Why These 6 Inputs Would Give The Best User Experience To Your Audience?
5 November , 2015 , By
Many web marketers find themselves in a Catch 22 sort of a situation at the end of the month when they have a look at their website statistics – high Bounce Rates, Less Time Spent On Web Pages, Less People Hitting The Website and the like. Even after breaking their heads while designing a website and coming up with a sound product in the end, why did they ever have to confront such a situation?
Well, Joe Natoli, who is best known for his UX Fundamentals online course and has recently launched Book named “Think First”, answers this question in quite a precise way in a podcast by UX Mastery.
He emphasizes that many web designers try to look at the end result first and fail to understand the underlying context with which the audience would interact with an interface. The designers have a look at the work of the other designers in the wake of taking inspiration for their own designs, but as Joe says they do not understand that “ For A Designer Or A Developer, Great User Experience Starts, But It Starts Between Their Ears”
With this as a backdrop, here are six inputs that would certainly help the designers give the best User Experience to the users:
1. Easy To Understand Interface
If a website is difficult to use, it is quite common an action that people either leave the website or fail to perform the task.
Jakob Neilsen, the author of Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity, says that “On the Web, if a site is difficult to use, most people will leave. On an intranet, if employees perform their tasks more slowly due to difficult design, low intranet usability costs the world economy $100 billion per year in lost employee productivity.”
Therefore it is imperative for the web designers to create a UI Design that not only focuses on anticipating the users actions while interacting with the Interface, but also ensuring that the UI has elements that are quite simple to access, understand, predict and help the users in completing the tasks.
Apart from creating consistency by using common UI elements, the designer should also use typeface, color and texture in a tactful way so that the areas and the actions that need to be emphasized are clearly visible and legible to the users. This would only have an impact if the layout of the page is structured in a proper way.
To make a website more engaging and interactive for the audience, the designer can also think about creating defaults in the web design as a part of Interaction Design, which is one of the 3 concepts that define UI – Interaction Design, Visual Design and Information Architecture. This would ultimately make the performance of the task easy and less time consuming for the users.
2. Responsive Web Design
These days, the real challenge for the web-masters is to make their websites look good on multiple screens which have different resolutions and orientations. The need to create a website that fits the needs of the customers on all screens, from desktop displays to hand-held devices, stems from the fact that more than 60% of the Google search constitutes mobile users – a data released by Comscore.
There are many ways to configure a website for all screens but Responsive Design technology is a recommended approach as a result of the latest update regarding Google’s algorithm ranking Responsive Design Websites high in the Search Engine. “Responsive Web Design is a clever design technique that uses a single HTML code base for all the platforms That is, all viewing devices read from the same code on the same URL” (As per Google’s White Paper).
Now what makes Responsive Design Technology take a lead over Dynamic Serving and Fully Separate Design Technologies:
Single URL for a piece of content makes it easier for users to interact with, share and link to the content of a website.
It’s easier for Search Engines to discover and index Content with a single URL.
It reduces Load Time and increases the performance as it requires no redirection of users to have a device optimized view.
It reduces the possibility of common mistakes that affect mobile sites such as irrelevant cross links, faulty redirects, unplayable content, mobile only 404’s and the like.
Responsive Web Design Technology leads to improved crawling efficiency as a single Google-bot user agent only needs to crawl a website page once, rather than crawling multiple times with different Google-bot user agents to retrieve all versions of the content. This helps Google index more of site’s content and keep it appropriately fresh.
Integration of Responsive Web Design with Flat Design Technology has certainly lead the web designers create leaner and more interactive web designs that have certainly met the customer expectations of simple, easy to understand and designs responsive to multiple screen devices.
3. Simplicity In Online Forms
One of the most important parameters of great online usability is creating forms that lead to conversions. Users hitting a website shy away from filling online forms as such forms ask for more information, are quite intimidating as it takes too long to fill the forms, fail to build trust of the users by not reminding them at the point of action that their privacy is valued and are not explicit in reinforcing benefits associated with Form Submission.
The web marketers aim is to create forms that reduce all such fears, build trust, remind benefits and certainly lead to conversions.
