Your website is the public face of your business. It follows then that it should be a smooth extension of your business and lead to conversions and sales. But the quality of your content, the beauty of your graphic design and even the reputation of your company matters little if your website is hard to navigate and clunky.
You’re simply not going to see the results you’re after. Your website needs to look good and be user friendly. If it’s not, then it’s time for a redesign. Here are several tips to help you manage the process.
Spend money on someone who knows what they’re doing
It can’t be stressed enough how important a website is to the functioning of a business, particularly if you’re an ecommerce business. Bring in an expert who has experience and a proven track record in executing.
You may spend several thousand Rands on their fee, but that will pale in comparison to sales lost because your site was put together by a rookie.
Minimalism is a thing
Embrace white space. Pick at most two or three fonts and reduce your clutter as much as possible. Sometimes it’s not what you keep but what you cut. Work alongside your designer to ensure that the site is built to behave like a funnel that directs traffic in a consolidated flow.
You’ll also likely be able to analyse this flow with metrics that you can use to make future tweaks on the design to improve things.
Build it with your customers in mind
Your website needs to be simple, intuitive, easy to use and even predictable. These are all attributes that show high quality UX design. That is that it’s been designed with the user in mind. Put yourself in the shoes of the end user when designing.
Avoid complex processes or unwanted unnecessary information. The layout needs to be simple and easy to follow. Users should find it predicted and repeatable. You know when a UX design is successful when you can’t tell that there’s a user experience happening because it happens organically.
Test it on other people
An interface or design is easier to understand for the person who originally made it. So give the design a test run by letting other people, who aren’t familiar with the design, a chance to use it. Ask them questions about their experience. Try not to teach them unless you plan to teach your customers.
Continued questioning often allows you to see the misunderstandings that happen with the design and correct them. These people can be anyone from different departments, friends or even people from remote usability testing services.
Resist the urge to share too much
Most people want to put as much information on their website as possible. It’s logical since your website is a touchpoint for your customers. But it’s important that you don’t overwhelm your customers.
Does your customer really want to be greeted by walls of text or hundreds of terms and conditions? Try design each page so that it focuses on a single thing. Get your message across in the least number of words possible and have one clear call to action. Your call to action should be in line with the goal of your website: Conversion, leads or revenue.
Spend time on your homepage
Your homepage is likely to be the first thing your customers see when they come to a site. It should serve as the main access point for your message, branding and site navigation. Try to keep any written information as concise as possible and in a language that your customer understands.
The content hierarchy is fundamental to good UX design and you’ll want to have your most important information in the most prominent places. Remember that your customer probably has a level of computer literacy and will expect certain basic functionalities in the site. Try to build these in where possible.
Set yourself up for SEO success
SEO shouldn’t be an afterthought. A new site will rely on strong SEO to make initial contact with consumers, until it ranks properly. Factors like site loading speed and optimised images play a major role in how well your site ranks.
Even site downtime will be penalised and count against you. To that end, make sure that you use a reputable website hosting company like HOSTAFRICA to maintain the integrity of your site. Another factor you’ll need to consider is site content. It needs to add value to your customers, be keyword rich and be relevant to your market.
On average, a business should change its website once every 18 to 24 months. While this keeps things fresh and contemporary, it also provides an opportunity for you to adjust your business goals or offerings. Just make sure the redesign is done right and done well, otherwise, you risk doing more damage than good.