9 UX Design Strategies Your Company Site Shouldn't Overlook This Year


A user-centered design creates a positive experience for anyone who lands on your page. Not all UX design strategies are created equal, and best practices vary from year to year. Figuring out which things are important to implement is half the battle in running a successful website.

Around 75 percent of users decide whether a website is credible based on how usable it is. Since users are more likely to buy from businesses they trust, credibility is vital to your profitability. However, there are so many different aspects of user experience it can be difficult to know where to focus. Here are nine current UX strategies that should drive your growth this year.

1. Tell a Story

Storytelling is as old as time itself, but it is trending in website design. Anytime you tell a story, you engage the user rather than simply throwing information at them. They stimulate the senses and tug on emotions. Your narrative should be personal to your brand but relevant to what the consumer wants to know about you. You might share information about the company founders or highlight some of the employees people interact with.

2. Cut the Clutter

The easiest pages to navigate are the ones with a clear focus and plenty of white space. If you cram too much information into a single page, your user may feel confused about where to go and what action to take. When you work in a balance of both positive and negative space, you give the site visitor a singular focus and remove the question about where to go next.

hbloom

H.Bloom has a simple design that points the user toward scheduling regular flower deliveries. It lays out the 1, 2, 3 process by explaining each step and limiting other elements on the page. The area above the fold on the landing page has only a hero image, a brief explanation of its services and a description of how it works.

3. Speed up Your Site

About 70 percent of online shoppers told researchers in a survey of 750 consumers and 395 marketers that page load speed factored into their decision to buy. How fast your site loads has a big impact on the experience of your site visitors. If you want to improve overall UX, speed up your load times today. Look at your server and how fast it delivers the page. Optimize images and make sure elements also work on mobile devices. Remove any scripts that slow down your page loading time. There are several free sites where you can check your site speed and gather tips for ticking milliseconds off the delivery:

  • Google’s Page Speed Insights - Developers can use Google’s developer tools for feedback on their site’s speed and performance. You'll receive an overall score out of 100 and then a list of "Opportunities" for speeding up your page, such as serving images in next-gen formats, encoding images and getting rid of render-blocking resources.
  • Pingdom Website Speed Test – Pingdom offers tools to test your site speed. Simply plug in your website URL and choose a location from which to test, such as North America or Europe. You'll receive a performance letter grade and a score between 0 and 100. The system also gives you the exact load time, your page size and how many requests they made to gather the data. You'll receive tips for improving your overall page performance such as adding expire headers and avoid URL redirects.
  • GTmetrix - This speed test is easy for even beginners to use and uses recommendations from Google and YSlow. If your site is average or above, you'll get a green arrow, but if it needs work, you'll get a yellow diamond, indicating you could improve in this area. Your Google PageSpeed Score and your YSlow Score may vary, so make sure you click on all the tabs and get results from each testing service.

In order to effectively test your website, you need to run speed tests from a variety of locations and use different services to ensure you’re hitting on all the elements that might improve the user’s experience on your site.

4. Reach Other Areas of the World

Today's economy is global, so take advantage of shoppers in other countries by implementing translation services and ensuring you accept payments that make sense for users outside your home country. You may want to add just one new language at a time, so you don't become overwhelmed and can ensure the translation is correct. Fortunately, there are also translation services, such as Google, which users can implement to read your site in their native language.

Remember to figure out logistics before targeting a new market, too. You need to be able to deliver products on time.

idc spring

IDC Spring uses Google to offer site visitors the ability to select a language. At this time, the site is available in English and Spanish, allowing it to reach most of the citizens in North America. This expands its base into Mexico as well, so it has an opportunity to ship springs wherever an individual or business needs them.

5. Add Voice Capability

Smart speakers are a $7 billion industry, and more voice searches are conducted each day. In addition to Alexa and Google Home, people also use Siri and other such features. This is the wave of the future, so adding this capability to your site is almost a must.

6. Communicate Clearly

One of the biggest frustrations for consumers is dealing with a company that isn't clear about expectations and return policies. Make everything as upfront as possible and use simple language. If your policies are filled with legalese, work with your lawyers to make them easier to understand for those without a law degree. Be open about any potential delays on orders and follow up whenever possible to keep the lines of communication open.

capital one spark

Capital One Spark clearly lays out what its offer is on the Spark card page. Note how it lists the offers and annual fees. It also clearly defines interest rates, how many cards come with the account and the fraud coverage it provides.

7. Refine Navigation

Your navigation is one of the first impressions visitors have of your site, and it must be intuitive. Think about the different websites you've visited and where elements reside on the ones you like best. More than likely, there is a home button on the far left and a contact tab on the right. The navigation should also be easy to spot from the minute the user lands on the page, so locate it near the top, either directly above or below the header or in the sidebar.

8. Personalize Your CTA

Your call to action (CTA) needs to grab users' attention. People are used to seeing CTAs in today's oversaturated market, but if yours seems more personal and stands out, then users are more likely to notice it.

grubhub

Grubhub does a good job with its CTA on the landing page. It personalizes the CTA text with "Order food delivery you'll love." The phrasing uses both action verbs and the second person to make the call more intimate. It then asks for a location to further personalize the experience and a red arrow button to show what the user should do next.

9. Engage Your User

The best UX is one that grabs the user from the moment they land on your website and keeps their interest until they convert into a customer. Look at each step in your buyer's journey. Make sure you're using words and images that drive them through the process and keep them making choices, answering questions and remaining engaged until they leave your site.

New UX Strategies

Designers constantly come up with new strategies for improving user experience. Study what's on trend and see which tactics might work best for your target audience. If you're unsure about a change, do some split testing to see how it resonates with your customers. With a little attention to the usability of your site, visitors will come back again and convert into fans.

 

 

 

Lexie is a graphic designer and typography enthusiast. She spends most of her time A/B testing websites and creating style guides. Check out her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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