E-Commerce Website Design — User Friendly & Usability
User-friendly is one of the most important factors you need to consider when designing your E-Commerce site. A usable E-Commerce site should take less time to think when used, and less complex.
In another word, when someone visits your site for the very first time and takes a glance at it, He or She should be able to figure the purpose of your site right away. There is no need for your visitors to question the function of your buttons, specific menu item, or other elements in your site. Your website design must show the purpose of your brand or product in a clear manner. This is especially important due to the fact that more and more people prefer to shop online via their mobile devices now.
If your website is hard to use, you may lose many potential customers. So, make sure your E-Commerce website is designed in an user-friendly way, so both you and your customers can take advantage of the deals you offer on your site.
How to design a user-friendly E-Commerce website?
We talked about the usability of the site. Now, how you can design a user-friendly E-Commerce site for your online business?
Remember, your site is not the only site available on the internet. There is a big chance that visitors of your site have visited other sites before come to your online store. That is mean, they already have some of “standards” for a “good website”.
This is also the same reason why you can find the same kind of “standard” on many websites. People have accepted these standards as a norm, and think that is how an E-Commerce website should be.
Here are some of those standards or elements that visitors expect to see in your E-Commerce site:
· Sign up or registration icon for a new buyer will always be located at the top or at the right side.
· Main menu always located at the top or the left side.
· Search bar usually can be found in the header, at the top, or under the logo.
· Logo is located on the left top side. It is usually clickable and can bring back visitors to the homepage.
· Underline is used for a text that contains a link which can be clicked.
Improve search function and use filters
Customers do not have all day to browse your site. When they come, they want to be able to find what they are looking for, fast.
Here are some tips to improve your site-search:
· Make it as visible as you can
A hard-to-find search box is far worse than not having any search box at all. What the point of making one if visitors can’t even find it? In some cases, due to the fault in the design or them, the search box may turn into a small magnifying glass icon, which hard to find, and some people may not realize that small icon is the search feature.
· Make it fast
Time is money. Customers don’t want to spend more than 1 minute just to search one item in your online store. Most people take Google as their standard when it comes to the search function. If it takes only a few seconds for Google to find anything on the whole internet, then why people must wait longer just to find a single item in your E-Commerce site?
So, make your search function works faster. There are several ways that you can try to optimize the speed of your search bar. If you do not have time or skills to do it, you can hire a professional to do the job.
· Use auto-completion feature
Since Google introduced this feature, most people already addicted to it. When you want to look for something, by just typing the first few word, the auto-completion feature will complete the sentence for you and suggest you a few suggestive search queries that may suitable for what you are looking for. It is fast, and quite accurate too.
In e-commerce, the auto-completion feature is not only able to offer search queries, but it also may able to offer the best product that fit the search queries.
Create an Effective Navigation System
To make your E-Commerce website usable as possible, you need to ensure its ease of use. Even the most beautiful website out there will be useless if people get lost inside.
In E-Commerce website, you can find the main navigation system in the header, or in the side column.
There are several elements that needed to exist in your E-Commerce website in order to create a perfect navigation system:
· Logo, so visitors can know the name of your online store.
· Page title, so visitors can know which page they are on right now.
· Category level, so the visitors can see what options available in their current position
· Main category, so the visitors can know the main part of the website.
· Pathway or breadcrumbs, so the visitors can know where they are within the site.
Pathway is a method to indicate the visitor’s position in your site without the need to stuff all information inside your header. It will help make your header looks thinner and simpler.
Pathway, “breadcrumbs” is a small text that indicating the name of the page where you are at right now and how you can reach specific page in a site. Just like how Hansel and Gretel use breadcrumbs to show their way to home, right?
Usually, you can see pathway under the header, on the left side. Here is an example of pathway from crutchfield.com.
As you can see, there are several texts that contain the name of the store’s category and sub category (Home/TVs & Video/TVs/Projectors). You can go back to upper level by clicking the pathway’s text.
Make It Easy to Register and Simplify Your Forms
You need to ensure visitors will not meet any kind of trouble in the sign-up or the sign in process.
Make the sign in form as simple as possible. Do not forget to ask the developer to test the form in order to ensure everything works flawlessly.
I am pretty sure you do not want to get cart abandonment just because the visitors think your sign in process is hard to understand, right?
Of course, a form is not only used in the registration process. It can be used for another purpose too, like newsletter sign up, promo code use, and much more.
In order to create a good form, you need to understand the basic of E-Commerce website form design first. There are some basic form elements that can be found in almost every E-Commerce site:
· Labels: Title or field’s name.
· Input field: The blank space where users can input their data or select any available data.
· Action: Button which usually located at the bottom or the side of the form.
· Help: Series of text that helps to identify the format, type, or the importance of data which need to be entered.
· Validation: Help to determine whether the format of the data is correct or not. If not, then usually a warning message will appear.
Do not forget to match the design of the form with your whole site design and brand.
This article also published at: http://newlime.limecommerce.com/2017/07/26/ecommerce-design-user-friendly-usability/