The term User Experience cuts across various fields and industries, which include app design, web design, software design and so on. Because of this, there are different definitions given to this term by the different fields to fit what it is to them.
But for this article, I would want us to focus on The User Experience of a Webpage or, let me say, a website and how you can improve your website's user experience.
What is User Experience (UX)?
The user experience of a website describes how a user feels when navigating the website. It tells about the experience a user gets when they decide to view content or interact with your webpage.
This experience is affected by so many factors, which reduces the satisfaction a user gets from using a website.
According to research, it is said that 88% of online customers and less like to return to a website if they had a bad experience when using the site previously, and this is enough reason why you have to take the user experience of your website seriously.
Your website is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have out there, and it functions 24/7 as your online salesman. To improve the effectiveness of this marketing tool, you need it to give the user what they want; a good experience.
But only 1 out of 26 customers or users of your site would ever complain to you or your team if they have an unsatisfied experience with the site, and this leaves you with little or no information about how your user experience your website because you have no idea if your user is satisfied or not, as 91% of the unsatisfied users who don't complain to you leave and never come back.
But here is what I will tell you to do if you ever want to satisfy any user; all you have to do is to improve:
- The usability,
- The accessibility, and
- The efficiency of user interaction with your website, and you will begin to see significant changes.
Providing a website with a well-developed user experience (UX) can seem overwhelming. Still, the truth is that improving the user experience of your website isn't a challenging task, and just a minor adjustment at times can make a huge difference.
However, in other to assist you in the process of improving the user experience of your website, I decided to put together four (4) ways of enhancing the user experience of a website to serve as a guide you can follow to achieve your goal - the third one might be the solution you need.
4 ways to improve the user experience of a website.
The user experience of a website can be improved in various ways, aiming to make a user satisfied with what they get from making use of the website.
Here are 4 of the ways by which the experience a user gets from a website can be improved:
1. Make your site responsive on all devices:
Content on the internet can be viewed through various devices, and the two common devices used are desktops and mobile phones, but the number of people who access the internet with a mobile phone is far more than those who use the desktop, and this is why you need your website to be responsive to all devices, especially mobile phones.
Your website's mobile experience counts a lot, meaning you have to make your website to be extremely mobile-friendly since most of the users are going to make use of their mobile phones to access your site.
The best step to take in making your website mobile-friendly is by making use of mobile responsive themes in developing the site. Even though most of the modern themes available out there are said to be responsive, I advise that you also take it a step further and test your website on mobile devices and experience it yourself.
Have a feel of how your website functions on a mobile device, how the elements on the page are arranged, how visible and accessible it is on a small screen of a mobile device.
All these matter a lot because these are the things that determine the experience a user will get from using your website.
2. Make use of white spaces:
When it comes to the design of a website and how contents should be arranged on the page, you think of filling up each space available with something and making it colourful, but one thing you really must not miss out on is leaving enough white spaces.
The more white spaces available around the elements in a website, the more attention will be given to those elements because the white space enables the user to focus on the element.
Also, when it comes to delivering written content or articles to your user, it is essential to space out everything into blocks of text to improve your user experience (UX). But on the contrary, if the elements or contents on a page aren't well arranged and spaced, they get the user confused, not knowing what to focus on, and the result is they scan through the page and leave, which isn't a good experience.
I know you have a lot to put on your website, a lot of information to give to your user. You want to get enough content above the fold but what I would advise you to do is to find a balance and prioritise what is most important to your business and put them on your site, giving enough white space.
3. The speed of your website has its role to play here:
How will you feel if you are in need of certain information and a webpage, in its headline, promises to provide it, then you click on it, and you have to wait longer than expected before the webpage opens?
Do you ever wait for it, or do you leave the page for the next?
This is the same thing that happens with your user when your website is slow. It gets them frustrated, and they end up leaving the site for the next one, and this will increase your bounce rate.
According to research findings, for every extra 100ms delay in the loading of your webpage, you lose 1% of the users trying to view the content on that page. Also, if a webpage takes more than 2 seconds to load completely, by the third second and above, about 40% of the user will leave, and this can increase your bounce rate by 45% or more.
