; using big font sizes on mobile improves readability.
6. Make The Most Of 404 Pages
A 404 page error is considered one of the most irritating issues for driving traffic away, as it is distracting website browsing flow and subsequently pushing users to navigate away for better options.
Fixing up 404 error pages can easily lead to a better user experience if implemented in the right way.
If you’re getting traffic for 404’s pages that means people stumbled onto your pages while searching for something specific. In that case, you would definitely want to 301 redirect them to some more relevant page so they could find quickly as possible what they were looking for in the first place.
Even so, when redirected, it would be wiser to empathize with them with a clear and simple error message by developing custom 404 pages. Some websites provide efficient practices to keep their traffic stable such as integrating games, showing humoristic images or including search bars.
7. Page Loading Speed Matters
If someone thinks that the speed of a website doesn’t matter, should really take a second thought.
According to web statistics, if a page fails to load within 1 second produces 11% less page views, 16% drop in user experience and 7% decline in conversion rates. On top, 87% of users who are waiting 2 seconds for a page to load, tend to abandon the website.
There are many ways to speed up a website such as:
- Monitor your website’s speed and performance using free monitoring tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix.
- Avoid or reduce page redirects to upgrade mobile page speed.
Refining your page loading speed is not only vital for desktop devices, but it is also an essential part of mobile optimization. Google is already encouraging websites to use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for increased mobile experience, a standard that boosts mobile page speed by loading content instantly including video ads.
On top of these key tips, when it comes to a website’s user experience, we always need to have a solid UX strategy in place to build a bond with the users through its appearance and impression, as well as its usability and interactivity.
If you’re looking forward to improve your website’s user experience or find out how we can help with your next project, get in touch with our marketing experts.