Once an idea for a website is developed, the actual design phase can begin. This much is obvious. Most people focus on different design elements they want to include. They focus on color schemes, font sizes and and whether they should include things like image sliders. These are all important, but what they fail to cover adequately is the way users will use the site. User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are critical and require significant planning and strategy when developing a new website or one that is already established. The following strategies should be considered for new and established websites alike.
Simplicity Over Flashiness
Having a flashy looking website may bring in new people based on aesthetics alone, but if it is not easy to use, they will eventually move along. When designing a new website, they should first ask themselves whether a child that has never used the internet could use their website and find what they are looking for. Clean website design layouts with very clear calls to action, obvious buttons and links to click on, and even including things like arrows or caption boxes with concise instructions are all effective and make things as simple as they can be.
Make It Easy To Get Paid
This obviously does not apply to blogs that do not sell anything, but for sites that sell a product or service, checking out should be as quick as possible. Just because someone can easily find the product or service they need does not mean they will buy it if they have to go through an unnecessary amount of steps to complete their purchase. As long as the sales process is compliant with security standards, it should be kept to the minimum number of actions required to complete a purchase.
Remember The 3-Click Rule
The 3-Click Rule is a topic of much debate. It says that if people have to click more than three times to find something, they will move along. Of course, if they have invested enough time to click three times, they will probably click one or two more times, but that is not always the case. It is also not really the point of referencing the rule. Clear calls to action are important, but it should not take an endless succession of clicks to actually get to the point that a user can finally identify the proper- and ideally, the last- click to make. Using descriptive internal linking strategies, plugins for related posts and products, and a search box are all ways to minimize the amount of work that users need to do in order to get to where they want to go.
UI and UX are important not just in the short term, but in the mid and long term as well. A site that offers a sub-par UI/UX will lose the chance for repeat business with past customers find a competitor that offers a better and easier experience.