Do you remember back during the dawn of the internet when we were all too busy with the novelty of sending and receiving information that we managed to ignore how things on the screen looked and functioned? It was a time when fluorescent green screens and red fonts were acceptable. You remember–it was ok to spend 15 minutes trying to find the ‘Home’ button. And just as dial-up connections have become a thing of the past, so has poor User Experience (UX). Today’s web visitors have a high bar set for UX standards, and they are not forgiving. Look at these 5 UX principles, and you will ensure some smooth navigating for your visitors.
Keep it Simple
One of the most significant mistakes the early pioneers of the internet made was wanting to stack everything they could into a screen. Jumbled and disorganized, it did not matter. They wanted it in there, and they were going to make sure it fit. We have shifted to the opposite end of the spectrum where minimalism is king.
Tip: Make sure your site is free of clutter. If a button or a design does not need to be in there, take it out. Making it easy for the user to find what they are looking for on a page should be the priority.
Function is our Friend
While keeping a site free of clutter is important, it goes hand in hand with making sure the site is functional. Notably, a website should value its functionality over how it looks. We have all visited pages that look like a million bucks, but part way through your experience you are ready to fling your laptop out the window because you can’t find the ‘submit’ button.
Tip: Make your site pretty, but always ensure that everything is easy to find. Pay particular attention to the main navigation bar of your site and think of the pages of the site that your user will likely visit.
Few things are more frustrating than not knowing what is going on. The same is true for websites. If your user hits a button and nothing happens, they will likely keep hitting that same button over and over. Tactile responses are especially important for sites with data visualizations and advanced functionality. For example, creating energy management systems requires you to present complex energy data in a simple format that even the layman can understand.
Tip: Make sure the actions your users take give them feedback right away.
Identify Your End Goal
Knowing what you want your user to accomplish when visiting your site is of utmost importance. Do you want them to buy something? Subscribe? By knowing what you want from them, you will be able to design the path they take through your site.
Tip: Plot out the steps your user will take when they land on your website and what you would like them to do to get to your goal.
Keep It the Same All Over
Consistency is the key to a happy visitor. Imagine your frustration if you visited a site and clicked on an internal link that took you to another page that looked completely different. The user would be jarred and might question if they clicked on a wrong link.
Tip: Go over every possible page and make sure that they all are consistent with your general theme. If a page deviates drastically, consider removing it or updating it to the theme used in the rest of the pages.
Fewer things can make a more significant impact on your visitors than their user experience. Invest a little time and energy into improving your UX and you will see it pay dividends.