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How to design a better user experience for your customers

User Experience is understanding your users and taking them on a journey. The simple idea of, ‘helping your customers’, can be difficult to achieve, particularly online. We have pulled together our top tips to making your websites user experience better and more beneficial for your business and customers. 

Do not follow trends

We know how hard it is not to see the new ‘shiny’ trends and just want to jump on them like a kid on a trampoline. However, structure and style go hand in hand in making a good User Experience for your clients. Making a style or structural change to your site on the fly can cause a significant impact on user flows and user expectations. It is important that significant changes are considered and impact assessed prior to making changes.

Try to reduce thinking

We want to reduce the number of times your users have to stop and think about how to achieve their desired goal. We do not want to have your user confused by complicated navigation, difficult site structures, messy design systems or unconsidered user flows. The goal is to make your user experience on your site to be as simple and recognisable as possible. Your website is not a puzzle that needs to be solved by your users, so do not make it one.

Acknowledge different user types

Understanding the different types of users is key to understanding how to design a website that works well. No website has one user type, therefore, no website should be designed for one user. Knowing the types of users your website has allows you to plan the user journey that your clients may take and shape that outcome.

Understand your user’s goals

Why are your users visiting your website and what are they trying to achieve? Understanding what your existing users are trying to achieve on your website will be a huge advantage to understanding how to shape your site to their needs and guide them in fulfilling your business goals.

Your user goals can be found by understanding your google analytics data or simply by asking your clients ‘why would you visit my website?’.

Remove dead ends

A dead-end is when your user is moving through your site and come across a page where there is no other option to continue outside of your main navigation or footer navigation. This means that your site has a page that ends your user’s journey. Your user should either choose to lease on their own accord or fulfil an action. If you have a page that gives the user no options then you have created a dead end. This can be solved by finding these pages and adding call to actions on the page and links to other areas of interest. Just make sure it doesn’t kill the journey.,

Don’t allow design get in the way of function

When designing for people it is extremely important to understand that it is people, regular people that will probably be using the website. This is why we need to make sure to design for the user and not for the designer. It is very easy to go down a rabbit hole of design for design sake and not consider the impact that the design has on the functionality and user journey.

The design should aid the content and the journey. Not lead it.

Do not make assumptions

It is easy to assume that you know what your user is trying to achieve on your website. It can be easy to let this assumption lead an entire project direction. However, it is worth taking the time to confirm this assumption by taking part in a strategy workshop or by speaking with your users to find out what their key objectives are. The reason to create a better website is so that your customers have a better experience of your business. It is worth taking the time to be sure the project direction is not built on sand. 

Don’t interrupt your users

Your website has been designed to take the user on a journey, the path the user is following has been laid out in front of them and they are happy in where it is going, then boom! You drop a pop-up right in the middle telling the user about your newsletter or something else unrelated to the journey. You have distracted them and interrupted the time spent building that users respect. 

There are so many elegant and effective ways of providing information that is useful to the user at important moments of their journey. Dropping an unrelated popup in the users face is akin to having perfume skooshed in your face while making your way to the item you want to buy. Distracting, unneeded and frustrating.

Respect your users time

Everything we are doing through the creation of a website is to aid the user and provide them with an experience that they can value. This is because we value the time the user is spending in our business, considering a purchase. Respecting your users time is key to providing them with a good experience and helping them make a buying decision. If you are not doing this then your users will notice and go elsewhere. 

Conclusion

Your website is equivalent to a high street store, restaurant or service provider. Treating it as such is key to understanding why user experience on your website is important. Your clients will enter your site and through the decisions, your design and development team have made, know if this is the shop for them.

We have all walked into a store and just left, knowing it is not for us. The web is the same. We need to create experiences for users that encourage them to look around and hopefully, choose you.

To discuss your user experience and see how to make it better, get in touch with us at Spectre.

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