In a lot of scenarios, your website is the first impression the user has of your business. Every time someone lands on your site they’re expecting to be taken on a journey for the information, service or product they’re looking for. Some of the points below discuss a variety of errors that are made across the web that can be easily avoided if you put yourself in the user’s shoes.
Not designed mobile-first
The majority of people use their mobile phones to visit websites rather than their desktop. It’s important to keep in mind that you need to not only have a website which is functional on mobile but also one that’s made with a mobile-first design approach. You’re more likely to have users leave your site if they can’t easily access the content they’re looking for. They have to scroll for a while through stacked content and you’ve not considered how this would affect mobile usability.
Using a mobile-first design approach means you focus only on the crucial elements the website needs to convert and display this information so it’s easy to navigate for a mobile user. This method ensures you focus on the content first and also the user. To successfully guide a user through to their desired destination on your website you can use UX design and journey mapping to figure out where they’re coming from. You can also learn about their mindset, what they’re trying to achieve, the information they may want to see and elements they might want to avoid.
In terms of design, this could include using swipe through effects instead of stacking content. When driving a user through to the checkout process, locate the call to action in the centre taking over the width of the screen and fix it on scroll so it’s easy to get to the next stage of the user journey.
Unable to find vital information
One way to irritate your users is to have contact information hidden. Sometimes your customers might want to find out about their order or discuss a service you offer with them. If they have specific requests and your website doesn’t fulfil the information they’re looking for, they’re probably going to want to pick up the phone and talk to you in person. The last thing you want to do is have this hidden somewhere in small text in the footer or have lots of different phone numbers without any indication of which is the right number for the assistance they require.
Keep it simple, make sure your contact page is easily visible in the navigation, maybe even standing out in a different colour or boxed off in a button. For specific requests, for example, if a user is looking for information on their order have in a large title on the contact page, “Need help with your order?” and in slightly smaller text below, “Call us on X”. There’s never any need to overcomplicate tasks like this, we’re humans and we value our time so keep it simple.
It can be trendy to have a video playing in the background of your hero banner or have videos about your business throughout your site. This, however, can actually be a huge distraction and even result in users leaving your site because they’ve scrolled down and the ‘About us’ video has started playing on full volume. People don’t enjoy being sold to. If you autoplay a video with the sound, it’s going to be instantly frustrating which is not the kind of first impression you want to give.
Impactful imagery and messaging are enough to get your message across. Although if you really want to use videos then have that information as an extra. Keep the content but add in an optional video for more information on the piece you’re discussing.
Long forms and step by step processes can be tedious at any time, but can you imagine getting to a checkout process and you’ve added all these lovely new items to your cart and then you have a seven-step checkout process of forms with long dropdowns. This is the point where most people drop out so you don’t want to make it more difficult for the user to just add their details and process their payment.
Instead of having a long dropdown with every country in the world, have a form where you can start typing and it suggests the countries below. This is far quicker and less frustrating than having to search for “England” or “United Kingdom” and not knowing whether the UK will be at the top or bottom based on A-Z listings. Streamline the process as much as possible. Once one section is complete, have a “next step” button which slides down to the next section instead of loading another page. This way it’s easier for the user to scroll back up and see the information they’ve already inputted to check the details they’ve given are correct.
Now while this might sound like an obvious one, it’s probably the most frustrating. If your website is broken, for example, if you have links that don’t take you to the right pages or when you click the link the page doesn’t appear at all, your users are going to lose some level of trust. Especially if you’re a Web Designer and there are broken links on your website, that prospective client isn’t going to trust that you can do the job for them properly hence losing custom.
This one’s tricky because sometimes errors can popup without your knowledge or control but this is why you need to be checking your website regularly for anything that might not be working correctly. The same has to be said for all of the above points too. You need to regularly check your website for content to make sure that it’s up to date. Make sure the contact details are updated and easy to find, have an easy to use mobile experience, keep forms streamlined and avoid autoplaying videos. Keep your website up to date and test that everything is working efficiently to make sure your user experience is optimal and achieving results.