A user-centric website is one that has the needs of the user in mind. However, your user experience (UX) doesn’t have to be complex. There are some basic elements you can deploy that will help your users have a positive experience interacting with your company’s online presence.
If your site doesn’t provide the best experience, users will simply find another. A user-centered design is going to be highly usable. Everything will function perfectly and without error. Here are nine simple things you can focus on to create a usable site:
1. Get Right to the Point
If you have targeted the right audience, they are already interested in your service or product when they land on your page. Instead of adding in unrelated things, simply get to the point. People are quite busy and don’t have time to wade through a lot of information to get to what they want. Add prominent call to action (CTA) buttons that are easy for the consumer to find.
2. Visible Navigation Structure
Your navigation structure is the backbone of your website. It guides the user through your pages almost from the first minute they arrive. Among visitors referred to your website, on average, 50 percent of them will use the site's navigation to get themselves oriented. But navigation isn’t simply your nav bar across the top of your page — it’s also the sales funnel you guide the user through from the landing page, plus minor details such as linking your logo to the home page to serve as a breadcrumb for visitors to find their way back to start.
3. Actionable CTAs
Your call to action invites your site visitor to take a specific action and to convert from simple site visitor to subscriber or customer. A lot of factors come into play when creating the perfect CTA. The language you use, the color of the button and even page placement can make a difference. You also aren’t limited to a single CTA on a page, but you do need to make sure each one has a clear direction.
4. Instant Feedback
Have you ever filled out a contact form, hit submit and then weren’t sure if it was sent to the company or not? This is very frustrating for users. Site visitors should receive feedback for any action they take. If the visitor clicks on a submit button, a message should pop up that the form has been received and what the visitor can expect next. Look at the different actions a visitor can take on your site and make sure each one has a response appropriate to that action, such as loading a new page that says, “Welcome!” or “Thank you for us.”
5. Customer Service
The way your company interacts with site visitors has an impact on their overall experience. Do you have a customer service philosophy in place? Is it effective? Around 86 percent of consumers say they will pay more for a product if the overall customer experience is better.
Even though the entire customer experience is about more than just service, the way you handle complaints and questions plays a big role in the overall impression the customer has of your brand. Take the time to get a customer service philosophy in place.
6. Use Heatmaps
Figure out which areas of your site are most attractive to your site visitors and limit choices to those main links. You can, of course, add other elements within the overall structure of your site, but when it comes to where to focus, you want the main elements people are looking for to be front and center. You may also want to move these sections higher up on your landing page so visitors can find them quickly.
7. Offer Valuable Information
One way you can engage users is by educating them on what you sell. The person may or may not have tried your product before, so offering in-depth information allows the user to make an informed decision about whether or not they want to try your product. You can offer this information in the form of guides, articles or a comparison chart. Try offering it in a variety of ways, remembering that visuals are well received by site visitors. You can even conduct some split testing to see which elements work the best for conversions.
8. Social Media Integration
Some of us have multiple social media accounts, but 81 percent of Americans have one at least. The public loves social media because it’s an easy platform to grab information and then share it. There are several ways your site can integrate with social media. Allowing users to share photos and blog posts is one simple way. However, you can also add apps that allow a user to log into your site with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Start with the basics of allowing users to share your information and then see what else might be viable.
9. Integrating Video
The statistics on using video in your online marketing is something you can’t ignore — 87 percent of those who market for a living use online video content to drive conversions. Video is a way to get your message across in a way that sticks with the consumer. Videos add information to your website for the user who prefers to watch a video rather than read text or even an infographic.