That’s why it pays to be prepared with these six steps for creating a site that’s easy to browse and buy from.
It’s vital you get the user experience (UX) for your site right, and this means addressing how your customers interact and identify with your business’s online presence as a whole.
As a result, it’s important to look beyond simply creating a pretty website or application explains Sensis UX designer Tim Eichler, who shares his top UX strategies for a great site:
1. Get to know your users
Speak to your existing and potential customers to gain an intimate understanding of what they are looking to ultimately achieve and think about how the products or services you offer can benefit them. Create personas that represent your majority customer base and focus on designing for them and not for you.
2. Start low-tech
Start out with some big marker pens and paper to get your high-level ideas and basic layouts down. This will ensure you don’t get bogged down with aesthetics in the early stages. Keep churning out ideas as the first one that comes to mind will most likely not be the best.
3. Create a prototype
A mocked-up paper version of your site can reveal any issues at a very early stage. Use this as a basis to test with your customers and validate/disprove any assumptions you might have and bring to light features you didn’t initially consider. This can also prove useful when looking at how to effectively optimise your site for mobile across a range of platforms.
4. Keep evolving
A website shouldn’t be set and forget. Incorporate the findings of your customer research into your website build once you’re happy with your prototype. Repeat this process and continue to refine until you’ve created something your customers will keep coming back to.
5. Prepare for failure
Your site will most likely break at some stage. Cater for this and allow your website to fail gracefully where possible, ensuring customers are not left stranded or trying to interpret what an ‘error 401’ is. Describe what the problem is in plain English and offer alternate areas of your site or communication channels.
6. Keep it simple
Ensure your site is easy to navigate so customers can find exactly what they’re looking for – research shows that good website design can be key to snapping up online customers. Try card sorting to name your menus and structure your site in a way that makes sense to your customers.