We love making digital products. More importantly, we love when people use them. An often overlooked topic is understanding how to boost traffic. The thing about good user experience is that when a user accomplishes the task they’ve set out, they usually come back. Even better, they tell their friends about it. While this isn’t some huge PR tactic like landing on the front page of a newspaper, it’s extremely important.
According to this article, more than 50 percent of smartphone users in the U.S. download zero new mobile apps per month. This makes user happiness more important than ever. If we’re exploring new products less often, this means that when we’re searching for them, we expect them to be useful.
The following are classic UX principles that at the same time help to boost traffic.
Have a job for each page
The “job” idea isn’t new, but it is backed by research. Popularized by Harvard Professor Hayden Christensen, the Jobs to be Done framework helps developers and marketers think of their products as “jobs” that are being hired by its users. For example, someone is hiring your app to help them complete a task. That said, each page on your site represents a new job. Not only is this great for users, but it’s great for search engines. If the search engine like Google better understands how your product solves problems, you will naturally get a better ranking.
To think about this further, ask yourself:
- Can we title the page to its use?
- Does this page solve one problem or many?
- What is the summary of this page?
Clear, direct copywriting & scannable information
Do users understand what you’ve written? Maybe they want to “search,” “contact,’ or “edit,” and they can’t find those popular prompts. Perhaps an underappreciated part of user experience design, brilliant and direct copywriting makes a huge difference. And not with just who uses your product, but if they decide to come back. It may feel simple, but you’d be surprised how often products are built and deployed without taking care of this.
Ask yourself this as you write copy for the page:
- Why is the user on this page?
- How can we direct the user around the page with words?
- What is the call-to-action on this page?
Optimize for each screen and user
Keep in mind that people from around the world will use your product. Consider designing so that it works regardless of the device someone is using. Some websites are great-looking on the web, but not so much on mobile. Some apps are great on the iPhone, but not so great on the iPad. Not only is this great for traffic, but it helps to lower your bounce rate.
According to this article in Time, one in every three visitors spend less than 15 seconds reading articles they land on. Though this is specific to articles, this hints at the irritability to users. It takes seconds for a user to leave — optimizing for each screen and person can make sure this doesn’t happen.
As we mentioned in this article, it’s important to keep accessibility in mind. According to the Interaction Design Foundation, there are five key usability areas to consider. We’ve expanded this list to include: visual, motor/ability, cognitive, dyslexia, auditory, and mental disabilities such as anxiety, all of which should be considered while designing.