Just as a profile pic can only tell you so much about a person, it’s only when you engage with them that you truly discover whether or not you’re compatible. A website is much the same, if links don’t connect or if when engaging with the website you get easily annoyed because you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, well – no second date and see you later, you get it.
A poor user experience is a killer for your website and in turn for your business, especially if your online presence is your primary marketing tool. So, what UX web design mistakes do you want to avoid? Listed below are some common web design mistakes that lead to poor user experiences and how you can fix them ASAP:
Don’t Bury Important ContentWeb visitors want to find the information they are looking for quickly and easily. When they have to jump through hurdles to find what they’re looking for, you’ve got a web design mistake on your hands. Poor information architecture is the culprit and to fix it, you’ll want to think of your website as a user rather than as an organization when creating your sitemap.
Organize your website’s content as per what your audience needs to know. Take the time to look through your current website analytics to understand your users’ behavior and in turn prioritize content accordingly. Contact information should be prominently displayed in the header or footer of every page. Category names should accurately describe the content that will be found once the link is clicked on.
Competing Information is IrritatingWhen users cannot clearly distinguish between navigational categories or links, they’ll get a headache trying to find the right path to access the content they are looking for. No one likes headaches. Categories and links need to make sense exclusively and also in conjunction with other links on the site such that your users don’t get confused as to which option they should select.
For example, if I am looking to get a toilet fixed on a plumbing company website and the options read “What We Do” and “How We Help” – which should I choose? Though the conversational tone may sound cute in theory, if I can’t figure out quickly that you can fix my toilet – I’m going to search for another plumber whose services say explicitly – “Toilet Repairs”.
Poor labelling of categories leads to a poor user experience.
Consolidate Content Where ApplicableLikewise, poorly differentiating content that is similar can cause users to get frustrated. If your existing website has separate pages containing similar and related content, think about re-writing and consolidating the information into one page. That way, your users will access what they’re looking for the first time around.
Choose Your Calls to Action WiselyAlso, when multiple calls to action compete for your users’ attention, chances are they will get flustered with which option to choose and thus leave, rather than trying to decipher where to go next. Keep things simple by making your website’s navigation intuitive for your users and again, explicit. Limit your calls to action, so that your users aren’t confused as to what to do next. Say plainly what it is you want them to do.
Make Connections for Your UsersWhen information is scattered around your website with no clear logic as to how it all connects, you are creating a terrible user experience. To fix this, again start by creating a clear navigational structure that is your sitemap.
As for content within each page, where it is relevant, make connections for you users by linking to related content that exists elsewhere on your web site. For example, if I have read through your services and want to contact you for a free estimate, there should be a link that naturally goes to your ‘contact’ page. Get it? Or if you’ve mentioned that you’re qualified to perform your job – link to your safety credentials/qualifications page that provides the proof of such.
For E-Commerce Websites: Don’t Hide FeesOnline shoppers are buying through their browsers because of convenience. Part of e-commerce’s appeal to consumers is the ease with which they can price compare and complete a transaction online. No driving to and from, finding a parking spot, dealing with lineups, etc. to make a purchase.
When users have to perform complex interactions with an e-commerce website to discover basic information like the cost of an item, membership, or shipping and handling fees, the whole convenience benefit is thrown out the window. People want to know prices from the get-go, so show them. Your web visitors should again be able to find the information they are looking for without having to complete a series of steps to do so.
Stranding users on Micro-sitesSome companies have to create sub sites or secondary sites to house specific content and are linked to from the main website. However, a mistake that often occurs in this setup is when web visitors become stranded on the microsite without a path to get back to the parent site.
Especially because parent and child sites often contain the same layouts or look and feel, users don’t realize that they’ve navigated to a new website altogether. Thus, when they go to use the navigation menu of the sub site/child site and it doesn’t perform the same as the main site/parent site, they get confused and frustrated. Be sure there is a clear path that allows your visitors to navigate back to the main site so they aren’t stranded on the subsite.