There are many factors involved in developing a website. From business objectives to brand guidelines, and from user-experience to design aesthetics, the list can be overwhelming. Even the basics features like the color palette, content and SEO have to be carefully dealt with. Core features like the information architecture and web technologies, also form an integral part of the development process and need to be meticulously planned and implemented. Overall, the website should look-and-feel both fluid and intuitive. As a result, the end-users must be able to find the required information with minimal fuss and maximum ease. Only when a website is able to achieve these parameters, it will be able to deliver the necessary user experience (UX). Therefore, a high UX score is essential for any website to be adjudged as successful in its objective.
However, many websites fall short on these requirements due to various reasons. Even important factors like the graphical aesthetics or content-quality may not matter if the website takes ages to load and has navigation issues.
While there are many ways to optimize the website, there are few ideal tips that can go a long way in enhancing the website’s UX.
The very first step that a user may be required to perform on a website is to log-in. If there is an issue with this initial step, users may not bother to look beyond. Also, many users find it difficult to remember usernames and passwords. If the website forces them to create a specific type of credentials, chances are they may keep forgetting every time they want to log-in. Using their regular email address instead may be much more convenient for them. Moreover, even the process to recover the password has to be easy and efficient.
Many users do not like to go through the registration process if it’s mandatory to fill too many fields. So, care should be taken in making only those fields as mandatory which capture the essential info about the users. The rest should be made optional. Another thing that can leave the users at bay is the use of blurred images for Captcha. Furthermore, when users click on the finish button after filling only one or two fields incorrectly, the refreshed page makes all the fields empty before displaying the incorrect login message. If users are made to repeat the cumbersome task, time and again, then they are most likely to abandon the vital registration task for good.
Most users are bound to make errors while logging in or registration. However, their frustration levels can be decreased by messages having a friendly tone. For instance, ‘You seem to have typed the wrong password’ sounds much better rather than just ‘Incorrect password’. While it may appear trivial, such basic things have a considerable weight-age in the overall UX score.
The longer it takes the page to load, the more frustrated the users are bound to grow. This obvious thing is usually on top of the annoyance list, and developers & designers must make every effort to reduce/optimize it. Especially the landing pages of the websites that have promotional content must have everything right to deal with the sudden surges or peak-time traffic. For this reason, alone, user experience designers must refrain from using features that consume huge bandwidth. The website must also be optimized for slow internet speeds.
This vital aspect is usually ignored by many websites. Companies should avoid going for hosting options that do not have sufficient bandwidth available. Opting for the cloud-based hosting solution, which is not only scalable but also flexible, is an ideal option. Mapping the field with maximum visitors and running the appropriate monitoring tools in it can minimize the issues of inadequate bandwidth.
Web sites that haven’t been configured for mobile can face navigation obstacles when opened on mobile devices. However, having the menus embedded in contemporary CMS (content management systems), like WordPress, can solve the issue. Keeping in mind the touch-screen interface and leaving enough space (44 pixels) for finger-based navigation is important. The length of the form also plays a vital role. Using multi-step forms can be an ideal solution to reduce the issues with nonstop scrolling. The method involves cutting the forms into multiple pieces in order to show just one or two fields per screen.
Ambiguous or incorrect content can be a major factor in reducing the UX. Therefore, all the facts and information related to products and services must be diligently checked before posting. On self-service pages like FAQ, following the alphabetical order can be helpful. Having a clearly visible search box for extempore queries can reduce the user’s confusion in finding the required information.
On the whole, the website must ensure that its important content is clearly visible. Using confusing fonts, colors and texts must always be avoided. In order to make the website look much more approachable, the number of insignificant options can also be reduced. At the end, all the aspects of the website must be thoroughly tested before making it live. Ensuring the identified bugs are fixed and not repeated is an important maintenance task, which must be performed regularly.
- In order to deliver enhanced user experience, websites have to follow various stringent parameters.
- The best practices have to be diligently followed and aligned with the intrinsic goal of developing the website. Only then an enriched experience can be provided to the end-user.