A great user experience is what separates average websites with average sales from great websites with tremendous sales and engagement.
Nothing can make a person click away from a website quicker than experiencing a bad user interface. When you build your website ensure that everything is clean and usable for the average person if you want increased sales and engagement. There are a few things to keep in mind.
Make it look up-to-date
If your website looks like it's from 2002, then people will think you are out of business or at least don't care enough to stay current with your site. At best people will think your information is not current and at worst they will think you are incompetent.
The other downside with a dated looking website is that it will probably not look clean nor be very user-friendly. Years ago webpages were viewed on desktops, today they are seen on everything from tablets to smartphones. An old design for a webpage will not look good and probably won't even function properly on these new devices.
Make it look clean
If a webpage looks cluttered or information is hard to find, then people will go elsewhere. There are numerous websites that offer the exact same information or products with less effort on the part of the user.
The colors, layout, design, font, etc. of every page should be consistent and make sense. It needs to match the company. A law firm will have a site that looks different than a preschool.
Also, buttons, search bars, shopping carts, etc. need to be obviously accessible and provide the required information in a clean manner.
Make it usable
User-friendliness is key. Hopefully if your site looks current and is cleanly organized, then usability will also be great, too. Having trouble navigating a webpage, cart checkout issues, or website bugs will cause people to click away immediately.
Additionally, your website MUST be mobile optimized. This means that functionally and design change automatically when viewed on a mobile device instead of a desktop. Usually the whole page is condensed into a scrolling form layout. Left, center, and right become top, center, and bottom. This is also why it is important to have a "scroll to top" button hovering on each page. People can easily become annoyed if they are lost in an endless scroll.
The goal is simple. An average customer with no computer programming experience must be able to easily navigate your site on any device and complete the desired task.
Is your website user-friendly? What things annoy you most about "bad" webpages? Let me know in the comments.
Ethan Hausmann is currently the Vice President of Marketing and Community Outreach for Successtar Enterprises LLC. He is an author, professional speaker, and seminar/workshop instructor. Ethan has extensive knowledge and experience in marketing, customer service, leadership, and other small business related concerns.