Website design can be a serious challenge for those without a lot of experience. Designing a website seems to be easy enough with drag and drop features that come with many of the themes on the market today. But even this much can be too challenging for many people.

In addition to creating the website itself, the importance of user experience (also known as UX) in website design cannot be stressed enough. It is vital to consider how users, and this includes both clients and employees, will interact with your website.

The Importance of User Experience

One of the most important things a company can do for itself in terms of branding, marketing, and selling is to create a website that builds in a great user experience. Without the ability to flawlessly scroll through pages of content and media, the website will be fundamentally flawed, and users will not enjoy being on that site.

First, let’s consider the type of user.

Employee User Experience

Even if your website is only for the use of personnel, and not customers, the importance of user experience is still very high. If your employees are not able to access and utilize the website with ease, you are costing yourself money. Investing a small amount to ensure that your website is done correctly, by professionals that are experienced in website design, you will find that your employees are able to make better use of their time. The more organized that your website is, the easier it will be for your employees to find what they are looking for, and will become a more efficient team to complete tasks that are assigned to them.

Client User Experience

Attracting new clients is one of the main reasons that businesses maintain a website. They are a great marketing tool. However, beautiful graphics and stellar content are not enough. Visitors should be able to navigate your site easily. Using the services of a top notch web designer will ensure that your website is user friendly. It can be challenging enough to attract new clients so you want to do all that you can to keep them coming back to you.

Given how important employee productivity and client and customer experience are, it’s amazing how common user experience missteps are in web design. Here are some of the most common:

User Experience Pitfalls

Bounce Rate

All websites have something called a ‘bounce-rate’, which is essentially a measurement of how long visitors stay on each page of your website before ‘bouncing’ to another. The higher that this number is, the more that can be said for the success of your website. The importance of user experience in website design can be found here, clearly. Without a site that is easy and fun to use, users will not remain loyal to the site. If they become frustrated trying to find something, or if they are unable to access certain portions of your website, they will be less inclined to conduct business with you. In order to have a successful website, you must consider the way that your site interacts with your target market, and how your target market interacts with your website.

Mobile Responsive Web Design

As the use of mobile devices continues to grow, websites must be created with these viewers in mind. Responsive web design works to provide an optimal viewing experience for all visitors no matter which device they are using when accessing your website. With this in mind, businesses have no choice but to ensure that their websites are mobile responsive. To do otherwise will only cause a site to lose traffic and sales.

Slow Load Times

Slow loading websites drive visitors crazy and will drive them away as well. Although you might want your site to have all of the bells and whistles, clients do not care about this as much as you might think. Time is money in business and visitors who have to wait any length of time for pages to load are just as apt to click away.

Another point to keep in mind is that slow loading pages can also hurt your site’s rankings. A good rule of thumb is always to focus on speed first and bells and whistles second.

Too Many Options

It is understandable that website owners want to provide their visitors with plenty of information. The problem that often arises however, is that information overload can occur. With too many options, a visitor can end up feeling confused and frustrated.

A better approach is to design your site in a way that makes it easy for visitors to find what they need easily. That could mean having less information but more of the information that your visitor is searching for. The best way to learn more about the needs of your visitors is to keep an eye on your analytics and survey them when needed.

Auto-start Videos

There is nothing more annoying then landing on a website only to be startled by a loud, blaring video. Although fewer sites these days employ this practice, enough still do and so it is worth mentioning. While having videos on a site is fine, having them set to auto-start is a sure way to drive traffic away.

These factors, among many others, should encourage business owners and information technology professionals to always consider the importance of user experience in website design when they are building their sites and coming up with new solutions in technology. Remember that users need to be able to use the site with a great deal of ease and efficiency to be happy with the product, so be sure to consider how it looks and feels. The more organized your site is, the better!

Having talked about user experience problems, I’m sure you’ll want to know how to avoid them. Here are some user experience best practices:

User Experience Best Practices

Good web design planning will provide visitors to your site the best user experience possible and should be a top priority. Here are some of the best practices to incorporate in your site’s design that will keep visitors coming back.

Be Clear About What Your Company Does

This might seem like a no-brainer but oftentimes websites rank highly for things like great graphics but on the other hand visitors are not able to figure out what they do. Be clear about your products and offerings. Clients do not want to guess how you can help them so state it up front.

Make Your Site Easy to Search

Everyone is pressed for time today so making it easy to find things on your site is imperative. A well organized site takes planning but it is a must to ensure visitors come back again and again.

Provide Killer Content

Are you using catchy headlines? Does your content standout from the crowd? The internet is loaded with information and people are searching for it. Getting visitors to read yours means it must be a cut above the competition. As easy as it is for people to be on your site, it is just as easy for them to click over to another site. Ensure that the content you deliver is cutting edge to keep them on your site.

Increase Engagement

Only providing written posts is no longer enough. People want and expect more. In addition to written posts, provide content through video, audio, slideshares, etc. This will give visitors a more satisfying experience while keeping them on your site longer.

Lose the Popups and Ads

Popups and numerous ads will not endear your site to your visitors. Not only are they annoying but they take away from what might otherwise be a great user experience. Just like auto-play videos, popups and too many ads will drive traffic away.

At the end of the day your website is all about your visitors and their experience with it. Keep them happy by taking the time to plan and making the investment in an experienced web designer. You will reap the benefits tenfold.

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