What impression do you make when consumers first meet your brand? Focusing on the initial impression and then the second and third impressions allows you to create a site designed for users and increase conversion rates.
One thing you can count on with user experience (UX) design is that the industry and trends change constantly. What worked five years ago, or even last year, no longer works.
Designers often slip into the habit of using the same design patterns over and over with slight customizations for each client. However, if you want to grab site visitors and convert them into customers, you must think outside the box and pay attention to every element of a design — big and small.
1. Focus on Mobile Design
Even though most designers understand more people access websites via mobile devices than ever before, mobile first or mobile responsive design still needs more attention. About 52 percent of website traffic comes via mobile devices. If your site design isn't mobile responsive, you risk delivering a poor experience to over half of your site visitors.
Many designers are turning to a mobile-first model, where they design first for mobile devices and second for desktops. Your site may also rank better in mobile searches if you go with a mobile-first design.
2. Create an Experience
The very phrase "user experience" shows where your focus should be — creating a fantastic experience for your customers. For brick-and-mortar stores, consider adding experiential graphics that help them feel as though they're entering a new world.
Dominate your niche by making your business unique from all the others out there. Pull customers into an experience from the moment they spot your store until they leave.
Designers should consider the story of the brand and the story of the target audience. For example, if you run a small candle store, what are the reasons people choose a particular scent? What is the story behind a specific candle smell?
If you just got in new candles that smell like the beach, design a display with ocean wave graphics and sand and surf. Pull the customer into the experience with sight, scent and even sound.
3. Focus on Public Events
Designers should think about public events and how the brand appears to the general public.
At a trade show, the booth should be designed so it's visible from down the aisle, from a medium distance as people approach, and also up close and personal. Elements of the design must capture attention from different levels.
Design graphics which reflect the brand image, such as a large logo and images telling a story about the product and its purpose. Make the experience fun by adding features such as a photo op booth with a specific hashtag in large font so users can snap a photo and share on social media. Engage your visitors for a memorable user experience.
4. Focus on Unique Value Proposition
The UX isn't only about design but also about the message. What does your brand bring to the table that is unique from any similar company out there? Your unique value proposition (UVP) reflects the benefits of doing business with you over your competitors. Find your UVP and share it through stories and content on your website.
Make sure you deliver a value that is easily understood by the audience and essential to them. A UVP isn't very useful if customers don't understand the benefits or particularly care about the end result.
5. Create Easy Sign-Up Forms
Simplify the user experience by creating easier sign-up forms. The number of form fields impacts how likely a visitor is to complete that form.
Put yourself in the shoes of the typical user. They're rushed from one activity to the next and may visit your site while waiting in a doctor's office or at their child's soccer practice. If they can quickly share a name and email and sign up for a discount or mailing list, they can quickly move on to the next task on their long to-do list.
Collect only the necessary information and gather other details later in the sales process.
6. Add Interactive Elements
Drive engagement on your page by adding interactive elements. When a user takes action, they're more likely to stay on your page and engage further. Interactive features include videos that share details about the product, clickable CTA buttons and even live feeds of your social media pages so the user can read, click and follow you on multiple platforms.
7. Run A/B Tests
You aren't the end user, and the only opinions about UX that genuinely matter are your target audience's thoughts. After you redesign any important elements of your site, run split tests to gauge the impact of those changes.
If you aren't regularly running A/B tests on your site, you're missing out on opportunities to improve your UX and add business value.
8. Utilize Visual Elements
Your landing page needs visual assets for better user experience and better conversion rates. Adding explainer videos to your landing pages increases site traffic as much as 300 percent and also increases the average time spent on site.
Beautiful images and exciting videos grab the user's attention and keep them on your site rather than them bouncing away due to an ugly design or a page that fails to answer their questions.
Scan Your Site Every Week
As you learn more about UX design and see the successes of other developers, scan over your designs each week and find areas for potential improvement. Test each change to ensure it sits well with your customers, but don't be afraid to try new things.
You can always shift the design back to what it was before, but you might stumble on a new feature that site visitors truly love. With a little attention to minor details and constant learning, your UX will shine.