Ten Tips for User Experience Website Design

October 2019

It’s always easy to look at another organisation’s website from afar and notice errors which haven’t taken the user experience into account. What have you done to create a positive user experience on your website?

Over the last 17 years, Cynergy have supported the co-production, design and development of new websites, microsites and portals. Cynergy support you and your team from the initial conception of the site design through to the development, launch and maintenance of your website.  Our team focus on the collective knowledge from our experts, your team and the people using your site to develop the ideal user website experience.

Here’s some of our tips to think about when focusing on the user experience:

Clarity and Simplicity

It’s important to constantly consider what your site can do to make it easier to use for everyone involved. Simple navigation and a clear layout are better for users visiting a new site – they know what to expect if site behaviours and aesthetics are repeated throughout content pages.

[1] Your site should always give a visual indication if more content is available and which direction the user should scroll.

[2] If your user journey is greater than three navigation points to get to the desired page, it might be time to rethink your design.

[3] Icons must visually describe the function or purpose – use familiar visuals, make them simple and meaningful.

Web analytics and heat mapping can help you track the user journey to ensure they are interacting with the content. Tracking and user testing also help you to identify ‘typical’ audience behaviours which guide your website updates. A website that behaves as expected by users will better hold their attention and increase interaction opportunities.

 

Site Loading

Can the speed of your website influence your webpage views and engagement rates? Yes - your site is judged within the first 30 seconds. Google and other search engines penalise sites which load slowly, but more importantly, so do your users. According to a 2018 report by Google, 53% of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load.

[4] The perception of website speed is based on load time, load behaviour, waiting times and smoothness of animations.

So, what can you do about it?

[5] Ensure your images and videos are optimised to reduce the download byte size to improve the performance of your website. The recommended dpi (dots per inch) for images is 72.

 

Know your audience

Understanding your audience and their needs is a crucial factor when designing a website. Getting design elements to match your target audience’s preferences is essential if you want high levels of interaction and endless conversions. Cynergy focuses on co-production and field testing your site throughout development to ensure it supports your user behaviours and information needs.

[6] Images are powerful channels of non-verbal communication and give your audience insight into the types of people using your organisation; make sure your designs and imagery are relevant to your users.

[7] Place high-priority content at the top of the website page. Website analytics can highlight key content that your users search for as well as less viewed content – Is your website layout helping or hindering your communication?

 

Do you have an accessible website user experience?

Accessibility is defined as “the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people who experience disabilities”, however it is much more than that.

We work alongside many different types of organisations and their users to co-create websites that meet the needs of all users, including content, web layout, design and an inclusive user experience. Our developers work towards internationally recognised and adopted standards to ensure equal opportunity. Regardless of your target audience persona, your site design should consider everyone as a potential user. Therefore, we would suggest adopting and testing the following:

[8] Beware of colour blindness and don’t rely on certain colours to highlight important information. Convert your designs to grey-scale to test for colour blindness – can you still read the information? You can also offer an optional contrasting view which will make your content easier to read for colour blind users.

[9] Avoid large blocks of text with the use of italics, centred formatting, or pure black text on white backgrounds when testing – make your content clear and easy to understand.

[10] Individuals with motor control issues struggle to accurately click on small or close interactive elements. The industry recommended size for interactive elements such as buttons is 7 – 10mm (roughly 48 x 48 pixels).

 

Are you ready to explore user testing and discover how your website could create the optimal user experience?

Contact us now!