Websites are not online brochures. They are systems that work well when they are searchable, functional and designed on user experience (UX) principles. Therefore, we cannot say all websites are optimized for conversions. Positive experiences make visitors more likely to convert into customers and loyal supporters who can recommend your products to even more people.
What is Online User Experience
Any interaction a user has with a product or service is called a user experience (UX). Therefore, online user experience refers to how a user interacts with a website, software, or online application.
In web design, it’s important to differentiate the total user experience from the user interface (UI) and usability, even though both are very important.
UI (user interface) is the point of interaction between the user and a website, such as buttons, forms, or the layout. Usability refers to how an individual perceives how that person can accomplish a task effectively, efficiently, and satisfactorily. On the other hand, UX refers to the overall experience a user has with a website or application.
Seven Factors that Influence a Website’s User Experience
Peter Morville and his friends developed the user experience honeycomb to describe all the facets of UX. A conversion optimized web layout means your website has all the seven factors that influence user experience. These factors are useful, usable, desirable, findable, accessible, credible, and valuable.
Let’s have a look at what all these terms mean when it comes to website design and development:
Is your product or website useful? If a website is useful, it can be used to achieve a particular goal. The more useful a website is, the better the experience it provides for visitors. Yet, something that may be “useful” to you may not be perceived as such by somebody else. From a commercial perspective, therefore, there must be enough potential users who find a product useful.
Ease of use. Your chances of keeping a website visitor on your website are already slim if it’s too complicated or confusing. When a user is unhappy with a website, they will move on to another website that meets their needs. To provide a pleasant experience, websites should:
- be optimized for mobile devices
- be simple (visual hierarchy and navigation elements)
- stick to common design elements (such as using the logo at the top of the screen and social media icons on the footer)
- establish credibility
- have scannable and easy to read content (paragraph length, kerning and spacing)
- be consistent (consistent theme, layout, and colour throughout the entire website)
Did you know that it takes about 50 milliseconds (ms) (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website? These 0.05 seconds can determine whether they will stay or leave a website. This is why it is important to appreciate the power and value of colours, spacing, image, brand identity, fonts and other elements of emotional design.
The better the first impression, the longer the website visitors will stay on your website.
Our websites must be navigable and able to locate objects so that users can find what they need. Your visitors shouldn’t be playing hide and seek when they land on a website. Therefore, all the content should be structured, instead of placing them all randomly into the available space.
The Hick-Hyman Law predicts that detection speeds are determined by the number of alternatives; the more alternatives, the slower the detection speed.
The use of site architecture and well-organised menus and navigation tools are crucial to making a website findable.
More than 15% of the World’s population lives with a disability, and even more suffers from short-term functional difficulties. Web Accessibility makes your digital service accessible to individuals with disabilities, which expands your potential user base. Furthermore, it improves your SEO score, giving you a better ranking on search engines.
Use of titles, headings, image alt tags, colour contrast, fonts selection, form fields, error handling, animations, CMS system and many more affect the accessibility of a website. Here, you can see the primary things to make your website accessible.
The credibility of website design determines whether users trust and believe what we say. The information on the website should be credible, and people should trust the business so that they can buy from the website.
Placing client reviews, warranties or having a huge number of social media followers could help a business website look more credible.
Our sites must provide value to our users. For example, Google Drive solves a lot of pain points for end users so it is very valuable. Or Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” playlists are so valuable for those who are too lazy to search for new music to listen to.
We do not all have to be UX experts. However, we can ensure that we are doing our best for the end-users by keeping these seven key aspects in mind.
About the author
Damla is the founder of Social Influence Web & Digital Lab. She has spent over 10 years working and leading digital marketing positions for some of the world’s most exciting and forward-thinking brands, such as Sony, Vodafone and Qatar Airways.
She helps entrepreneurs and small businesses establish and grow their online presence with WordPress website design & development, SEO and email marketing.