UX – or user experience – is a key principle in effective web design. While it is hard to define, it can be quite easy to provide an example.
What is bad UX?
If you’re browsing a website – whether on your phone, computer, or other device – and find yourself leaving because of things that have nothing to do with the content: that’s a bad user experience. We’re talking slow loading times, buggy on-page code, garish graphics, illegible fonts, auto-playing videos, pop-up adverts and more. One or more of these might not ruin your browsing experience, but the more there are, the worse it gets.
What is good UX?
In essence, a good user experience for a website involves forgetting that you’re on a website at all. Whether you’re shopping, reading a news article, browsing social media, or anything else, the technical aspects of the website you’re visiting should be non-invasive.
So – why is UX so important?
Elements of a positive UX
UX isn’t just about keeping the programming of your website hidden. The design and the layout all contribute to the overall experience. As much as we like to think we’re providing information with our site, we’re really delivering an immersive multimedia experience.
While graphics and text are key components of this experience, we mustn’t forget simple things like the layout of the page. This is why companies are optimising their sites for mobile use. What looks great on your desktop PC can look cramped on your phone, and vice versa.
Videos are becoming a vital part of the user experience. Whether it’s a custom animation, a studio-shot film, or a self-made TikTok, video content is a popular way to grab peoples’ attention and to keep them hanging around your site.
Keeping it simple
Most people scan through websites, only reading articles in-depth if something catches their interest. Therefore, you need to design your website with this in mind. Have content set in such a way that a user will notice it fly by if they’re just scanning. If they notice it, they can be lured into retracing their scan to check it out.
Likewise, if a website is too confusing, users will leave. There was once a fashion for Flash intros that had all sorts of links embedded in them, that it took meticulous sweeping with a cursor to find. That approach simply doesn’t wash in 2020. People want to know where they can go and exactly how to get there.
Have you noticed that most sites have the same general layout? Login in the top-right, menu across the top, drop bar at the top-left? There’s no technical reason for doing so – you can have your login button anywhere you like. However, users have become accustomed to a certain way of browsing, so keeping to the same path makes your own website feel more legitimate.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective web design solution – one that focuses on user experience – get in touch with Easy Internet. One of our team will be happy to arrange a free consultation and provide you with a free, no-obligation quote.
When you decide to build a new website for your company, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely the visual aspect. Although this is important, there are additional elements that not only provide a better user experience but also improve your Google E-A-T rating.
If you’re unfamiliar with Google E-A-T, it is a set of guidelines used by Google’s quality raters to assign a quality score to search results for specified queries. Sites that are rated highly tend to rank higher in Google search results.
Here we discuss 7 important features that should be included in your web design to help you comply with E-A-T.
The first thing people notice when visiting any website is the branding. A poorly designed website can immediately make you appear less trustworthy as a company and contribute towards lost traffic. Establishing branding guidelines at the beginning of the web design process will help you to establish a cohesive design that looks professional and builds trust. Everything from your company logo and website images to the font and white space should be considered.
Although you might not consider content to be an element of your design, it makes up a large part of the website. Low quality content can instantly make your business appear unprofessional as well as negatively affecting your search engine rankings.
High quality content is an important part of your web design, welcoming your visitors and explaining your products or services.
Partnering your content with enticing images, laid out in a visually appealing way will lead your visitors on a pleasurable journey through your website towards making a purchase.
Let’s face it, the about us page on many business sites is probably the most boring. Usually consisting of just a couple of paragraphs of text, vaguely listing a few details about the company, it’s rarely memorable.
A well designed about us page includes a host of elements that not only make it eye catching but trustbuilding. Displaying company images, some fun or informative text and information about your team will all help you to stand out. Depending on your industry, you could ask your team some fun questions and include their responses. One great example that we loved was ‘What would you be if you wasn’t a … ?’, accompanied by an image of the team member in full fancy dress pretending to do that job.
Most website platforms now include the functionality to embed reviews from other sites including Google My Business and Facebook directly onto your website. Including reviews in your website design is a great way of building trust, showing your visitors that you value feedback, both good and bad. Don’t forget that if you’re displaying the bad feedback, you need to respond and show that you’re there to help if there is an issue.
Another element often omitted from web design is the inclusion of a blog section. Blogs are a great way of providing your authority and expertese in your industry. You can use a blog to talk about your products and services and answer questions whilst adding additional content that Google can display in search results.
Following your branding through to your blog section is essential. Using the same high quality content and tone as well as complimentary images will ensure your visitors receive the same experience wherever they enter your site.
Including a bio and image of the author is also an excellent way to build trust.
Memberships & Awards
Many businesses are members of industry associations or have received an award but they fail to display them on their website. Including these logos on the website, whether in the footer or as part of the site design, helps to build trust by showing your affiliation.
Using an SSL on your website is essential to building trust with your visitors. When purchasing products through your website, visitors will be looking for that green padlock at the top of the screen to tell them it’s safe to pay. Occasionally though, you may encounter an amber padlock that indicates an issue. Usually the culprit is an image using a http url that acts as a way into the page.
Ensuring your web design company has a fully experienced developer working on your website can help to avoid issues such as these, helping to keep your customer transactions secure and retaining your reputation as a trustworthy business.
If you’re looking for a web design company that not only builds a visually appealing website but also focuses on the elements that boost your search engine presence, contact us today on 0333 332 6396 for an informal chat and a no-obligation quote.
When people visit your website, Google may be warning them that your site is insecure, leaving them likely to leave for fear of compromising their device or losing data.
Is this happening to your site?
The reason Google can flag your website is to do with their pledge to make the internet more secure. They first announced this in 2007 and have rolled out changes since then. If a visitor is using Google’s Chrome browser, it will highlight certain sites as ‘not secure’ and this is likely to negatively affect the way those visitors interact with your site.
