11 Ways to Improve Your Website’s User Experience
If designing a website weren’t difficult enough, then designing a website that looks good and is easy to use might prove to be even more challenging. Fortunately, there are several ways to instantly improve your website’s user experience. Below are 11 UX tips for your next website redesign ranked from quickest to hardest to implement.
11 Actionable UX Tips for Your Website
1. Review your content
Read the content on your website. Does it make sense? Are you using industry or (worse) internal jargon the average user wouldn’t know? Make sure your content is easy to understand for your users. This begins with using terms they use to describe the services or products you offer.
2. Use headings and chunk content
Break up your content with headings and visuals. Blocks of text are uninviting and reduce readability. Using headings to divide your content into digestible chunks not only caters to users who skim, but those headings are also great for SEO. Images and videos are another great way to break up content so long as they are high quality and relevant.
3. Use one color for call-to-actions (CTAs)
Limit your website’s color palette to two to three colors—with the third color being your accent color that should be reserved for actions. Make your CTA buttons and links the same color to help users distinguish between clickable and static text.
4. Create contrast
Create contrast between your foreground (text) and background colors. There are other ways to make your website modern than making your content illegible. You should aim for a contrast ratio of 4.5:1 per Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. For more ways to make your website accessible, check out their recommendations here.
5. Have a clear navigation
Make your navigation visible and clear. Users will land on your website from various sources—from a social media post to a search engine results page. A navigation that includes the most important pages on your website helps users orient themselves, eliminating confusion. Plus, a well designed navigation can prompt them to explore your website, increasing dwell time and potential to buy.
6. Make your contact information global
Keep your contact information visible at all times. This can be quickly achieved by placing your phone number, email, and address in either the header or footer. These sections of your website are global elements that should be located in their respective areas on every page. Users may want to contact you at anytime during their experience, so make that information easily discoverable.
7. Leverage the upper right corner
Websites serve a purpose. Your users are visiting your website to complete a task whether it’s contacting you, signing up, or logging into their account. Elements in the upper right corner make for easier targets compared to elements positioned in the middle of the screen. In addition, since it’s a common design pattern, your users will know where to look to find those functions.
8. Speed up your website
Your website has three seconds to load before users leave. Compressing your images is an easy way to increase the speed of your website. My favorite tool to compress images is ImageOptim. After optimizing images for SEO in Photoshop, I drag my photos into the tool and it compresses the images while keeping the metadata intact.
Aside from image optimization, Google PageSpeed Insights is a free online tool that identifies areas of your website that could be better optimized for speed. Just enter your website’s URL and a report will be generated for you.
9. Make your website mobile responsive
There is absolutely no reason for your website to not be mobile responsive. There are frameworks that are already mobile responsive, such as Bootstrap. Content management systems, such as WordPress, also have mobile responsiveness built into their free templates. With so many devices to access your website, make sure it looks good regardless of screen size.
10. Provide system feedback
Always let your users know what’s going on. Users perform various tasks on your website, such as submitting a contact form or filtering products. They don’t know whether or not your system is registering their actions unless you tell them. Show a progress bar, loading spinner, or change in button color to reassure users their input is being recorded. Providing instant system feedback instills trust in your users, especially first-time visitors.
11. Listen to your users
Finally, one sure-fire way to make a website easy to use is by giving your users what they want. Why spend time thinking of what would improve your website’s UX when you could ask those visiting your site themselves? Ask your users for their feedback to understand what isn’t making sense to them, where they are struggling with, and how you can improve their experience. Listening to users is at the core of user experience design, and should be the first source of information before starting a redesign project.
Implementing these tips can instantly improve your website’s UX, but you shouldn’t stop here. Investing in professional UX design services can benefit you more than a faster website or longer page time—it can save you resources, development costs, and headache in the long run. If you find your users still struggling after following the above tips, it may be time to reconsider your design strategy.