5 Ways a Good UX Design Can Help Drive Conversions on Your Website.

For the past decade, the rapid pace of technology advancement and the ever-changing landscape of the online world has permanently changed the way we live. Consumers are so used to the habit of getting what they need with just a few clicks on their personal mobile devices. In order to stay competitive, businesses need to constantly evolve and adjust their marketing strategy to please this increasingly sophisticated group of potential customers. In recent years, many marketers are looking at user experience to help improve conversions. As aptly quipped by Angie Schottmuller, a Growth Marketing Advisor,

“Marketing without UX is like throwing darts in the dark. Don’t hope to hit a goal when you can use data to understand context, emotion and needs to ensure a bullseye.”

In today’s digital marketing context, there is definitely a need to take user experience into consideration.

Here are 5 ways how a good UX design can help drive conversions:

1. First Impression counts

The average attention span of a human is 8.25 seconds (Statistic Brain Research Institute, 2016). With an attention span less than a goldfish (9 seconds), this means that there is literally only 8 seconds to capture the attention of a typical average consumer. Studies show that 94% of a web user’s first impressions are design related (Sillence et al., 2004). The design elements of a website encompass the typography, colour scheme as well as the layout. As your website represents the brand and the company, it helps to influence the trust and respect of the consumers. Not only does a bad web design causes a loss of visitors and customers, it also causes irreversible damage to your company’s credibility and reputation.

2. Optimised for Mobile

The population of people surfing the web using their smartphones and tablets is growing at a meteoric rate in recent years. Today, mobile internet traffic accounted for 52.64% of the total global online traffic (Statista, 2017). This made it impossible for businesses to ignore mobile users as they make up half of their potential customers. Research shows that mobile users are 5 times more likely to leave a website that is not properly optimised for mobile (Google, Sterling Research and SmithGeiger, 2012). Navigating through a website on the phone is ultimately a different experience as compared to doing so on the desktop. Due to the much smaller screen size, information presented to consumers should be bite-sized and to the point. The website should fit mobile screens precisely and users should not need to pinch and zoom while navigating. Buttons and links should be of appropriate size and easy to tap.

Image: Google Developers

Optimising your website for mobile would help cater to consumers’ needs and preferences and provide for better usability. A good mobile experience ensures the satisfaction of the consumers. This leads to a better chance of conversions as well as the likelihood of a returning customer.

3. Easy Navigation is best

Navigating through a website can be likened to finding the way through a forest on a hike. If the forest is too dense and or if the path ahead is unclear, chances are hikers would probably lose their way before reaching their destination. Similarly, a content-heavy website without clear navigation would overwhelm users which would eventually lead to frustration. Navigation menus should be well-organised and call-to-action buttons should also be prominently placed. This enables users to quickly find the information they need. Consistency is also a key factor. The navigation menus should not change position within different pages as this might confuse users. Appropriate use of icons can also supplement navigation. It allows users to quickly absorb and process the content in an efficient manner.

4. Speed matters

Often at times, web developers might get too engrossed in creating beautiful visual effects or new interactive features on webpages that they forgot to account for the page loading time. Studies show that a 2 second delay in loading time during transactions will result in the users’ abandonment rates of up to 87% (Radware, 2013). This makes a fast page loading time the make-it-or-break-it factor of a satisfactory user experience. Image optimisation, usage of a content delivery network and acquisition of a dedicated server are just some ways to reduce loading time. There are many tools available to check the loading speed of your website. One good example is http://www.webpagetest.org/ which allow companies to test their website on different browsers as well as different devices.

5. Testing is necessary

After identifying issues with your website and creating solutions to solve them, it is crucial to test the new designs on users. Many of these new designs are based on the assumptions of the UX designer and web developer. Usability testing helps businesses to find out what works and what doesn’t. Testing can be done in the form of A/B testing or remote usability testing. Conducting a usability testing on a sample size of 10 can uncover 95% of the problems (Faulkner, 2003). Therefore, you need to test, get feedback, make improvements, and test again.

There is no hard and fast rule in creating the perfect experience for your consumers on your website. The above-mentioned tips are just some of the ways to get you started. You need to understand who your users are. Remember to keep them as your focus. Value their feedback and constantly adapt and cater to their needs and preferences. If your company still hasn’t invested time or capital on optimising user experience, maybe now’s a good time to start.

References:

Elizabeth Sillence, Pam Briggs, Lesley Fishwick, Peter Harris. (2004). Trust and mistrust of online health sites. SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, (pp. 663–670). New York.

Faulkner, L. (2003). Beyond the five-user assumption: Benefits of increased sample sizes in usability testing. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 379–383.

Google, Sterling Research and SmithGeiger. (2012). What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today.

Radware. (2013, May 1). Case Study: How a 2-Second Improvement in Page Load Time More Than Doubled Conversions. Retrieved from Radware Blog: https://blog.radware.com/applicationdelivery/applicationaccelerationoptimization/2013/05/case-study-page-load-time-conversions/

Statista. (2017). Mobile Internet — Statistics & Facts. Retrieved from Statista: https://www.statista.com/topics/779/mobile-internet/

Statistic Brain Research Institute. (2016, July 2). Attention Span Statistics. Retrieved from Statistic Brain: https://www.statisticbrain.com/attention-span-statistics/

Creative practitioner / Web designer