There are a lot of resources out there to help you fix bad website design and get your business back on track. But it can be difficult when you don’t know where to start. Here are some web design tips based on BuyerSynthesis’ experience talking to users:
1. They can’t tell what your website is for
It’s all well and good to have a beautiful website but if users can’t tell why it exists then you’ve missed the point. Visitors to a website want to know that they have arrived in the right place and that the website offers what they need. If not, they’ll be heading to one of your competitors instead.
What to do
Your homepage should quickly communicate what your company does. Make it clear what your website offers through consistent imagery, descriptions, and calls-to-action.
Get a neutral third-party to look at your website and describe what you do. If they can’t describe what the website is for in one sentence within 15 seconds then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
2. It’s difficult to navigate
Through our website usability testing research we’ve found that users don’t like websites that make it a challenge to complete a task. People will give up and leave, which means fewer sales or conversions for you. One example is the top line of the navigation bar: a lot of people don’t realize it can be clicked —they think it’s only there to release the drop-down.
What to do
Perform user testing on your website. Give usability testers a task and have them take note of points where they get stuck or what needs improvement. A fresh perspective on your website can mean the difference between a good site and bad one.
For more extensive testing, you can give your users a role to play and a goal to accomplish. They must then figure out for themselves the steps necessary and go through these tasks, much like a real user would.
Do A/B testing. If you want to know what navigation styles and calls-to-action work best, run an A/B test to see which ones convert consumers better.
Keep navigation submenus to a minimum and make sure they stay open. People find it annoying to carefully scroll to the place they want on a drop down navigation bar and then click the wrong one or have it disappear!
Clear calls-to-action. Make sure users know what you want them to do and how they can do it. Use a different color for your ‘Add to Cart’ button or increase the size of the font for your sign up box.
3. Your site automatically plays music or video
Buyers really dislike autoplayed background music on websites, especially if it’s difficult to turn off. Music adds nothing to the user experience and it’s distracting. Many users will just close a page that plays music rather than try to find out how to stop it.
What to do
Get rid of the music. No one wants to listen to your music selection and the last thing you want a visitor to do is search for their volume controls when they should be navigating your site.
Let the user choose. A well-placed video can enhance user experience but let the user decide when they are ready to interact with that feature.
4. The website isn’t mobile friendly
Fifty-two percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones, which means that your website should be optimized for devices ranging from mobile phone screens to large iMac Retina displays. Users have reported feeling like a company doesn’t care about their business when it has a poor mobile site so it’s time to invest in getting this right.
What to do
Build a mobile or responsive site depending on your needs. Different sites require different functionalities. While responsive themes have improved in recent years it may be worth it to build a mobile site, especially if you’re an ecommerce business. You certainly want to be able to increase the size of tap targets and offer different payment options for mobile devices.
5. Too much text
Users only read 28% of the text on a given web page so every word needs to add something. Having too much text (especially with not enough white space) means people either: a) won’t get the important information or b) they will leave the website because it seems poorly thought through.
What to do
Hire a good copywriter. Find a professional who knows how to write for the web and remember: you get what you pay for.
Use different types of media. Make videos and use high-quality, relevant photos to increase engagement with your page.
BuyerSynthesis helps established and emerging businesses grow revenues through better understanding their buyers. firstname.lastname@example.org.