If the average person is 279.64 times more likely to climb Mt. Everest than click on a banner ad, why do we still see annoying pop-ups and ads that are a blight to websites? Call to actions and remarkable design should never weigh out the user experience. Here’s why.
The fine line between great design and a great UX isn’t fine at all
If people can’t do more than window shop, your business won’t exist for long. In a physical store, you make sure you have helpful staff, clear signs and a good floor layout to give your customers a great experience. It should be exactly the same on your website.
When you’re building a WordPress website, it can be easy to get lost in the countless design options, funky plug-ins and choosing which picture looks best where. But don’t just create something that looks impressive: focus on something that works.
Since you’re building or owning your website, you’ll be looking at it differently than your users will. Let’s swap places with them for a moment and look at what really matters in the User Experience on WordPress websites.
Back to Basics: This is What UX is Really about
It’s more than adding a big red button on your website that screams ‘BUY NOW’. While that is simple to follow and leaves no room for confusion about what happens if you click it, it doesn’t necessarily provide a great experience. It’s the online equivalent of a pushy sales employee. Yikes.
User Experience is about the overall experience your website or app visitors have on your website.
Look at every piece of copy, clickable button or picture as an interaction between you and your customer. What does this tell them to do? Does it entice them to stay on your website and dive deeper in your content? Does it tempt them to buy something? Or does it confuse or annoy them, making them leave?
Just because your website structure makes sense, pages load quickly and there are no 404’s, doesn’t mean people will actually buy from you—or perform whichever action you want them to do.
UX is not just about logic, it’s also about emotion. The pathway to your call to actions shouldn’t just be clear of obstacles, it should have some nice views along the way as well.
This is merely the foundation, and if you really want to excel in User Experience, you build onto it with pleasant surprises. Fun copy that makes them giggle, a content offer at the right place and right time, and a chatbot popping up when they start looking at How To’s to offer additional help. Those are just a few ideas, of course.
Why UX design should be a part of your design process from day one
There are plenty of reasons to invest in UX when designing your new website or redesigning the old one. Here are the most important ones.
It Sets You Apart From Your Competitors
UX design is still virgin territory for a lot of businesses, so get ahead now. Get this: more than 70% of small business websites do not use call-to-action buttons yet. Just 55% of companies conduct UX tests.
They assume their visitors will simply find the way themselves. Now, people are smart. But we consume so much content through our screens on a daily basis that we’re much more responsive to pages that guide our eyes in the right direction. We’re smart, yes, but also lazy.
Your website visitors will reward you for doubling down on UX design, as you’ll see in the next point.
It Boosts Conversion
Let’s talk money. Improving your UX could yield conversion rates of up to 400%. That’s not a typo.
It’s easy to understand how UX drives conversion. It’s all about convenience. The fewer hurdles there are to order something, the more people will do it.
It’s been proven over and over again that regardless of what you’re offering, UX plays an important role in whether people actually buy it. If they don’t know how or if it takes too long, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
UX Design Improves Your SEO Rankings
Now of course, for those higher conversion rates, you’ll also need a decent amount of visitors. Luckily, UX also helps with that.
UX is crucial for any business that wants to boost their ranking. Because SEO is about a lot more than keywords. Here’s what metrics good old Google also looks at:
That’s right: all those things can be influenced by UX design. Think about things like your bounce rates and loading times. 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. So, before you optimize another blog, look at simple UX metrics you can improve on.
It Saves You Costs and Time in the Long Run
If you have to go back and fix something on your website, it’ll eventually cost you more than getting it right the first time. Not just because your developer has to dive back into it, and you need to do research on what is wrong, and how to make it right.
Also, you could be missing out on revenue while your website isn’t working as it should.
This also highlights the importance of testing. Before you launch your website, have a real user test it out that hasn’t been involved in the building process. A fresh set of eyes will always highlight points for improvement.
It Helps You Build a Relationship With Your Target Audience
Following up on that last point, including your target group in the design process is a great way to create a buzz and establish relationships with your audience.
Before you start designing, start a user research process in which you find out what your future visitors look for in a website. Don’t go for guesswork: launch a survey amongst real people that match your criteria to be absolutely sure you’re putting all those buttons in the right places.
Involving people in the process shows that you value their opinion, and this will build loyalty. We all like to give our two cents on the websites of our favorite brands, right?
It Helps You Engage More People, on More Devices
We regularly use an average of 2.23 devices simultaneously. Not even the older generations are asking people anymore to put that phone down. We’re all guilty of constantly being online, and we access websites and apps on various devices. We expect them to function everywhere.
The mobile version of your website shouldn’t simply be smaller, it’s possible that it should look entirely different—colors and branding aside. Bad mobile optimization annoys 48% of users and means they probably won’t come back to check it out on their desktop.
It’s Vital for Onboarding and Customer Retention
We’re assuming that most businesses are looking for website visitors who keep coming back, and aren’t interested in a one-time-thing. User Experience is a vital part of that.
88% of online shoppers say they wouldn’t return to a website after a bad user experience. No matter how great your product or service is the first time they buy it, it’s highly unlikely if the buying process was an absolute disaster, and they barely made it through the first time.
Examples of Next-Level UX Design With WordPress
Okay, but what does UX look like when brought to life? To give you some ideas, here are two websites that completely nailed it when it comes to offering their users a great time on their website—built in WordPress.
A great WordPress example of winning at UX is the website from 99% Invisible. It’s the website for a popular podcast on design, and boy, do they show off that they’re experts on this.
When you hit the homepage, it’s hard to miss the most vital buttons and pages. It’s clear and simple. Plus, as the podcast is what it’s all about, there’s always a play button at the bottom of the screen that lets you listen to the latest episode. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Protest is a seasoned sportswear manufacturer who understands exactly what customers need when they shop for their stuff. Whether you’re getting a bikini or a ski suit, you’ll want to know what it looks like on a real body.
That’s why they put in a little, no, a lot more attention in their product pages than the average online retailer does. They’re incredibly detailed, yet not flooded with unnecessary information or images.
It’s a great example of how technical documentation can help shoppers, even in the B2C sphere. Pictures might look great, but it’s details that convince us.
Unfortunately, a screenshot doesn’t even do it justice, because you’re missing out on the model that moves to show the items. But here’s a sneak peek of what to expect.
Moreover, their website supports multiple languages, a massive plus in UX. This is a great example of what UX should be like: thorough. Don’t stop at your homepage or most important category pages. It’s all in the details.
Want more examples of really good UX? Go to reallygoodux.io. It offers great, real-life examples of brands that hit the sweet spot of UX.
Vicky Frissen is a freelance copywriter based in Barcelona. She helps brands and businesses like Skale stand out from the crowd by putting some personality in each piece of copy she writes—whether it’s a 1,000-word blog post or a short and snappy Instagram caption.