In this immensely tech-driven and competitive world, businesses and brands often become so involved in creating the ‘best’ brand, that they overlook one of the key components that will actually take them to the top of the ladder of success – customers and user experience. The value of user experience is often underestimated and that is the biggest mistake many companies make.
The world, as we know it, has now gone digital and with technology leading the way and the future, the retail game has changed in a big way. Online shopping and video shopping have redefined e-commerce and have become the primary element in retail. With this paradigmatic shift, customers’ demands have also changed. Today’s consumers are demanding more in terms of personalization, information and experience.
Small businesses need to realize what big brands already have – that focusing on the user experience is key to success and innovation. There’s no denying that the experience customers have when they visit your website is ultimately what makes or breaks your e-commerce platform. Sadly, despite all the strides we’ve made in the world of Web development, far too many companies still let themselves get tripped up by easily-avoidable usability mistakes.
Positive end user experience of your application or website strongly influences the success of your business. Disregarding this fact can cost you heavily. If you’re experiencing issues in your business, you might be making those user experience mistakes. What are they? Let’s find out!
1. Aesthetics Over Functionality
Your website/brand should strike a perfect balance between creativity and functionality. A lot has been said in recent years about personalizing your website with authentic photos, creative graphics, and interactive design elements. While the aesthetic aspects are essential for user experience, they should not override the functionality of your website. Users want creativity, but they also want to navigate your site easily.
2. Working with Fonts
It’s good to be experimental, but everything has a limit. When you consider fonts, you need to think about how your content will appear at all sizes. From your header hierarchy to your bullet points. Limit the amount of different fonts you use on your site. It’s easy to get carried away to give different sections of your site its own ‘feel’. Once you’ve chosen a single font family or families, consider how you can create contrast between header and body content. Single font selections with varying font weights can create a very visually pleasing contrast between sections of your page. A poor font selection can make your website look untrustworthy and unprofessional.
3. No White Space
Whether site visitors are greeted by a massive wall of text or a cumbersome collage of images and site elements, a cluttered design that is lacking in white space can be an immediate turn-off to prospective customers. White space makes your content easier to digest, and helps the most important pieces of information on your page – like a sign-up form – stand out. Simple steps like converting large paragraphs into bullet points, or adding blank areas between separate design elements, can make your website more visually appealing and less likely to intimidate visitors.
4. Large, Fixed Headers
More and more tall sticky headers can be seen on websites. “Branding blocks” and navigation menus that have a fixed position and take up a significant amount of space. They stay glued to the top of the browser window and often block the content as it scrolls underneath them. If the decision to go with a sticky navigation header has already been made, it’s best to test it with users. It’s a common user experience mistake to go overboard and stuff the sticky header with content. With a fixed header, browsing should still be comfortable for visitors. Failing to find the right balance may result in leaving a small amount of room for the main content and a stifling, claustrophobic site experience for visitors.
5. Creating for Search Engines, Not People
In the era of ever-increasing online competition, it is no surprise that website owners are always obsessing over how they look to rank for specific keywords. Yet this train of thought makes the critical mistake of forgetting a search engine’s main priority – people. While it is essential to design your website with SEO in mind, your ultimate goal should be to provide exceptional user experience. If done correctly, this will, in turn, result in search engine optimization and higher page rank.
6. Poor Content Quality
It’s easy to get caught up in the design elements of your store experience and let the actual content take a backseat. But as many e-commerce stores have learned, no amount of quality design can make up for poorly-written content. From your store’s “About” page to individual product listings, the written content on your website sets the tone for the user experience. It highlights your brand’s personality, offers calls to action and provides the information that will persuade consumers to make a purchase.
At the end of the day, your site’s user experience will completely define the way customers perceive your brand. Actually, it will likely determine whether or not they ever interact with your brand again after that initial contact. Data shows that UX is still a bit of a mystery to many marketers, but it should be the most important factor on any site design.
We live in a digitalised world, where e-commerce practices like virtual shopping and online video shopping are the dominating factor. Remember, we’re in a market driven by user behaviour so, try your best to cater to that as much as you can and you WILL win!