We have all have the experience of arriving on a website and instantly being unsure if we can trust the company or feel uncomfortable making a payment.
This 9 out of 10 times is down to the appearance of the website and the first impressions of its design.
This feeling is not dissimilar to how we judge a shop, restaurant and even peoples homes when we first step foot in the door.
Stores that succeed on the high street generally invest time and effort into getting the visual experience of the customer right because they understand how important it is.
We use the same criteria to judge a website when we click onto it as we do when we open the door to a new shop or restaurant.
With your website, your users will make a judgement as fast as 17ms according to Google so you don’t have a great deal of time to stop them from clicking the back button!
Researchers in the USA indicate that the user will look at the following elements in this order of importance to make a judgement on a website:
- The institution’s logo.
- The main navigation menu.
- The search box.
- The site’s main image.
- The site’s written content.
- The bottom of a website.
Additionally, Brittish researchers uncovered that 94% of participant feedback about a website was made about design.
Negative Feedback looked like this:
Complex, Busy layout, Lack of navigation aids, Boring web design, Pop-up adverts, Small print, Too much text and Corporate look and feel;
Only 6% of feedback focused on content.
At the same time, a bad user interface was linked with rapid rejection and mistrust of a website. This led to users rarely exploring past the homepage.
This shows that people pay more attention to the aesthetics of a website over its content, especially when it comes to first impressions. This goes to show that great design will gain the trust of the users and keep them on your website for longer while poor design creates mistrust and helps users leave your site before investigating the quality of the content.
So how do you make your website more enjoyable for users?
Invest in the visual design of your website and your company.
It is important that you stand out from the crowd and provide your users with a website that they understand.
You can (and should) communicate your unique brand identity without trying to be so unusual as to annoy users by going against popular convention.
Spend time with your designer to help them understand who your company is, what you stand for and how you want the user to feel when interacting with your brand online. They should be able to handle the rest.
Inspire your user to interact with your service.
Studies show that users that can relate to the content of a website are more likely to make a purchase. Use the opening of your website to inspire them, show them the possibility and encourage them into making a buying decision with your company.
Inspirational, motivation content at the forefront of your site can help a user relate your business to their lifestyle. If you can manage this you are onto a winner.
Make sure everything above the fold is awesome!
As with the point above, make sure that anything that is above the fold (the area the user sees before they scroll) is packed with useful content, looks amazing, inspires and helps them trust and make a purchase with your business.
Try not to flood the entrance to your website with popups and banner ads. There are subtle and elegant ways of presenting useful information to the user that encourages trust and helps them see value in your business proposition.
Users like to see the following straight away when visiting a website to help them make a buying decision.
- Time-sensitive promotions.
- Multiple ways to navigate deeper into the site (categories, interests, search).
- New, Top, and Exclusive products, as well as a hint of the products they carry (gifts, t-shirts, electronics, gift certificates).
- A rewards program.
- Products on sale.
- Their “Free Shipping” threshold.
- Customer support availability (via “Live Chat” and “Help” buttons).
Make sure that you include these and that you lay them out in a way that is appealing and non-spammy.
Design plays a massive and important part of the buying decisions of your customers. To brush it off as unimportant or as a waste of time will not only be of detriment to your business but will also show in your online conversions and digital success.
As we have discovered, people make decisions about your website in Milliseconds so every moment count. Take the time and make the effort to make a great first impression and impress your users or at the very least, don’t scare them off.
If you are looking to make your mark online and increase your user conversions on your website look no further. At Spectre Creative we are happy to help companies stand out and online and help them create a website that people actually want to use.