With all this information laid out, it can be seen that a fast loading website will definitely offer a user a good experience, and this is what you need to aim for.
There are various web metrics used in measuring the speed of a website; you can browse through our blog to learn more about each of these web metrics, what they measure and how to improve them.
There are also tools used in measuring the speed of a website, and one of these tools is VitalFrog, an effective tool from us here at VitalFrog which provides you with both field data and lab data on the various metrics.
Since Google also uses the speed of a webpage as a ranking factor, they provided Google PageSpeed Insight which also measures the speed of a webpage.
These tools also provide you with information on what slows down your website and provide suggestions on what to do in other to improve the speed, but here are some best practices to improve the speed of a webpage:
- Use the correct format for images and compress your image. Don't make use of .PNG when you don't have a transparent image, and keep the image size below 1MB.
- Do away with heavy plugins because they increase the Time To First Byte (TTFB) which in turn affect the speed of the page.
- Try to reduce the work done on the browser's main thread.
- Reduce the number of third-party scripts you make use of, and so on.
One thing you can also do to improve the speed of your website is by taking steps to improve your score on the Core Web Vitals, as these are the metrics Google makes use of as a ranking factor to measure the experience a user has with a page. Make use of the available tools to achieve this.
4. Get feedback from your users:
One great way of getting to know if your users are satisfied with the experience they get from using your website is by asking them yourself.
Just like I said earlier, only 1 out of 26 users will let you know when they are having a bad experience with your site but in other to increase this number, you have to ask for feedback.
A common way of getting this done is by adding a survey to your website that asks the user about their experience with the site, but you have to be careful not to ask too many questions, reducing the response you will get.
Getting feedback from the users of your website leaves you with vital information about the situation of your website's user experience. When you get negative feedback, you know what precisely what to work on.
Even after taking active steps to improve the user experience of your website, what are the benefits you stand to gain?
Benefits of improving the user experience of your website.
When the users of your website are well satisfied with what they get from making use of your site, here is the benefit you gain:
1. A reduced Bounce Rate:
Bounce rate is the percentage of users that visits a page and then leave the page without interacting with the page and moving to other pages on the site.
The bounce rate of a webpage will only be high if the users visiting the page are not satisfied with the content of the page and they have a bad experience with the site.
If the user experience is improved, there will be a reduction in the bounce rate score of such a page because the users are now getting comfortable with interacting with the page.
2. A good brand Image:
For most businesses, their website is the only channel through which customers can get to them and interact with the company. This means the only image of the company the customer has is the website, and the way they perceive the website is the same way they will perceive the business brand as a whole.
So if the website has a poor user experience, the brand image of the business is seen as the same, but when the user experience of the website is improved, the brand image also improve.
3. SEO ranking:
The user experience of a website can affect the SEO ranking of the website as the metrics used for measuring the user experience of a site are also included in Google ranking factors.
- First Contentful Paint (FCP).
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).
- First Input Delay (FID).
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). and so on...
...are a measure of the experience of a user, and when the user experience is good, it means that your score in these metrics are good and this, in turn, boosts your SEO ranking.
4. High Conversion Rate:
The Bounce Rate and Conversion Rate of a website go hand in hand, and here is how. When the bounce rate of a website is high, then the site has a low conversion rate, and when the bounce rate is low, the conversion rate is high.
Note that the word Conversion here does not mean that a lead eventually becomes a user of your product or service, but here it means that a user clicked on a link in a webpage or performs an action you want them to do on a page - just the opposite of Bounce Rate.
For a user to click on a call to action in a webpage, then it is evident that the user experience of that page is a good one, and the user is satisfied with it.
So when you improve the user experience of your website, a high Conversion rate is a benefit you stand to gain.
The User Experience (UX) of a website is an important aspect of a website that needs to be worked on if it is bad, as a bad user experience take off all the benefits I just listed above.
If there is anything you want your website to do well, there it should be to satisfy your user with just what they want, and one thing every user needs is a fast website that delivers with speed. If they don't get this, then they get frustrated.
Don't get your users frustrated. Work on your User Experience today.
Try using VitalFrog to keep up with the speed of your website.