You have a website, congrats! You’re now searchable on the internet. It’s a big step for many businesses to finally get a working website up and running.
But hold up a second. Before you throw a party celebrating your new site, is it really that great?
Sorry to rain on your parade, but there are many websites out there that just don’t make the cut when it comes to a great user experience.
User experience? If you’re confused by the term, don’t worry! We’re going to dive into some commmon user experience (UX) mistakes that your site might be making. These are things you can definitely fix. And you need to fix them in order to keep visitors on your site long enough to get them interested in your business.
What is User Experience?
UX is an aspect of design centered around the experience a user has. When a website has a great look and feel, that’s the design. But what about how a user interacts with the site and finds information or clicks around? That’s the user experience.
I’m sure you’ve been on a site with a poor user experience, but you were on it for such a small amount of time that you didn’t really stop and take notice.
There’s a useful framework from UX Magazine called BASIC. It describes the aspects of a great user experience design.
You don’t just want a site that looks beautiful, you want it to be easy to understand and follow. You want the user to come on and know just how to find what they’re looking for. If there’s too much going on on the site and they become confused, they’ll leave. Simple as that.
What Are Common UX Mistakes?
For many businesses, just getting a website up and running is a challenge. Throw UX design in there, and they may just scrap the whole project.
Fixed headers that are too big
A fixed header is fine if you have long pages of content and want to keep the navigation easily accessible. But it becomes a nuisance if the header is too large and blocks too much of the screen. Go through your site and make sure the fixed header is not causing readability issues.
This is especially important for mobile. If you leave a large fixed header on there, you are bound to annoy a ton of mobile visitors who can barely see your site.
Poor mobile experience
A big issue with creating a website is not reviewing the design and experience on mobile. There are tiny errors you need to fix just for mobile, but they can make a huge impact. This includes things like removing full-page pop ups and ensure that the page properly resizes to the screen size.
Sometimes your navigation bar won’t resize properly, leaving it rather useless to a visitor.
Carousels can be good or evil, depending how you use them. If you have too many items in it, people will not want to click through them all. If you have too few items, a carousel is a bit pointless. It’s also important to make sure that the arrows for click to the next or previous slide are visible.
There’s value in them for things like photos, but if you have key information in those slides that you want the user to see, it may be best to take them out of the carousel.
Here’s a website that has a pretty strong opinion on whether or not you should use carousels.
Ignoring the user’s needs
Often times, as a business owner you want to build a site that you love. You have a vision and want to see it come to life. But you really need to be thinking about your visitors. What do they want from the site?
If you make your About page the most prominent section, you’re telling the visitor you care about “you”. But put yourself in the customers’ shoes, what do they want from your site? Well, they likely want to know what you offer and the pricing. So make that prominent! Learn what visitors want out of your site and make it dead simple for them to find it, whether it’s pricing, your quote form, or signing up.
Bad font choice
A poor font choice not only looks bad but can affect readability. If your font is too thin, many browsers can’t properly render it. Make sure to pick a non-thin font, and also to pick appropriate colors and test these on different browsers.
This is a newish term in the UX world. It’s when a site takes over the scrolling for you, and frankly, nobody likes it. You don’t want to take control away from your visitors. If they get frustrated even for a second, they’ll leave.
More resources on UX
Want to learn more about UX design for your website? Here are some resources to help you.