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One of the biggest concerns for business websites is ensuring their customers have a great on-site experience. Are users going to have problems navigating your website? Will they be able to find what they need or accomplish their goal?
Usability is a huge factor in website design. Not only to get more visitors but more importantly, to keep your visitors on your site.
Your goal as a user should be to create a website or app that simplifies common actions and enhances your user experience.
This article will discuss eight key website features that will improve your users’ experience on a basic level and an advanced level so you can create a compelling, useful and lasting impression on your customers.
1. Easy navigation
One thing that frustrates visitors and causes sites to lose visitors is navigation. Sometimes it’s because the navigation is confusing, hard to find, or difficult to use. Other times, it’s because there isn’t enough of it, and people weren’t able to find what they wanted.
If you want your customers to stay on your site, make sure they can easily find what they are looking for. By adding simple navigation tools, such as breadcrumbs that are easy and intuitive to use, you will be able to improve the user experience and boost conversions instantly.
For instance, Amazon has lots of content on its platform, being the most prominent e-commerce website in the world. But the website is extremely easy to navigate.
Its homepage has options for users to navigate and search the site. Since the menus are easily accessible and the rest of the screen is darkened, users can focus on the shopping categories.
Moreover, in a case study, the founder of Rollie Nation, Vince Lebon, cited that implementing faceted search and product filtering increased average order value by 2.7%.
Thus, easy navigation is one of the key website features for a simplified and enhanced user experience.
2. Interactive design
Interactive design is another feature that you should add to your website features checklist to engage with your site’s users and increase your traffic. In this process, interactive products and services are designed so that users can interact with them.
Interactive website design also entails showcasing your users with a better experience on your website and also directing them to different pages depending on what they prefer.
A good example of a website with interaction design is Alex Buga. This portfolio website covers all aspects of designers, including personal photos, site design works, favorite songs, and more.
The site is designed into a stylish room with contemporary furniture and decors. And all the added sections showcase varied design works, blogs, songs, and more.
When you visit the site, you can click the sections to check the info you want. There is also a “My Music” section where you can relax and learn more about the designers.
3. Make your website visually appealing
Visual design is an important feature that makes a user-friendly website.
Visual appeal is one of the most important elements for creating a positive user experience for your online customers. It keeps them engaged and makes interactions with your brand memorable.
This won’t only help users navigate through your site easily but also give them a good user experience. It’s also best to steer clear of a crowded web design and use white space generously.
As per Hubspot, 84.6% of web designers say that crowded web design is the most frequent mistake made by small businesses.
At the same time, spruce up your website design with visual elements like images, a fitting color palette, videos, and more.
In a survey wherein users were asked what visual elements they value on a company site, 40% of consumers said images, 39% said color, and 21% responded video.
4. Responsive design
As more and more people are using smartphones, it is crucial to add responsive design to your website features list. In fact, in 2020, 50.81% of internet traffic was from mobile devices.
Also, 68% of companies that had a mobile-first site saw an increase in sales.
Responsiveness is the new web standard because it was designed to make your website experience easy for your users. With responsive design, websites now look great on all mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers.
If you look at Dropbox, the use of fluid grid and flexible visuals makes it a unique responsive website. The font color changes to accommodate the background color when switching from desktop to mobile devices, and even the image changes orientation.
5. Inclusive design
Inclusive design is what makes a good website as it is a design process that makes your site usable by as many users as possible. Making your website inclusive is a simple way to enhance your user experience. Inclusive design means you avoid language, color contrast, and other aspects that could prevent someone from being able to use your application.
In a quest to enhance the user experience, 64% of businesses planned a company-wide commitment to digital accessibility in 2020.
If you look at the BBC website, it has a concealed ‘Skip to content” link at the start of the tab index. It gets revealed when you tab on it. The concealed text offers extra context to users who use a screen reader.
However, you will also see an ‘Accessibility Help’ link right after that. New site visitors who use the keyboard and screen reader can swiftly find help.
6. PageLoad Speed
If your website takes too long to load, you might lose a portion of your audience, and this is something that you do not want to happen. Website speed can directly affect a visitor’s experience, and some of them may decide not to stick around.
As per stats, the likelihood of a site visitor bouncing off a mobile webpage increases by 32% if it takes between one and three seconds to load.
And if users have a bad experience on a mobile site, they are 62% less likely to buy from that business in the future.
One thing that can slow down your website is how many ads and scripts you have. These scripts help enhance user experience, but if there are too many of them or if they are too large, it can have the opposite effect. Besides that, make sure to compress all images, minify your code, enable browser caching, and use a fast hosting provider with CDN.
However, if your website is large and complex, ensuring optimal page load speeds isn’t a straightforward task. If you’re a WordPress user (like many), you can hire a WordPress developer for the job.
7. Fewer images in the hero section
With all those pretty pictures, it’s hard not to end up with a beautiful but overloaded hero image that’s cluttered and impossible to use on different devices, like mobile phones or tablets.
While it’s true that Hero images offer a substantial visual impact immediately; however; when you get rid of the distraction of a vivid image, viewers focus more on style and content.
Here’s an example from SVZ.
The layout, typography, shape, and color communicate a powerful and unique brand identity. Not using images creates a bit of mystery, enticing visitors to find out what else lies beyond the hero section.
8. One-page website
One of the most trending website design styles this year is a one-page parallax design. It’s a more interactive and engaging approach that impresses visitors from the first second they land on your website.
The advantage of a one-page website lies in the fact that it’s a neat way of delivering information to the user.
It seems to be more convenient because it delivers all the information on one page, whereas multi-page design splits content into different pages, which makes users jump from one page to another if they want to see an entire overview.
You can especially choose a one-page site if your subject matter is narrow or you are presenting a single idea.
Here’s an example of a one-page site from Indi Harris.
It is a digital resume. The focus of attention here is the subject, making it more likely that a casual visitor will read the whole resume as everything has been showcased upfront.
This way, you can also improve the user experience and usability of the site, increasing page speed, and search engine rankings.
Over to you
So, these were some key areas you can improve on or add to create an exceptional user experience.
Developing a great website experience to wow your visitors is a difficult yet rewarding task. There are many other factors that go into creating a successful user experience.
Taking a step back, it’s obvious that many users want simple solutions. They want something they can use easily and quickly, without spending long hours learning how to do it. In today’s world, people expect websites to work fast — with the fewest possible navigation steps.
The combination of the right technologies, concepts, and techniques can help improve your website’s user experience and thus, customer satisfaction.
Founder and Editor in Chief of Cruzine.com. Cruziner is also a marketer, writer, programmer, and active strength investor in global cultural change.