The user experience – or UX – is a hotly trending topic. As often happens with popular topics, it is hard to find a clear and simple article that explains what the user experience means and the corresponding best practices.
That is why I have decided to shine some light on a subject that is becoming increasingly important in everyday life.
The user experience has now become a ranking criterion in search engines. A clear, fast site with an intuitive navigation design will appear higher in the rankings than an unenhanced site.
Here are five tips for improving the user experience on your website / e-shop
1. Accelerate your web page loading speed
Most web users expect a website to load within three or four seconds. Every fraction of a second more simply adds to their frustration.
You need to keep a close eye on the elements that you add to your pages, since some may slow down the speed at which your content is loaded:
- Large images
- Poor quality hosting provider
- No caching
- Too many plug-ins
2. Make your website look attractive
One of the most important parts of the user experience is the design. That is why it is so important not to overlook this aspect, since you could lose visitors.
Your website’s homepage is your showcase, so look after it!
Most visitors will land on your homepage. This is why it should contain the key information about your line of business.
Be careful not to display everything on the homepage. Only put up the key information, so that users understand your business in just a few seconds.
3. Navigation: the path to your content
The navigation menus on your website or e-shop will take visitors inside your content. That is why you should take care over the headings by offering clear and descriptive titles in the navigation menus, so that visitors know where to go without the slightest hesitation.
Each page should also feature a navigational aid or breadcrumb (see example below) to allow users to go back at any time and especially know whereabouts they are on the website at all times.
If you have an e-shop or if you sell your products from your website, you can offer other products that are likely to interest the user.
Here is an example of what we offer traceparts.com users:
4. Responsive design: a vital part of the user experience
Nowadays, industry and design professionals browse websites when at work and on the road. When they do not have access to a computer, they use their smartphone or tablet.
Responsive web design is a vital part of the user experience. It allows websites to change their layout to suit the visitor’s screen resolution. Consequently, you should make sure that your website / e-shop is responsive, so that users can access and buy your products regardless of their device.
5. Add a search bar to your website
Imagine a website like Amazon without a search bar. Would users find their required products so easily? Definitely not. The same applies to your e-shop.
When potential customers look for parts on your website, they will be frustrated if they are unable to quickly find those parts using a reference number or product name.
A poor user experience often results in a sense of frustration. That frustration could cost you visitors and therefore potential customers.
The user experience should be seen as a strategy for understanding users’ needs. Above all, you must think about how users will navigate through your website before you even think about developing the site.
Analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, can be used to anticipate users’ reactions and thereby provide the information that they are looking for directly.
For a more in-depth look…
Where does the term “user experience” come from?
Donald Norman Professor of Cognitive Science, was one of the first people to talk about the user experience in his book entitled “The Design of Everyday Things” by introducing the user-centered design concept.