The golden rule of a website design is to put users first. If you’re not keeping user experience in mind when designing your site and instead focus on creating a visually appealing picture, there is a high chance that you’ll get zero response to your site. It is okay to want to showcase your brand and product and that’s what websites are made for, but you also want to give users the best experience possible and increase their browsing time on the site.
There are thousands of ways in which you can improve the user experience on your site: from a complete redesign to small tweaks to fonts and image sizes. Here, we’re exploring 5 most effective user experience strategies that lead to visitors coming to your site in masses. These tips will also help you convert in no time, and really engage the users making them explore and share all the useful content you have to offer.
Top user experience tips for improving a WordPress site
User experience is a combination of three things: design, usability, and content. Ideally, you want a website with a stunning design, exceptional usability, and amazing easy-to-read content. While improving all three is usually only possible through a complete redesign, you can still focus on one aspect at a time and significantly elevate your website look and feel.
1. Make it clean and simple
Designers often forget about users when they create websites. They prefer a pretty picture to the user experience. This leads to a frustration coming from business owners because no one wants a beautiful website that is absolutely useless. When designing your website, strive for a balance of visual appeal and functionality.
The main goal when designing a website is to avoid the confusion. You can be creative and inventive, but if the users don’t find the right elements where they think they should be, the users will leave. That’s why creative websites often win design awards but never bring the owners traffic and conversions.
Don’t think that you have to stick to the standard, commonly used themes and never be able to change them. There is still plenty of room for customization with standard themes. But remember that standard themes are so popular because they are easy to navigate. You can definitely make them visually attractive by tweaking simple things but always keep the balance of form and function.
2. Focus on navigation
Navigation is the most important element of the site. When users land on your site, they want to find the information they need right away. With hidden or unnoticeable navigation, the users will only get frustrated and leave. There are different navigational elements that you can incorporate into your site: a navigational bar, categories list, search box, and breadcrumbs.
In WordPress, there is a powerful Custom menu feature where you can create all the menus. Use a plugin to integrate a search bar and widgets to display categories. For breadcrumbs, your can try WordPress SEO by Yoast.
Your main goal is to help visitors find necessary information. Approach each navigational element from this perspective and visitors wouldn’t want to leave your site.
3. Place all the important information on your homepage
A homepage is where the users land the first time they visit your site. It’s logical then to present all the important information on a homepage. This refers to content as well. While a homepage is meant to be partly informative and partly promotional, you also want to show the readers that you can provide value with content right away so that they get on your email list.
Consider using a feature box and a “start here” page if you’re a blog owner. Both a feature box and “start here” page serve the purpose of alleviating the pains of searching for blog posts. You can also use both of these options to send people to pages that are meant or are more likely to convert the visitors.
4. Make content easy to read
Website content along with design is the first thing that catches visitors’ attention. The way your content is presented can be improved in many different ways: you can change the fonts, design, and play with formatting.
Consider using headlines, break the text into easily digestible paragraphs, and use san serif fonts. Here are some other ways to improve readability and visual appeal of your content: use short sentences and paragraphs, incorporate lists and subheadings, highlight certain parts of content using bold fonts, use images throughout the articles, use graphical information such as graphics, tables, and include references to other content pieces. Create content that is valuable and looks great and people will be compelled to read it.
5. Keep it predictable
You can build an awesome site but still fail to convert the visitors. User experience isn’t meant to aid user comfort only but it should also benefit the business. As you design your site, remember to always show the visitors what the next step is. The next step should be easily predictable and apparent. This can be achieved by building the structure of the site so that it follows a sales funnel, by using navigational elements that direct the user to the desired destination, and by taking into account behavior patterns that people display on other sites.
6. Improve Page Load Speed
Page Load Speed is as crucial to a website as usability. If the page load speed is too slow the users will leave the site without even looking at all the user experience elements you spent so much time incorporating. Check the Page Load Speed with different tools and explore ways to optimize it. Here are some stats to help you decide whether your page load speed is too slow or fast enough. According to Google visual Sensory memory processor in our brain works in bursts of 100 milliseconds, which means that 1 second page load time is optimal for a website. Understandable, a 10 seconds delay leaves the user frustrated, impatient, and never wanting to visit a website again.
You might decide to decrease your image sizes, change your hosting provider, or choosing a different, less image and design elements heavy WordPress theme.
There are numerous ways to improve user experience in WordPress. Of course, the best way is to start designing your site keeping these 5 tips in mind. But even if your website design is already complete, consider incorporating the advice given in this article step by step.
Gone are days when a pretty website could bring you customers. There is too much information shared and produced online these days, so in this overloaded with information world, it’s important to stand out by giving the visitors the best user experience possible. It doesn’t mean that you need to forgo beautiful design and concentrate on function only. The visual appeal of a WordPress site is an indispensable part of user experience just like the navigation bars, menus, and a search box. Ultimately, all these elements including the images, design elements, and the structure of the site when combined together should deliver a great user experience. Your job as a business owner or a website designer is to find that perfect balance between beauty and functionality.