When we ask a new client what they’re looking for in a new website, 99% say something like;
“Just make it look good.”
“My current site is just so old and ugly. It needs to look nicer.”
“We want something clean and modern.”
Now don’t get us wrong. The way a website looks IS important (we're talking to you, with your website not updated since 2002!). But there IS something far more important than how your website looks, and it doesn’t get nearly enough attention: The way it works.
Think about it from your customers’ perspective. Are they going to care how beautiful your site is if they can’t find what they need? Doubtful, right?
That’s why you need to design your website with user experience (UX) in mind. How are people going to use it, and how can you make sure you’re helping them every step of the way?
Here are 7 simple ways to improve the readability and UX on your site:
1. Consider your audience
It might seem obvious, but when designing your website, think about the people who will be using it. Who are they, how did they get to your website, and what are they hoping to get from you? What actions are they most likely to take?
Use this insight to craft the right messages and a logical navigation structure.
You should also consider their reading and skill levels so your content is accessible to the groups you’re trying to reach.
2. White space is your friend
We’ve all seen the web pages where the designer crammed in so much information it’s overwhelming to even look at, let alone read. Don’t make the same mistake!
Using plenty of white space will make your website feel clean and help users quickly identify what they’re looking for.
Features like lists, bullets, and descriptive headers can also guide the reader (and Google!) in the right direction and help them understand how to achieve their goals.
3. Clarify buttons and links
There’s nothing more annoying than finally locating the link you need, clicking on it, and it brings you somewhere entirely unexpected. Streamline your users’ experience by making sure every Call to Action button and link clearly describes where it will bring the reader.
Match expectations by using the same copy in multiple locations. For example, if someone clicks a ‘Book Your Demo’ button, it should bring them to a page with ‘Book Your Demo’ in the header.
4. Be clear and concise
UX isn’t just about the physical appearance of your site: it’s also about what you say. All of your copy should be short and very clear. You don’t want anyone to take your words the wrong way!
Always use language your audience is familiar and comfortable with, not jargon, and match the tone of your brand. Now is not the time to break out the thesaurus.
Finally, be consistent with your phrasing. If you tell customers to ‘buy now’ on one page and ‘sign up’ on another, they’re going to be confused about what action to take.
5. Be mindful of images
Photos are essential to your website. But if you use them incorrectly, you’re only going to give your customers a major headache. We see far too many sites with illegible text over an image. If your message is so important, why would you want it to blend in with the background?!
Always use descriptive alt text, too. It helps with accessibility AND with search engine rankings.
6. Test, test, test
As with any great design question, the best way to assess your UX is to test it out. There are plenty of great tools available, like HotJar, Website Grader from Hubspot, or another website analysis tool, which can show you the actions your customers take on screen, how they move around the site, or can present a heat map on how they interact with it.
Go further, ask your mom (or anyone who has never visited your website before) to get onto your website and then complete a specific action, like contacting you or making a purchase. If they can’t seem to get where they need to go, then you need to re-evaluate your user experience.
7. Go rogue
You’re an expert at what you do. We’re the experts at creating beautiful AND functional websites to create a streamlined, optimized user experience.
Why not Go Rogue and see what results we can create with a new site for your business?