UX (User Experience) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction through design choices.
These choices aim to improve usability, accessibility and desirability. A fundamental element of UX is that design choices are made based on research rather than personal opinion.
We've listed 3 simple UX amends that you can implement on your very own website. Applying these will help your users navigate through your website easier.
1) Design a Navigation Bar that works.
Navigation bars (or menu bars) can quickly become overwhelmed with pages. Poor site structures can further have an impact on how the navigation bar operates by confusing a user's experience further.
A common myth is that a website navigation bar should have no more than +/- 7 links.
In reality, 4 factors need to be considered when creating a simpler navigation bar:
- Content Breadth - How much content is there on the site? You would expect an e-commerce store to have more category pages, and therefore links, compared to a brochure website.
- Meaningful Labels - Do your links make sense? Do they convey the correct information? Even labels like 'Products' or 'Services' should be avoided due to ambiguity. Be concise.
- Browsing vs. Seeking - Are your users browsing your site or are they seeking something specific? Understanding the behaviour of your users will help identify what their intention is and, therefore, allow you to address that through your navigation.
- Navigation Item Prioritisation - The first and last couple of items on a navigation bar gets seen more than those in the middle. Bear this in mind. You'll want your key pages to be amongst the first few links.
2) Never use 'Read More' or 'Click Here'
When you create a website, you can spend hours agonising over the content. One of the greatest myths of the internet is that people read webpages.
Study after study has shown that people only read word-by-word when they are really interested in the content.
The vast majority of the time we skim-read pages. Looking for highlighted keywords, meaningful headings, short paragraphs and scannable lists.
Typically, less than 20% of the text content on a webpage is actually read.
A well-designed webpage is designed to be scan read. With key information highlighted in ways to make it easy for users to identify and digest.
Areas that ordinarily get views are buttons or links. Naturally, this is due to them standing out compared to surrounding content.
And herein lies the problem...
When you have buttons and links that just say "Read More" or "Click Here", we're making the assumption that the user has read the information around them.
That assumption is incorrect.
The correct assumption should be that they haven't read any information around the button or link.
When you take this position, then you quickly realise that the phrases "Read More" or "Click Here" are meaningless.
The user will be thinking "Read more about what...", "click here for what...?".
Change the description to be more concise. Tell the user what they'll 'get' on the other side of that click.
3) Get rid of stock images!
Stock images are a great short-term solution to fill blanks whilst you await your own photography to be sorted.
But did you know stock images could be negatively impacting on your users' experience?
Usability tests and eye-tracking studies show that stock photos and other decorative graphic elements rarely add value to a website.
If images aren't related to the topic of the website and don't hold useful information, users will typically overlook stock images.
There's the old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words".
It still holds true. However, if that image conveys the wrong message, causes confusion or leaves the user with a sense of shallow fakery, that's a dangerous place to be.
The above screenshot is an eye-tracking study done on Yale University's School of Management page. Each blue dot and line marks the eye position of a user on the webpage.
Notice how the image doesn't get looked at. It's likely that the image was requested to be inserted to 'jazz-up' the page. But what's the impact of that?
What we see is how the image is useless to the user journey and only has the potential to compete with the relevant information on the left-hand side which the user wants to consume.
Images need to complement the written content on the page. Remember, a user is on your website for a reason. Everything on your website, from content to images, should be tailored around fulfilling that need for your users.
Elements that distract, mislead or serve no purpose will, at best, get ignored by the user. At worst? It's likely to convince a user not to use your business.
Curious about what a UX report could tell you about your website?
A UX report on your website can tell you what your users are up to. Where they're heading, what they're struggling with and what they're happy with.
We install a little bit of code on your website and track a random selection of your visitors using heatmaps and (GDPR Compliant) screen recordings.
After this, you will receive a detailed report on suggested amends that could help improve your users' experience on your site.