Your website is central to your business' success. These days, consumers relate to a brand primarily through its digital content and other users' reviews. According to a KPMG research report, 30% of online users have posted reviews and offered product feedback online.
Your website dominates your digital footprint. As a result, design is more important than ever. While creating a good-looking website is easy, there's a world of difference between a website looking good and providing your users with great experiences.
Here are five features your website must have if you want it to be user-friendly.
1. Great Design
Design encompasses many elements. Unfortunately, many companies fail to progress beyond the colors and looks and ignore deeper aspects of design such as prospect journeys. User experience isn't dictated just by the way your website looks: It has to deliver what the user wants as well.
Great design begins with understanding your users and their motivations. Why are they visiting your website, and what did they search for before they landed on your page? Reviewing your analytics data will help you answer these questions.
With these insights in hand, you can tailor product offerings that are most likely to appeal to them and add value to their online experience. Surrounding this value proposition with great-looking elements will ensure they'll keep returning to you when they have a need in the future.
As more people have migrated online, accessibility has become more than just a nice-to-have. It's become a legal requirement that businesses must adhere to, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Most countries that enforce accessibility laws base them on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG 2.1 compliance directives.
WCAG is more of a philosophy than a set of laws that you can follow. It's rooted in 4 principles, namely that all websites must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. As countries have begun recognizing the need for increased access, the number of accessibility-related lawsuits has also increased.
Aside from avoiding legal trouble, making your website accessible is good business because you'll appeal to more consumers. Disabled consumers are a hidden market to most businesses, one that they're sorely missing out on. A report from the American Institutes of Research found that disabled people have a discretionary income of $21 billion.
Improving your website's accessibility will also boost your brand's perception. These days, consumers are increasingly making choices based on how responsible a company is. Improving accessibility is the easiest way to prove your credentials in this regard, and it works far better than filing press releases.
3. Mobile Friendliness
The number of mobile internet users in 2020 was 4.28 billion, according to Statista. To put this in context, that's 90% of the world's population accessing the internet from their phones.
Many websites look great on a desktop, but their design elements fail to translate to mobile-friendly experiences. Aside from providing great user experiences, the degree of a website's mobile-friendliness is a factor that search engines consider. This is because mobile users tend to remain on a page for longer than those on a desktop.
When you combine all of these factors, it's easy to see why your website's mobile version is critical for your business. You'll attract more visits and customers, and your brand's image will receive a boost.
4. Relevant Content
A great user journey and mobile-friendliness are great attributes to have. However, without giving the user what they want, they're of no use. Users visit websites for a variety of reasons. Your content strategy helps build your authority in the minds of your users and gets them to view you as a resource to keep returning to.
Even eCommerce websites have to publish relevant and engaging content to stand out from the competition. The content you publish has to be relevant and helpful, above all else. Many companies maintain a blog half-heartedly while prioritizing sales calls and in-person interactions.
The problem is that these companies lose out on a ton of prospects who are in the research stage. If a prospect doesn't get to know you via your content activity, they may never progress deep enough to request a sales call.
Publish engaging content and monitor user interaction with it at all times. You can measure relevance using metrics like time spent on a page, the number of clicks, and CTA conversion rates. Constantly measuring your content's relevance and getting to know your prospects better will help you create better experiences for them.
The only thing worse than no internet is slow internet. Website loading speeds have become more critical than ever since users have so much choice these days. All it takes to choose a competitor is to press a button, and within a second, you've lost a prospect.
Page loading speed is a factor that search engines take into account, with slow websites receiving worse positions in search result rankings. Avoid loading your pages with content that consumes a lot of bandwidth. Keep your design elements simple and give users the option to load time-consuming content.
For example, don't autoplay videos on your page. Instead, give your users the option to play them. Those on a capped mobile data limit will thank you for it.
UX Above all Else
Great UI is born from a deep understanding of what constitutes great UX. These five elements are the building blocks of great UX. Make sure you execute them well, and you'll have delighted customers who will keep returning to you.