The user experience (UX) is all-important in the modern business sphere. The experience your target audience has from the moment they click on your website to (ideally) making a purchase creates impressions. Your website should guide users smoothly along the buyer journey. It should engage with them through meaningful interactions. If your website falls short of expectations, you will lose them to your competitors.
One of the best ways to decrease your bounce rate and boost conversions is to avoid these six common UX mistakes.
1. Prioritizing Aesthetics Over Functionality – Or Vice Versa
Your website should strike a perfect balance between creativity and functionality. A lot has been said in recent years about personalizing your website with authentic photos, creative graphics, and interactive design elements. While these aspects are essential for UX, they should not override the functionality of your website. Users want creativity, but they also want to navigate your site easily.
Likewise, your website should not prioritize functionality to the point of compromising on creativity. If your site is nothing but function, it may bore users and compel them to search elsewhere. Pure functionality with no excitement or spark will make your brand easily forgettable. This is the opposite of what you want. Your website should be visually captivating, aesthetically pleasing, creative, and unique. This is the only way to stand out to customers and achieve brand loyalty.
2. Jumping On Every Bandwagon
Trends come and go. They always have, and they always will. Just when you think you have conquered UX, a new top trends list will drop and encourage you to rethink your strategy. As a website owner, you need to take each trend with a grain of salt. Do not blindly adopt a new UX trend because that is what everyone seems to be doing. Take the time to review your key performance indicators, assess whether the change is right for your brand, and weigh the risk vs reward.
Many UX trends have roots in real data and consumer metrics for the year. Others, however, are blind predictions bloggers post to create a buzz. Knowing how to tell the difference is key to keeping your website on the right track. Adding high-quality images and infographics, for example, is a trend with proven statistics to support its effectiveness in UX. Other trends might not have the data to back them up, and could be a waste of your time (and money). Research a trend carefully to make sure it is the right move for your website.
3. Ignoring Responsive Design
Responsive design is not a trend. It is an established part of owning a successful website in 2019. This is not news. However, we still encounter sites that do not fully adapt in a proper way that makes the best use out of the available screen real estate. That is why responsive web design is still being mentioned in this list.
Responsive web design enables your website to quickly adapt and change according to the device used. With more people now accessing websites via mobile devices than desktops, it is essential to make sure your site looks great across all screen sizes. Responsive design also allows a user to enjoy a seamless UX even when switching between devices. A Google study found that 90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal. You could be losing this enormous crowd if you do not have a responsive website.
Responsive web design creates an optimal UX across multiple devices. Failure to build your website with a responsive layout could make it impossible for your users to enjoy their experiences when accessing your site from a cellphone or tablet. Do not isolate millions of users with a simple mistake. Redesign your website to prioritize responsiveness for the optimal user experience.
4. Creating For Search Engines, Not People
In the era of ever-increasing online competition, it is no surprise that website owners are always obsessing over how they look to rank for specific keywords. Yet this train of thought makes the critical mistake of forgetting a search engine’s main priority – people. Google and other major search engines work to make the search experience as pleasant and fruitful as possible for users. This goal is how SEO originally came to be; to establish a set of guidelines websites must follow to optimize the user experience.
While it is essential to design your website with SEO in mind, your ultimate goal should be to provide exceptional UX. If done correctly, this will, in turn, result in search engine optimization and higher page rank. Making your goals consistent with Google’s goals will help you design a site that search engines reward and that users enjoy visiting. You can have the best of both worlds. It is crucial to design your website and create your content for humans first and search engines second.
5. Forgetting Content
Content is still king in 2019 (and for any foreseeable future). In fact, content has grown in importance in the last few years as users search for credible, reliable information online. Do not underestimate the importance of your content. Your website needs high quality, authoritative content from experts for optimal UX. Follow a few fundamental content guidelines for best UX, such as:
- Use keywords across all your content
- Pay attention to quality
- Polish spelling and grammar
- Post new blogs consistently
- Revise old content to keep it fresh and relevant
- Guide users through the sales funnel with content
- Create landing pages to boost conversions
Again, the focus of your content should be on the consumer, not a search engine. Make sure your content uses your brand’s voice and tone. It should provide interesting, valuable information to your customers. Include an About Us page, a Contact Us page, and one detailing your services. At the same time, follow SEO guidelines to make sure your page ranks high on the SERP. Sprinkle in keywords, link to credible websites, and cite your sources.
6. Passing Design Work Off to Just Anybody
One common mistake that could lead to the death of a website is placing website design in the wrong hands. Too many companies believe they are saving money by trusting someone internally to take care of website design and management. Without the proper experience and knowledge, however, this could be a fatal mistake. An inexperienced website designer could hurt your brand’s reputation with poor UX. In reality, you could save money by enlisting a professional from the very beginning.
Do not trust just anybody with the conception and creation of your website. Your website is too essential of a tool to compromise on quality. Hire website design experts who will know precisely how to optimize the user experience. A team of experts can create a clean layout, stunning visuals, and a responsive design that looks beautiful across all platforms. They can also connect you with professional content creators and other specialists who can make your website the best it can be. Work with a website design company for maximum UX.
Want to learn more?
If you’re interested in mobile UX, then consider to take the course on Mobile User Experience. If, on the other hand, you’re more interested in the intersection between UX and UI Design, then consider to take the online course UI Design Patterns for Succesful Software and alternatively Design Thinking: The Beginner’s Guide. If, on the other hand, you want to brush up on the basics of UX and Usability, then consider to take the online course on User Experience. Good luck on your learning journey!