With so much internet traffic today, 55% of all websites are getting looked at for less than 15 seconds. So having an excellent first impression on every user should be at the top of your mind while designing a website for your company. Creating a top-notch user experience for customers coming to your website will give you great credibility and lead to loyal customers wanting to return.
Importance of a Customer-First Website Design
User experience is how people perceive, use, and remember a website. Designing your website for the user strongly improves brand awareness. A great way to showcase your brand’s personality and voice to all customers is by having a consistent and crisp website design, making everyone feel like they know the company well. Customers come to your website with the intent of getting an action done, so if they can achieve that without being confused or running into problems, they will be left with a good impression. Positive user experience will generate more leads if customers had a simple and enjoyable experience on your site, leading to good reviews and feedback.
While designing your company’s website, having the user in mind every step of the way will make a good design come naturally.
Techniques and Strategies
The first impression on most customers will be your website’s landing page– determining whether users will leave within that first fifteen seconds or not. Having an exciting landing page without too much heavy content will keep them drawn in and lead them to exploring more pages of your site. This landing page can share news updates, frequently asked questions, or– popular today– can share your company’s social distancing guidelines and new safety or sanitation rules. The first thing you see on Starbucks.com right now is how much they value their customers’ health, with a link to how they are navigating COVID-19.
From here, there needs to be a text hierarchy. In art classes they always tell you that the eye will naturally gravitate to one spot of a piece at first, and the same thing goes on a web page. Make sure that is the most important text or most commonly wanted action, and then less important information can flow around it. For example, on SproutSocial.com, the first place your eye goes is to this bright green “start your free trial,” button. After knowing it’s free, users will then read about the social media services available.
Users also shouldn’t have to think about where to click next. Simple conventions like always having a navigation bar at the top of each page are good. Also, not having navigation be too “deep,” like having to click multiple times through a page, and then having to click back a bunch of times to get to the main navigation.
Aside from visual aspects, all of your web content should be intentional, too. Design elements need to help users accomplish something in a natural and enjoyable way, making every functional element of the website stylish yet simple. A popular style technique is to have pages be 70% visual and 30% content to keep it clean looking. Nike.com is one website that does a good job of this, drawing users in with visuals of their products in use.
When a text-heavy page is necessary, though, a good use of negative space on the page can make it feel light still. Mixbook.com shows how service options can be shown without feeling like there’s an overwhelming amount of text.
Standing Out While Staying Consistent
To best convey your brand personality to customers over your website, having a consistent look and voice across all of your pages works well. A good technique is having one layout for informational pages, a different layout for product pages, and a different layout for interactive pages. With consistent fonts and colors across all of these layouts, your website will have the perfect amount of variation and brand consistency at the same time.
There are also certain conventions that may feel mundane, but make user experience easier and more familiar from website to website. These include having your logo at the top middle or left of each page, having your navigation bar at the top or along the left side of each page, having a shopping cart icon and similar ideas like that. It is also important to conduct testing before launching your website, making sure that it resizes to fit mobile devices and tablets, and that it looks good on all operating systems. All of these strategies will help build credibility between the user and the business. Finding a balance between being unique and providing an easy user experience will bring positive results for everyone involved.
Marketing Relevance can help you create a website that is user friendly along with increasing brand awareness. Check out some of the websites that we developed for our clients that increased leads and ROI. Contact us today or call 847-259-7312 to get the process started.