You may have already noticed this as you browse the web, but as more and more websites secure themselves, those that do not start to stand out, and not in a good way.
If your site is showing as ‘not secure’ in a Chrome browser, it’s to do with the security of the connection between the web server and the visitor’s web browser. If this is not encrypted, it means that the information passed between the two could be viewed in some way. Given the fears about losing data, this is bad enough on an information site, but when it comes to transactional sites where users input data such as phone numbers and credit cards, the ‘not secure’ sign becomes a serious red flag.
Test if Your Site Is Secure?
Testing is simple. Does your site load with ‘https://’ at the front, or just ‘http://’? Do you see a little grey padlock on the left of the URL? If the answer is yes, you can relax. If you notice there’s no padlock, or even the ‘not secure’ sign itself, you need to make some basic changes to secure your site and reassure your visitors.
Secure Your Site Now
Secured sites use an SSL certificate to force a website to load through the ‘https://’ version rather than the unsecured version. Once the SSL certificate is installed and configured on your website, the warning will disappear and visitors will see the padlock right away.
At Easy Website Design, we build sites that are secure and SEO compliant, and so we install and configure SSL certificates on all our projects. This means visitors can view and interact with these sites with complete confidence, and our clients get the best value out of our work.
We can also install and configure SSL certificates to secure existing sites so whether you’re starting a new website from scratch and want a responsive, modern site built on the pillars of SEO, or just want to improve the security of your site, we can help. Contact us today on 0333 332 6396 for a free consultation.
When it comes down to it, websites really are pretty special assets for businesses. There are few other ways to be constantly represented or open to new business twenty-four hours a day. They can be the ultimate shopfront, allowing you to cleverly and adaptively craft the way your business is going to be perceived by your audience and customers.
That said, there are plenty of ways for websites to go slightly wrong, with the biggest and worst simply being falling behind. Just failing to keep up with trends, technology and aesthetics online can leave you with a website that makes your business look dated and tired, in a marketplace full of speedy, slick competitors.
With that in mind, here’s the ten ways your site could be lacking or falling behind, letting you start planning that much-needed update. We’ve broken down the ten ways into four categories; digital marketing, usability, design and efficiency.
Key to Reaching Out – Digital Marketing
Quantify Your Results
One of the biggest areas businesses fail when it comes to digital marketing is through failing to quantify their results. You want to know when you’re doing something right, or when your marketing money is being wasted, right?
That means tracking data, and making sure that every part of your marketing budget is being spent effectively on something proven with figures and stats.
Sure, you can’t expect results immediately, but you need to keep track. There’s plenty of online tools and suites designed specifically to monitor your site data and help you figure out what’s working.
Content is Still King
Beyond the immediate aesthetics of your site, there’s one other huge factor that plays a role in keeping your audience interested, and keeping a steady flow of new visitors going; content.
Quality content has long been a big part of digital marketing, for good reason. It’s the organic way to build real traffic flow, and increasingly, it’s the best way, with Google prioritising quality, fresh content over black hat SEO tricks more and more.
Updates for SEO
Updating your site can do two handy things as far as search engine optimisation is concerned. First off, you can integrate more SEO features, like tags, rich snippets, etc. into the meat of the site, and secondly, you can signal to search engines that your website is up-to-date, fresh and worth ranking highly. Websites that never get updated slip down the search results.
No One Likes a Challenge – Usability
Navigation is Important
When people come to your site, you want them to be able to find exactly what they’re looking for, and quickly. Leaving people in a retro, labyrinthine website, reminiscent of something from the ‘90s is going to see people moving away from your site in a hurry. You want navigation to be easy, logical and quick.
Website Speed is Key
Both visitors and search engine crawlers take real note of slow websites, with it potentially marring an otherwise great site. If your site is struggling to load up in a reasonable timeframe, chances are you could do with an update.
The Important of Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is all about visitors coming onto your site, and leaving without checking out a second page. This is obviously a big indicator of an outdated or ineffective website, especially to search engines.
Once again, it comes down to keeping an eye on the data and mapping why and where people are clicking off in a hurry. There’s a lot of elements to bounce rate that need to be taken into account, including location, because people from outside the local area might immediately click away simply because of distance, and whether or not they’re new or returning visitors, as they can have very different intentions.
A dire bounce rate means something is badly out of whack, and your site could probably do with either a thorough update or a new digital marketing approach.
People like Pretty Things – Design
Keep it Sharp and Up-To-Date
A website is like your shopfront. If it looks terrible, people are going to presume the same of your business. You want to project competence and skill, and the best way to do that is through an exhaustively, aesthetically designed webpage.
Responsive Design Continues to be the Future
Responsive website design is all about building websites that work just as well on any device. With the average person now spending more time browsing on their smartphone than their laptop, this has never been more important. You can’t have a website that requires constant, drastic rescaling or worse, not work at all on phones. If you’re in need of an update, there’s a chance you’re currently missing out on mobile and tablet business.
Make it Easier on Yourself – Efficiency
Post and Update Yourself
Every business should be able to update their own site with new content or information. With older sites, this can be troublesome, and a real hassle, but updated, improved modern websites, you can easily expect to perform updates and publishing yourself, with ease.
Security is Always Important
We’ve all heard worrying stories about sites getting hacked and huge embarrassment or legal troubles for the companies involved, and these stories are only getting more and more frequent.
As the web continues to grow, so too does cybercrime, making security more important than ever. Keeping your WordPress site completely up-to-date means keeping your security completely solid, leaving you to get on with running your business.
The problem with older, outdated websites is that they simply don’t have the security of their modern, updated counterparts. You need to know that your site is completely defended, and that you can trust your site’s security completely. An updated site with full, cutting-edge security features is exactly what you need.