Traffic - continuous traffic - that's what you want. Because you know that traffic results in conversions, and conversions result in sales. And the key to that traffic? Give the visitor a great experience. There is a lot of discussion about user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) and how these two things are separate and different, but here's the thing: all of it boils down to the same thing. When visitor come to your site, how do they feel about it? How do they respond to it? Can they do what they want? Can they enjoy what they see? Can they get the information they want? Can they move about easily and quickly? That's what matters.
UX and UI Explained Very Simply
User experience relates to your entire website design and functionality. How are our pages organized? How do users get from page to page? How are they directed from point "A" to point "B"? To get a great user experience, a design must be based upon research, your user persona, and examining and testing all usability elements.
User interface really relates to just that - the interface. The images, the colors, the layout, the graphics, the buttons - all that is visual. It is everything the visitor sees and clicks on. The user interface, then, is a part of the total user experience - not the whole part of course - but a big part. Without attractive and engaging interfaces, the visitor leaves. The user experience, then, is how everything fits together to attract traffic and to keep that traffic on your site long enough to achieve conversions.
Total UX/UI is a Matter of Design and Copy
Overall design involves many things, and it is important to look at each element of a site design and how it fosters a better user experience.
A crowded page, filled with images and text can be confusing and irritating to a visitor. There is just too much for the eye to take in. while many designers and business owners see any space as "empty real estate" to be filled up, this should not be the approach. When you incorporate white space around our images, titles, and text, visitor attention actually increases by about 20%. It make your site look more open, sleek, and contemporary.
There can also be too much white space, especially if it is above the fold, because the user may then have to scroll down to get important information. Although that is only a small irritant, you really don't want any at all. The key is to find the balance - get what is most important above the fold and get it surrounded with some white space.
And your "white space" doesn't have to be white. What you want is contrast between your important text and what surrounds it.
2. Speed/Load Time
You should know by now that if your site does not load within 3 seconds, you have already lost a large chunk of traffic. In fact, if your load time increases by just 2 seconds more, there will be more than an 80% abandonment rate. This impatience has increased over time and is particularly prevalent now that so many users are on mobile devices.
You need to check your load time on every type of device often. And any time there is a design change, no matter how small, speed must be checked again. You can use a free service offered by Google, which will give you some suggestions for improving speed. If you continue to get slow load time, it could be a host problem, or you may need better or more efficient coding. Calling in a professional developer, if you have not used one, is well worth the cost.
3. Check Out Your Call to Action Buttons
This may seem like a trivial matter, but it really is not. There has been a lot of research on CTA buttons, and it is a good idea to look at their designs. Color, for example, has been tested, and it appears that green and orange do better; shape has also been tested. Rounded edges seem to do better than sharp ones. And the text around and on the button itself should not be boring - try to get more exciting command words. Instead of, "Click Here," how about "Get Your Free Trial Now?" Smart web designers and entrepreneurs test CTA buttons - a lot. And experiment with them - a lot.
Navigation goes along with page load time. It must be fast and it must be clean. And all pages must be reflective of responsive design. With so many on mobile devices, if your pages do not load cleanly on those devices, you have lost a huge amount of traffic. Again, you have to test to be sure.
The other aspect of navigation is your links. Lots of designers are experimenting with placement of links, in order to determine which placements and types will improve traffic throughout a site. The verdict is still out, but it would be worth it to try different placements and designs and see which work for you.
No one disputes the impact of images vs. words. The key now is credibility of those images. Because that credibility translates to trust, and trust translates to visitors staying on your site as opposed to bouncing. A recent case study was conducted by a New England moving company. It was using stock photos on its site until a designer suggested that they change to actual photos of members of their team. Conversion rates increased quite quickly. Here's the thing about stock photos: visitors have seen them before, and even if they have not, they are easily recognizable. The use of stock photos establishes no connection between a visitor and your company. Actual photos of your team do. And that human connection builds a relationship that you want.
Visuals are really important, and each one should be carefully selected and placed. A good designer makes use of visuals so that they truly enhance the image and the "culture" of a company. This is nothing new. Long before the Internet, print designers were carefully placing images, and designers can take a lot of ideas from early print design .
So much is related to your text content, and it is so important. Here are the things you must be mindful of, whether you are talking about a landing page, home page, checkout page, or your blog. If you want to keep your traffic coming and you want to keep that traffic with you long enough for conversions, you cannot ignore your content.
- Simple Language: unless your website is specifically designed for a highly technical or academic audience, you have to stay at about the 7th grade reading level. No one wants to dig through complex sentences and vocabulary to figure out what you are saying.
- Headings and Titles: Catchy wording, good typography and size will hold attention. First, you have to know what your customers want; then you have to design and write your headings so that they speak to that. Headings let your visitors scan your site easily and find exactly what they are looking for. Have a look at the headings used on this page of Tilde - the visitor can clearly see exactly what the company offers and can select his/her preference.
- Bullets: Breaking up your content, especially when you have lots of content to include, cannot be overestimated. Visitors are busy and in a hurry. They want to see what you have to offer quickly and easily. Bullets allow them to scan and see right away if you have any value to them. It might be a great idea to experiment with your bullets too. They don't have to be just the stock bullets. You can used little icons, which may have a greater attraction and appeal. Anything you can do to grab an eye is a plus.
Enhancing UX and UI is an evolving initiative for every website owner. New ideas, new strategies, and new tactics will just keep on coming. Staying current on what the research says works, keeping an eye on what your customer wants and needs, and continual testing is how you stay on top of this.