Whether you run your own personal WordPress blog or manage and design sites for clients, you probably know that user experience is highly important. It makes sense that the user experience (how well visitors to your site can navigate and interact with your content) is important, but what does designing for the user experience actually entail? In addition to making your website easier to navigate and design, successful UX can mean the difference between someone leaving your site within three seconds or signing up for your newsletter, making a purchase, and returning to your site again once they’ve left.
User Experience: What It Is and Why It Matters
Like so many things in life and on the internet, user experience can be a fluid concept that means different things depending on who you ask. There are dozens of definitions of what good UX means and how to achieve it, but the good people at the Nielsen-Norman Group
have summed it up quite nicely:
All aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products. The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother. Next comes simplicity and elegance that produce products that are a joy to own, a joy to use. True user experience goes far beyond giving customers what they say they want, or providing checklist features. In order to achieve high-quality user experience in a company’s offerings there must be a seamless merging of the services of multiple disciplines, including engineering, marketing, graphical and industrial design, and interface design.
Well you may be thinking that’s all fine and good and necessary if you’re an e-commerce or social media giant, but is user experience really relevant for basic WordPress websites that don’t have high volumes of traffic or explosive sales goals? The answer might surprise you. Simply put, if you want people to find, stay and return to your site, user experience is not only relevant, it is a major tool in building and sustaining traffic and converting leads.
The Effects of UX on User Behavior and Website Performance
According to industry data
, 88 percent of consumers say they will not return to a website after a bad experience, and will leave a site (desktop or mobile) if a page takes more than three seconds to load. In addition to being an annoyance for the user, web pages that are slow to load
can be the death knell for your website’s performance and overall success. To wit: 47 percent of consumers say that a web page should load within two seconds, and roughly 40 percent say that they will abandon a website (and be significantly less likely to return).
10 Things to Keep in Mind About UX When Designing Your WordPress Site
Designing an attractive, intuitive and engaging website doesn’t have to be tedious or overwhelming. Start by considering a few fundamentals:
- What are your goals for the site (to attract new leads, convert existing users, build up membership, etc.)?
- What are your user personas (who are they, what do they want, how can you give it to them in the most straightforward and unobtrusive way)?
- Is your design/navigation unnecessarily complicated or confusing for your users (can they easily find what they’re looking for without having to jump through a million hoops before eventually leaving in frustration)?
- Establish your brand
- Use a clear and easy layout and navigation
- Make your content interesting and readable, and update often
- Show them what to do and where to find things
- Think visually and organize your content in digestible chunks
- Use high-quality images and video
By following a few simple principles, your site can be both successful and engaging for users.
Have you made some significant improvements to your WordPress site’s UX? Let us know how you found the problem and what you did to fix it in the comments below! Sharing your discoveries will help others improve their sites as well!