All of us have been in the situation where we have gone to a web site and found it difficult to locate what we are looking for. Since there are many web sites to choose from on the internet and most of us are have grown accustomed to going to web sites that are easy to navigate, you probably just hit the back arrow on your browser in this situation and looked for other options.
This is the reason why user experience (UX) is so important to modern businesses. It comes as no surprise to those familiar with it, that UX design has a profound effect on web site sales. If you don’t understand what UX is, you should know it is not the interface design of your web site; it is the ease with which your visitors can access information and engage with your web site. The easier your site is to use, the better the user experience.
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To know if your web site’s performance is improving you must have a plan how to measure the user experience of your web site. To begin with, you need to understand that user clicks are a powerful way to understand if users like your site and the improvements you make. If you run an A/B test, the clicks will quickly tell you which one the users like best.
Three measurements that you specifically look at to measure your user experience are bounce rate, session duration and page views per visit. Improvements in these metrics can tell you if you have improved your user experience. Without keeping an eye on these numbers, you won’t have an objective understanding of what your web site visitors think of your site’s user experience.
Trust The Data:
All too often graphic designers will create very attractive web sites that are very pleasing to look at, unfortunately, the data quite often ends up telling businesses that simpler web site designs provide a better user experience. Sometimes this is difficult for businesses to understand. While everyone might agree that the attractive site looks better than the simpler version, the objective data will often ends up telling a different story.
Remember that the web site design with the better numbers will be the one to make more money for your business. Higher page views per visit, longer session durations and lower bounce rates translate into more sales for your business. Amazon is a perfect example of this. It is a fairly plain looking web site compared to many on the web. However, from a measurement perspective it is a huge success. Everything that isn’t content stays out of the way of the experience. Products are organized in an easy to understand way that makes shopping easy.
When designing your web site you need to never lose sight of what your goals are. If your goal is to have your design generate more sales and provide a better user experience to site visitors, then you need to measure and let data guide your design.
Don’t Forget Mobile:
When approaching your next design, make sure that you keep in mind that web site viewership via desktop computers is falling behind views on mobile devices. Web sites now often receive 60% of their views from mobile devices and this number is growing. Given the constraints of mobile devices, economy of design is more important than ever. Often businesses see large increases in sales when they let go of previously held design biases and moved forward with designs based on objective data.
Pay Extra Attention To Navigation:
Helping your web site visitors navigate your web site should be a top priority. Regardless of how amazing your products or prices are or how wonderful your content is, you won’t generate sales if people can’t find what they are looking for. All too often, businesses will see limited success with their web site and it turns out this is due to navigation menus that are confusing and products and content that are hard to find.
Make sure you make your web site’s navigation obvious and put it in a familiar location. Your web site’s visitors will expect to find navigation where they’ve seen it before on other sites, take advantage of this by putting you navigation where people are naturally looking for it. Additionally, make sure you create easy to understand links in your navigation. By using words that are familiar and relevant it makes it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for. If you fill your navigation with cute lingo or internal jargon, users will find it difficult to find what they are looking for.
Color Choices Will Have A Big Impact:
Pay careful attention to the color choices you make when designing your web site. Everything from the color of the background to the colors of your text and buttons can have a big effect on the sales your web site generates. To begin with, make sure you have sufficient contrast between the background of your web site and the text color you choose. Low contrast web sites reduce the quality of the user experience.
When it comes to color it is important to perform A/B testing to find which colors perform best for your target audience. Testing will often reveal differences of 20% or more on click through rates when different button colors are tested. Remember, there is no magic color that works for every business. Different businesses’ customer bases will prefer different colors over others, additionally the relationship that a color has with the rest of the site is important. Different colors will work better for different industries as well. You will also find out that the way the color you choose relates to other colors used on the site design will affect results. Does it stand out? Does it blend in? The important thing is to find the colors that work for your business and your target audience.
Page speed Is Critical:
Even though most of us now have high speed internet connections that allow us to browse the internet and perform other tasks at amazing speeds, page speed is perhaps more important than ever. Remember that users will expect your home page to load in two seconds. If it hasn’t loaded by the time three seconds have passed you will generally lose around 40% of your site’s visitors and it gets worse from there. The performance of your web site is a big part of the user experience. Page load times for your web site should be considered when designing your web site.
It All Depends On Your Visitors:
Different factors matter more to different customer groups. For example, if your customers access your site primarily from mobile devices, page speed may be a very important factor. If you audience is made up primarily of women, you will want to explore color options that test favorably with women, for instance women tend to prefer brighter colors over dark colors. Of course you will want to utilize A/B testing to find which colors specifically work best for your customers and industry.
Changes in navigation, color and page speed can dramatically affect the sales of your web site. You just need to find out which are the best options for your business and visitors. It is important that you measure and test to find the right choices. Web sites have been known to increase sales 400% or more after optimizing the user experience. Start by looking at the measurements mentioned above and then test variations to see what positively and negatively affects sales.