The most important part in developing a website is the overall user experience (UX). User experience is defined as the way in which the user is interacting with the product or in this case a website. This could entail the page path the user takes to get to what they are looking for or how much time they are spending browsing or reading a certain page. It is all about the journey they embark on.
Developing a website could seem very overwhelming since there are so many moving parts that need to take place before a launch – but trust us, it’s not as stressful as you may assume. With the uprise in technology over the years, website hosting platforms have become more advanced and efficient, meaning there are tons of website templates to choose from if you aren’t sure where to begin.
It’s all about utilizing your resources. Beacon Media + Marketing is a digital marketing company equipped with ample knowledge and a plethora of helpful resources to help your business grow, scale, and thrive. As marketing wizards and gurus, we want to help your website come to life while also giving users an exceptional experience, which is why we are going to go into detail about five easy user experience wins when developing a website.
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1. Page Speed & Loading Time
First things first, in order to increase user experience (UX), you will want to make sure your website is loading at a quick pace. most people do not like waiting and spending time on a page that takes more than five seconds to load.
If your website is taking longer than usual, this may result in frustration from the user, causing them to become uninterested and close out of your website immediately. That is exactly what we do not want to happen. Instead, you want to make sure your page speed is always working properly, especially for mobile users. Mobile users expect things to load on their devices as quickly as possible.
Page speed also plays a key role in how well your SEO performs. User experience is vital. Google’s announced back in 2010, that they would be including page speed as one of the ranking factors for their search index. Hence, another reason to ensure your website is loading in a timely manner. After all, a slow site will result in no conversions.
You can manage staying on top of page speed by:
- Optimizing images
- Reducing redirects
- Clearing your browser’s cache
- Improving server response time
2. Responsive Design
Making sure that your website’s layout is completely functional and accessible can also make or a break a user’s experience. Responsive design refers to how your website looks or functions on different screens such as on a desktop compared to a laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
For example, let’s say everything on your website looks amazing and everything is formatted just the way you envisioned. But what about how the mobile version or tablet version is performing? Many people fail to check how their website is functioning on all platforms because we think that just because it looks perfect on a desktop computer, it might not look the same when it’s shrunken down on a mobile device. When the formatting on a mobile device isn’t functioning properly, users entering through a phone browser may not have the same happy experience other users are having on a desktop.
Lesson learned: double check – better yet – TRIPLE check all browsing platforms are fully up and running the way they should be daily. Website updates often occur, but sometimes they can mess up the layout.
3. UI Patterns
UI patterns help reduce the risk of error and are defined as design patterns. These build interfaces that have the same look and feel as other websites and help assist with navigation and patterns. In short, do not try and attempt to reinvent the wheel with design. Instead, look to other resources. Never feel bad about using tools that are there to be used.
After all, they are there for a reason. Certain layouts make it easier for people to navigate a website, such as the usual linked logo in the top left corner of a website, a horizontal navigation, and your typical contact details in the footer. These features help websites maintain some consistency – in the sense that they use the same layouts that users are used to seeing and navigating.
Using layouts that people are experienced with will only boost the user experience. If you decide against UI design patterns and take it upon yourself to create an unconventional design, you run the risk of your users not knowing how to properly use your website. This can leave them confused, frustrated, and less likely to return for a second time.
4. There’s More to Just the Homepage
In order for your users to have an exceptional experience, you must look beyond the homepage. Yes, the homepage is the first thing users will see as soon as they enter your website, but you want to make sure all other pages and posts are laid out the exact same way to keep the experience going.
Many of us tend to get hung up on the homepage. Once the homepage is perfected and looks pretty, people tend to look past the rest of the website. If you want your website to have a strong presence, spend your energy and focus on the entire website rather than a small chunk. We promise this will bring more engaged users to your website and more business to your door.
5. SEO and CTA’s
Lastly, if you want your users to have the experience of a lifetime, you want to make sure that:
- The targeted users are actually finding your website through Google, which indicates how well your website is ranking in terms of SEO
- You are encouraging a second click wherever you see fit
Both are extremely necessary if you want your users to enjoy their overall experience while browsing your website. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is what helps boost your ranking and positioning on where you sit on Google. The goal is to essentially rank in positions 1-10 on the first page on Google so people can easily locate you based on the keyword research you have put in. When you know what people are searching for, it will only be 10x easier for people to find you.
Calls-to-action are a very powerful tool to use because this will encourage the user to continue browsing and clicking around your website. Incorporating CTAs keeps the user engaged. For example, throughout some webpages and blog posts, you will see words that are hyperlinked to different pages. Let’s say you want to learn more about a specific topic. By clicking the hyperlink, this will take you to a different page which will then encourage the user to keep reading.
Sharpen Your UX Experience with Beacon Media + Marketing
If you’re ready to explore the possibilities of what different user experiences can look like, Beacon Media + Marketing offers web development services. Want a fast, secure, reliable, and efficient website? We can help you out.
Give your users the experience they deserve. Get in touch with us!