7 UX & Design Tips to Boost Your Website Success

In the competitive digital landscape, a website is often the first point of contact between your business and its potential customers.

As such, the importance of user experience (UX) design and site structure cannot be overlooked, and they play a pivotal role in enhancing overall website performance and retaining visitors.

Let’s delve into the critical aspects of UX design and site structure that you should pay close attention to.

1. Responsive Design for a Seamless Experience

  • The Multi-Device World:
    Users access websites from smartphones, desktops, laptops, and tablets everyday.
    Responsive design ensures your website adapts to different screen sizes, providing a consistent and enjoyable experience across all devices.
  • Mobile first: in 2024, over 90% users surfing the Internet are on their smart phones. So, prioritize optimizing your website design and experience for these smart devices, over other devices.
    Also, don’t forget to optimize for the most popular web browsers: Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox (for 2024).
  • Search Engine Love:
    Google and other search engines favor responsive websites, boosting your search rankings and visibility.
Percentage of Internet Traffic Comes From Mobile Devices 2024

United States browser use 2024

2: Branding with Accessibility in Mind

  • Colors and Fonts Speak Volumes:
    Your choice of colors and fonts reflects your brand personality and sets the tone for the user experience.
    While brand consistency is key, ensure you also prioritize accessibility and readability.
  • Contrast is Important:
    Choose colors with sufficient contrast for users with visual impairments, even if your business is not required by law to be accessibility compliant.
    Tools like WebAIM’s contrast checker can help you verify that your choices are accessible.
  • Readability Rules:
    Opt for clear, easy-to-read fonts. Avoid overly decorative typefaces.
    Font size matters too – choose sizes that are comfortable to read on various devices.
    Headings and subheadings break up your content making it more digestible.

Here’s a quick example for color contrast:
When designing a button for the home page, if you want to use Gold (#C5A059) as the background color of the button, because it’s one of the brand colors.
Then, which color should you use for the text on the button?
White (#FFFFFF) or Black (#000000)?

After testing with these color combinations in WebAIM’s contrast checker, we know that Black text over Gold background will provide higher contrast ratio, and pass the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) compliance.
Thus, it will also help your website obtain a higher score on Google’s Chrome Lighthouse audit on Web Accessibility.

color contrast for web accessibility webiaim contrast checker failed
color-contrast-for-web-accessibility-webiaim-contrast-checker-passed

3. Site Structure – Navigation is Key

A well-planned site structure and intuitive navigation are foundational to a positive user experience.

  • Navigation as Your Guide:
    Your website’s menu is its roadmap. Design an intuitive navigation system that helps users effortlessly find what they’re looking for. Proper categorization of your products or services makes the journey seamless.
  • Sitemaps and URLs:
    Sitemaps help search engines crawl your website efficiently, It should also clearly outline the hierarchy of pages, for both user and search engines.
    Descriptive URLs and title names boost understanding for both users and search engines.

Example:
Imagine a user seeking a sweet dessert wine on the Internet and found the home page of your online wine store. With a clear menu like this, they could easily find what they’re looking for within a few clicks or seconds:
Home Page -> Wines -> Sweet Wines -> Dessert Wines
The goal is to make it easy for users to find their desired products or information in as few clicks and as little time as possible.

Intuitive Site Structure and Navigation for website performance

4. Layout – Design for Clarity & Comfort

Column Power:
A balanced column structure organizes content logically. Some content might look better distributed in a 4-column row than a single-column on the desktop view. But don’t forget to check the mobile and tablet views as well. With the narrow screen sizes, the same content might look better displayed in a 2-column or even a single-column row.
Use the Device Simulator tool on Chrome or Safari’s DevTool to check the responsiveness of your websites.

Whitespace Matters:
Ample space between elements improves readability and overall visual appeal. Avoid cramped layouts.

Example of a 3-column row on desktop view
Example of stacking columns on mobile view

5. Image Impact

  • Visual Storytelling:
    High-quality, relevant images or videos break up text, enhance engagement, and should align with your brand aesthetic.
    Carefully consider whether photos, illustrations, or a combination best suit your brand and content.
  • Optimization is Key:
    Don’t forget to optimize images for faster site load times using compression and optimization. There are both built-in tools within popular website building platforms and external tools to perform these tasks.
    For WordPress websites, I recommend these plugins: Optimole, Smush, Speed Optimizer
    For external image optimization tools, I recommend: tinify / TinyPNG, paint.net
  • Don’t Forget About SEO:
    Use descriptive file names, titles, captions, and alt-text for accessibility and SEO benefits.

6. Call to Actions That Drive Results

  • Guiding Your Visitors:
    Clear and compelling calls to action (CTAs), like “Learn More About Us”, “Sign Up for Classes Here”, or “Shop Now,” encourage user interaction and conversions.
  • Placement and Design:
    Calls to action (CTAs) guide users towards your business objectives, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for newsletters, or contacting customer service.
    Strategically Positioning clear and compelling CTAs throughout your site with eye-catching designs and hard-to-resist messages can significantly increase conversion rates.

Example: take a look at the CATs on this webpage: https://mlhaesthetics.com/landing/.

7. Additional User-Friendly Features

  • Back to the Top
    On lengthy pages, a “back to top” button saves visitors from endless scrolling.
  • Search for Simplicity
    For large websites, a search bar allows users to instantly locate specific content.
  • Find Me Fast:
    Ensure contact information and forms are accessible, encouraging potential customers to reach out. Here’s where you can go the extra mile:
    • Add a Map: For local businesses, embed a Google map or provide a clear link for directions.
    • Click to Connect: implement a “tel:” hyperlinks for phone numbers to enable one-tap calling on mobile. And add a “mailto:” hyperlinks for email addresses to open email apps directly.
    • Connect to Social: Integrate links on the website to the business’s social media platforms, so your users can easily follow and share.
  • The Power of Forms:
    A contact form streamlines communication, allowing you to capture valuable user information. Think: what kind of information would be most important to capture when your potential customer fills out a form?
    • The Essentials: Name, email, and phone number are a must. Location information can be useful as well.
    • Understanding Interests: Include fields to learn about the specific services or products they are interested in.
    • Marketing Insights: Discover how they found your website (search, social media, etc.) to gauge your marketing efforts.
    • Balancing Act: Strike a balance between gathering info and keeping your form concise.
    • Privacy Promise: Always link to your privacy policy for transparency and compliance.
    • Example: take a look at this contact form: https://mlhaesthetics.com/landing/#form.

Conclusion

A well-designed website that considers all aspects of UX design and site structure is crucial for maintaining visitor engagement and achieving business success. By focusing on these elements, you can ensure that your site not only attracts but also retains users, providing them with a satisfying and seamless experience.

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