August 29, 2014
Launching a new website is an exciting time for any business, but before any designs are created or any code is written, a website should be planned so users and administrators can get the most out of it. One of the most important things to consider is the user experience. To help, our web developers have put together some tips on planning your website’s UX.
Who is visiting the site?
Most websites will have more than one type of visitor, so in addition to your customers, remember to consider people who are still only researching your products or services, journalists, stakeholders, employees, and suppliers. The site should also cater to them and their needs.
Think about your visitors and the type of information they’ll be looking for. Content should be written to answer their questions and should be easy for them to find. Planning your sitemap before designing the site can help influence the layout, for example whether a subnavigation is required and where it would be best placed. Speak to people at your office about where they would expect to find this information on any another website. For most websites, a user should be able to find any information in no more than three clicks, and working on your sitemap early can also help with this. If your site structure can’t reduce the number of clicks, the design of the site should include signposts to help people find information as quickly as possible.
Test, test, test
While planning will help you get a long way to improving your users’ experience, there is nothing like some good old-fashioned user testing to iron out the details. While some businesses like to test their website on hundreds of people in one large test, we tend to agree with Jakob Neilson that you only need 5 people and several small tests. Not only does this assist with budgeting, but it also allows you to hone in on specific elements of your site and provides you with some deeper insight on what works best.
How does this relate to other platforms?
When a user is on your website it is the perfect opportunity to introduce them to other ways of engaging with you, whether through social media, email, blog subscriptions, etc. This can be done through calls-to-action (eg: “Sign up to our newsletter”) or by integrating social media feeds into your site. By giving your visitors another way of developing their relationship with you, their overall online experience with your company will be improved.
Monitor and evaluate
Even the best planned websites will have room for improvement, so monitoring your website and regularly enhancing features is essential. Consider implementing A/B testing to improve conversion rates or periodic online surveys to find out what your visitors really think of your site. The more you evaluate you site after it is launched, the better your users’ experience will be in the long run.
With the right planning, testing, and monitoring you’ll be well on your way to improving the user experience on your website. For more information about how we can help, get in touch with us on 0116 254 9888.