It’s vitally important that if you have an online presence, that you are presenting your self, or your business in an appropriate, and accurate way. Just like you present yourself in real life, the same goes for the web, and people inevitably, either consciously or subconsciously, judge your work on the Internet. In this article, we explore various factors that influence how what you put out online will be perceived. You can be great at a few of these things, but if you haven’t addressed all of the below reasons, you will create a poor user experience and lose a lot of potential traffic.
Your website is not mobile responsive
If you have an old website built before the gradual switch to a significant amount of web pages being accessed through mobile devices, then you will definitely need a designer or developer to review your site and address its mobile responsiveness. It could well even be time for an entirely new site.
The Internet has changed significantly in a very short period of time. Here’s a few statistics to give you a bit of an idea of what’s going on.
– 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site
– Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead
– Google drives 96% of mobile search traffic, and mobile responsiveness factors heavily in where sites rank – see here
The design of your website should be consistent from page to page to avoid a poor user experience. The colour themes should be very similar, the positioning of elements such as the header, footer, and heading should all be the same, unless for good and obvious reason. It doesn’t look very good when you have 4 slightly different versions of your navigation bar, for no reason other than that your developer/designer has been careless.
Too much ads create a poor user experience
I see this all the time, on some really big sites. Sure, I understand that they are trying to maximise their profit, but when a user is bombarded with cheesy ad’s it really brings in to question the motivations and legitimacy of the website and the information the user is consuming. Place and pick your ads well, perhaps go for a sponsorship with a business that suits your particular niche instead of allowing the ad providers to decide what ads appear on your page.
Slow load times create a poor user experience
This is a factor for search engine results as well as user experience. These days, websites are requiring a lot of HTTP requests to be made for various files that your browser interprets to render the web page. This can really slow the load time, especially when loading the first page of your site, as many of the files are not stored in the users cache yet.
The thing is, users generally care more about the speed that the page loads at than all the flashy tricks a website designer can do. Speed should always take precedent over the bells and whistles. That’s why you don’t see the highly functional sites like YouTube or Facebook displaying any of these kinds of things.
The website is hard to navigate
If you’re at the point where you will soon need a new site, make sure you make a site map, unless it’s a very simple site. You obviously want to make sure your users can easily find the most important information.
If it’s very important that the user knows the number to call should they need to, then make sure it’s at both the top, and bottom of the page.
A very long page could have an up arrow that pops up when the user has scrolled down a certain distance, so that they can easily reach the top of the page again. A stripped back, simple navigation bar in the footer can also be helpful.
If you have a lot of pages, structure them clearly, and provide links to them in relevant pages, so that it’s not just the navigation bar that’s being used to get around. You can create a natural flow of linked pages that keeps the user interested.
Your website is not secure
Depending on the kind of website you have, SSL protection can be absolutely necessary. It would be great if every site had an SSL certificate, but this is not the case. SSL is a secure form of data transfer, using HTTPS instead of HTTP for the client-server connection. This blocks unwanted attention from those who have no business seeing any data from your site, or from the clients computer.
This is another ranking factor for search engines, and you will also see the little green padlock next to the url of the webpage that adds a level of trust for the user.
There are more reasons I could mention that create a poor user experience, but these are a few of the main and most common ones that I feel are worth mentioning. I hope this was of some service to you. If you need any assistance with creating a quality user experience, feel free to get in touch. Happy website building!