The Webby Award 2017 winners were announced today so I found myself looking through the entries, all of which were incredibly innovative and exciting websites. The design, structure and experience of these websites were all seamless in their execution. I took particular interest in the ‘user experience’ category and started looking through the archives of previous winners. Virgin America managed to snap up the award 5 years in a row from 2008-2016! The Virgin America website does not look overly complicated and neither do any of the other nominees or winners, which is exactly what makes these websites so great. So what is it that makes fantastic user experience?
Simplicity is key. The most important aspect of user experience is putting yourself in the user’s position. Understanding your audience is the first step in most marketing strategies and designing your website is no exception. These are some of the key aspects of design when considering UX.
Know where your audience is looking; what pages they’re using; how long they’re spending on each page; what browser they’re using. This information is vital in designing a website that people are going to want to engage with and be interested in. Implementing a heat map would be a good idea to gain insight to where your audience is looking and if they’re missing any key information. We use CrazyEgg for heat map tracking.
White space is good! You might think you need to get as much information out as you can to lure your audience in however it will probably work against you. If there is too much information or the site is too word heavy, your audience will be bombarded and retain nothing. Be concise and direct. Display what’s most important and clearly provide a CTA where they can contact you to find out more information. On that note, make sure your CTA is at the top of the page on EVERY page. Make it as easy as possible for people to contact you.
Convey your message as quickly as possible. If your audience has to wait too long for the page to load or they don’t see what they’re looking for in a matter of seconds, they will leave. Create a good first impression by showing your audience you have exactly what they are looking for. Have your most important information within first view on the landing page.
When designing your website or coming up with ideas, take a step back and put yourself in the end user’s position. Will they know those icons are actually your navigation bar? Will they bother scrolling to the bottom of that page? Will they notice that little arrow to scroll through images? You might think the design is innovative but if the audience doesn’t understand how to use it, it will fail. Having your website look amazing is important but ensuring it is easy to use is just as, if not more important.
If you have some ideas of how you’d like your website to look but have no idea how to implement it, get in touch with us. If you have no clue what you’d like your website to look like but you know it needs improvement, we can execute the whole process for you. Maybe you don’t yet have a website but you’re looking to develop one. We can help you there too! Give us a call or send us an enquiry today.
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