Improving User Experience on the Web

Providing website visitors with what they want

Visitors of your website want to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Owners of the website want an opt-in, a download, or an email address.

Both desires are important to the success of your website, but only a balanced approach will make all audiences happy.

1) Design the navigation in the simplest way possible

  • Make the navigation bar available on every page and in the same place.
  • Make the home page link really obvious so users know how to “start over.”
  • Don’t used dynamic navigation bars where links change based on the visitor’s page.
  • Don’t assume visitors know there’s a back button on their browser; leave no dead-end.

2) Have an excellent onsite search

  • Most customers know what they want and don’t want to browse the entire site.
  • Make it easy for customers to refine their search criteria, auto complete for the search terms, and the ability to cope with misspellings.
  • Multichannel search with the ability to pull content from your website, including user generated content and related social media activity.
  • Search in document text.

3) Add trust builders all over the site.

  • Professional association logos if available.
  • A picture of the owner in action doing something for the company.
  • The Online BBB, VeriSign on the checkout page, a Web of Trust logo.

4) Give something free to the visitor

  • Give free advice, free shipping, or a support community for visitors to browse through.
  • Providing free help creates the need on the part of visitors to reciprocate and do something nice for the source of that free help.

5) Move opt-in module off the home page, and to the Contact page

  • Users are hesitant to opt-in because of spam.
  • Don’t expect visitors to give an email address without seeing the company’s offers first.
  • Offer a free download or a small free service in exchange for the email address.

6) Subtly make every page a sell page

  • Utilize pages like “About” to not only show the usual information about the company, but also tout the company being first-class with high standards.

7) Place contact information on every page


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