So Maya Nix, Marketing Content Producer for ClickTale, prescribes some important elements that could be considered to optimize online forms.She emphasizes that fewer fields within a form would make it less intimidating for the visitors to fill the form and help them in achieving their goals more quickly. And since many visitors get onto the website through mobile devices, optimizing the forms for varied mobile devices should be the top priority as the web marketers would certainly not want to loose out on huge traffic accessing the website through such mediums.
To create an urgency for the users to take an action, the CTA Buttons should be noticeable and should display words that convey the benefit or the value after completion of the form by the user. Apart from the CTA Button, the Title of the form should also display a copy that describes the value that the user is going to derive after filling up the form.
The use of less but important fields is not the only aspect that would make an online form easy to use. A feature like Inline Validation, that gives a real time feedback for the errors as the user fills the form can certainly help the user in filling the form quickly and easily. To avoid the difficulty that users face as a result of the inconsistency between the labels and the fields, Labels should be placed above the fields and aligned towards the left instead of using placeholder text.
Whatever actions one may take to make the online forms easy to complete by the users, testing the online form would give a better idea about the strategy that works best for an online form on a particular website.
4. Intelligent Use Of Pop Ups
Usually, visitors consider Pop Ups to act as a deterrent to their reading flow and therefore lead to a bad user experience. But when used in an intelligent way, Pop Ups can certainly offer visitors something relevant, would build a sense of urgency that would compel them to act and would be triggered by a specific activity by the visitors on the website.
Now to compel the visitor to act instead of getting annoyed, the timing of the display of a pop-up should be relevant. The Entry Pop-Ups, for instance ruin the user experience as they appear the moment visitors enter a website. Instead an Exit Pop-Up can make the visitors better understand the offering as the pop up displays when the visitor is about to leave the website.
Also, displaying a generic pop-up, such as a pop-up for a newsletter subscription for every customer, would annoy the visitors and would undermine your efforts as a web marketer in compelling the visitor to subscribe the offering. Since every customer has a preference for the type of content they like to read, giving audience the options for newsletters based on their preference for content and products would certainly make a difference.
But the most important aspect that makes a pop up add to the user experience instead of acting as an impediment is a compelling offering itself. The offering shall be the one that solves the problem of the visitors and provides answers to their queries. That is needless to say that aesthetics like personalized messages, contrast CTA Buttons, one or two form fields, relevant Headline, Obvious Exit Buttons, Privacy Statements and the like should certainly be a part of the Pop Up to optimize the same.
5. Deciding The Most Targeted Call To Action
According to Hubspot, “A CTA is the link between the regular content that your potential customer is interested in, and a page with a more high-value offer on it (the landing page) that is relevant and interesting enough to persuade your visitor to complete a short form.”
Since a CTA is for a high-value offer as compared to the relevant content, it has to be a single CTA for that one thing that would make the visitors aware about your unique selling point, caters to their needs, influence their decision and lead to a rewarding action. Using more than one CTA would confuse the audience. In case the web marketers are doubtful regarding the channel towards which they need to drive the audience, they can always go for testing their offerings separately.
After deciding upon the single CTA that would lead to higher engagement and better user experience, one certainly needs to adhere to the guidelines that would optimize a CTA in the best possible way. Hubspot outlines best practices to create CTA’s which include:
Visually beautiful with a strong copy that compels the visitors to click.
Use of action oriented words on the CTA Buttons.
Making the CTA visible by using contrast colors that complement the overall design of the website.
Clearly shouts out the benefit that the visitor gets after clicking the CTA.
Should be located in an easy-to-find spot that follows organically from he flow of the web page.
But as said by Chuck Cohn, the Founder of Varsity Tutors, it’s important to use a CTA when it is quite obvious for your Target Audience that whatever they are viewing is a marketing piece and is not a piece of content that is for their benefit such as a white paper.
6. Visual Aesthetics
Visual Design of a website certainly enhances the information architecture and the interaction design of a web page. It is one of the important reasons that make a visitor stay on a web page for a longer period of time.
For the best user experience, it is mandatory for the web designer to strategically make use of elements of a visual design like fonts, images, colors, texture and the like keeping into consideration the principles that brings all these elements together effectively.
This might not be an exhaustive list of points that help in creating the best user experience but certainly features the important areas. Further suggestions and opinions in the comments section would certainly add to the value of this post and would definitely be the foundation for the upcoming posts to help the community keep a track of the best in the industry.