Have you ever visited a website trying to purchase a product but then quickly left because the check-out process was too complicated? Well, that is just one of the indicators of a bad user experience (UX) and user interface (UI).
UX and UI are important for numerous reasons. A well-designed website can improve customer satisfaction, boost your return on investment and help you build a brand, all while saving you time and money.
So, if you’ve been hesitant about hiring that web design company from Miami you’ve heard about, don’t be – hiring a professional is always a good idea.
However, if you’re looking for ways to upgrade UX/UI design to improve engagement on your own, start from these basic:
User experience (UX) design as a term first appeared in the late ‘90s. Don Norman, a cognitive scientist and UX architect that came up with the term, said UX “encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”
As you can tell, this definition does not mention UX in the context of web design. That is because UX is not only related to web design but also products, services, and companies.
In terms of web design, it’s important to note that UX design is not about visuals. It focuses on developing and improving the overall experience a user has with a company.
Unlike UX design, user interface (UI) design is only used in the digital world. It concerns the look and feel of the website. A task of a UI designer is to make sure the interaction between the user and the website is intuitive. It’s all about guiding the users through the website.
A UI designer will also think about the typography, colors, icons, imagery, and responsiveness – basically all visual elements.
While UX designer relies on extensive user research to learn the users’ needs and pain points regarding a product, UI designer is responsible for visually representing the concept the UX designer came up with.
User engagement measures how users respond to your products or services. If users tend to stick around on your website, explore, and convert, you’ve done a great job. A good indicator of a high user engagement is loyalty – satisfied users come back for more.
There are different types of user engagement. You might notice users browsing through your website or commenting and liking your content. Social shares are also good indicators of high engagement. But, if your bounce rate (the percentage of users that leave the website without exploring it further) is high, you should make some changes and figure out why that’s happening.
Now that you understand the basics, here’s what you need to do to improve your engagement rate by tweaking UX and UI design.
If you want to increase your engagement, you need to know your users. Remember, the first step to making any kind of change is knowing where you stand.
Start with the demographics - gender, age, profession, family status, lifestyle, and similar information. Complete the persona puzzle by figuring out what their interests and hobbies are. All that will help you get a better image of your target audience – the people that are most likely to buy your product.
See what your competitors have to offer and then think about what it is you can offer that they can’t.
UX designers use specific tools to help them conduct this type of research:
User research will help you recognize which part of your website needs to change so that you don’t waste your time and money on the things that are already doing good.
Minimalistic design has been popular in the last couple of years and will continue to be in 2022 as well.
In terms of UI design, it means removing all unnecessary buttons, icons, and other visual elements so that the interaction is as simple and intuitive as possible. That will not only affect your engagement rate but will also reduce the bounce rate.
There are a few fundamental rules you should know:
Don’t overstuff your pages with too much information. Though you want to be useful and informative, you’ll do the opposite and confuse the users. Use internal linking to connect one page to another, instead.
Visual elements should also aid in achieving this, so make sure they’re placed in a way that the user is guided to the page’s goal.
You’ve probably noticed that this rule is related to the previous one.
A great way to point out the main text and the relevant information is to put the secondary input such as “you may also like” at the end of the page and reduce the sizing of the font so that it doesn’t distract the user from the primary input.
White space can help you shift the user’s attention and evoke a sense of harmony and balance.
You can use a couple of techniques:
Note that white space can be in any color that represents the background of the design, not just white.
Aside from being annoying, pop-ups are also a needless distraction. So, if you want users to understand what it is you want from them and decrease your bounce rate, reduce the number of pop-ups.
Users are much more likely to stick around if they’re not required to endure a long and complicated entrance process, which will improve your engagement rate.
Every additional button they have to click on takes you one step closer to a higher bounce rate, which is something you want to avoid.
Forms with too many form fields asking for needless information are not a good choice either. Remember that people are not only lazy but are also not fond of sharing too much personal information.
A way to simplify this process is to skip the sign-up entirely if possible. If not, allow users to use their social media platform account to log in so that they don’t waste their time.
Users get annoyed when they don’t know how to use the app or a website, but they also don’t like to spend their time reading too many instructions all at once. It may seem like a bit of a paradox, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed.
Instead of offering one long tour that shows the website’s features all at once, split it into sections. For example, whenever a user clicks on an option he hasn’t clicked before, create a small pop-up that comes up with an explanation.
They’ll have more patience since the time they spend reading one instruction is far less long than an entire tutorial. That will reduce your bounce rate and improve your engagement since will be able to use more website features.
Users get easily distracted with their day-to-day lives. Inevitably, they’ll sometimes fail to see things you may have wanted them to see.
Including short instruction or animations are great for overcoming this obstacle.
For instance, if the username and password the user entered are wrong, you could create a small animation of a green line turning red to signalize they entered the wrong username or password. It would be great to let them know which one they didn’t get right.
These animations keep users entertained while waiting and the short message letting them know which form-field they filled out incorrectly will help them get it right.
When it comes to picking the colors scheme for the website, your primary concern should be brand cohesion.
Stick to the colors used everywhere else because users tend to connect certain colors with certain brands. Coca-Cola made red its signature color – a sticker on the Coca-Cola bottle is red, their drink can is red, and so is their website.
Now, sometimes it’s actually a good idea to mix things up a bit. That’s the case with a call-to-action button (CTA button). The goal is to make your CTA button stick out by using a color that attracts attention.
It doesn’t matter whether that color is red or green or blue, as long the CTA button is the only visual element in that color.
A good example can be found on the Evernote website. If you go there now, you’ll notice that their CTA button is colored in green, while the rest of the webpage is basically white with a bit of black.
Users are impatient. A survey conducted by Unbounce shows that more than 65% of consumers are affected by the load time in a way that they might be less willing to buy from an online retailer with a slow page speed.
So how slow is too slow? It is advised that you keep the load time up to 3 seconds. After that, you risk losing potential customers.
Online tools such as Pingdom Tools can help you determine the speed of your website. In case you notice your load time is a bit too high, removing unnecessary visual elements and adding more white space will help decrease it.
According to Google Analytics, over half of the web traffic comes from mobile devices. For that reason, it’s important to have a responsive website that can live up to its potential on all sorts of devices, not just computers.
Aside from appearing professional to your potential customers, a responsive website is more likely to increase the number of engagements which then leads to a higher ranking on search engines.
Finally, the best way to know what works for you is to conduct periodical testing. That way you’ll know exactly what it is that needs tweaking.
One of the best testing techniques is A/B testing which allows you to compare two versions of a website and see which one does better. The key is to make one change at a time because that can give you the most accurate result.
Another useful tip is to work with the feedback and learn from it. Users are those that determine what they like and what they don’t, so listen to them.
To sum it up, you should definitely focus on making sure users can easily find what they’re looking for. Implementing these tips will help you get on track with UX and UI design, which will then inevitably increase your engagement.
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