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Web Design & Development: User Experience Basics Will Create Happier Customers

Everybody has had a frustrating experience when interacting with a website.  Whether it is a new site or an older site, we expect that a site we visit will be fast, have search options and be easily accessible, no matter what device we prefer to use.  Since we all have opinions about what the user experience should encompass, how do we determine the best experience for our users?

At the end of the day the website experience should focus on the target customer audience.  A great starting point, when evaluating user experience (UX) is with Web Analytics.  A tool like Google Analytics is an easy and free way to access critical information about the target audience and the people who are currently using the website.  Below are a few easy ways to make your website users happier customers.

Site Load Speed

I cannot emphasize enough how critical this is.  Not only will users become frustrated if the site is slow to load, but the speed also affects your SEO as well as your quality score for AdWords.  We recommend that you set a realistic goal and compare your load speed to competitors within your industry.

Search Box

Have a search box in the header of your website so users can easily search the site.  Not only do you make their lives easier, you also get insight into the keywords they’re using.  Google’s Custom Search Engine basic level is free, so the cost barrier has been removed.  Sites like Amazon and Google have trained users to go directly to a search box and immediately find the product or information they are seeking.

Mobile Friendly

Since smartphones and tablets are now the go-to device types for many, mobile friendly sites are a must.  If you’re building a website from scratch, make the design responsive and you’ll be ahead of the curve.  If you already have a website, a few simple steps and you will be mobile optimized.  A review of your analytics and trending data for device type will help you determine if you need to make this change now or if you still have time.  We saw many sites mobile traffic double or triple from 2012 to 2013.  This trend will continue in 2014 and beyond.

If you don’t think that optimizing your user experience is worth the time or the expense, you business could suffer.  Without a proper user experience you could see an increase in bounce rate, loss of sales, return customers, etc.  However, with a little bit of data analysis and following a few simple tips, a better UX isn’t out of reach.  In this day and age, with new competitors popping up in every industry, there may be only one chance to make a great first impression – make it a good one.

For more information or a free website consultation, contact us today.