There are two equal forces that must unite in harmony to achieve optimal user experience. First: how a site feels and the other: how the information is laid out. These factors are guided by user experience and user interface.
Good user experience presents all the necessary information in a logical flow and order with both visuals and copy and in many ways is invisible. Everything you need—and in the best cases, some things you didn’t know you needed—are all there to guide you to the checkout lane.
No brand can afford to have abandoned carts and drop-offs in the sequence because of outdated design. To diagnose if your website is in need of a tune-up, we’ve compiled the both the top five signs of a great user experience that converts and common indications of a mediocre user experience that has consumers bouncing off site.
Top three signs that your site has a less than optimal user experience:
1. You have steady web traffic, but consumers aren’t buying.
If your web traffic is steady or growing but consumers aren’t pulling the trigger it might not be because of economic woes, or that your product isn’t for them. They have come to your site because they are interested in what you have to sell. But some part of the design, navigation or flow is not presenting them with the information, at the right time, in the right place to tip the scale. Perhaps it is a marketing offer, ability to zoom in and see an important detail, or the relevant information is buried in clutter—a user experience expert can determine where the hang-ups are, and smooth out the roadblocks.
2. You have high bounce rates.
A certain range of bounce rate is normal. Consumers look at a lot of websites. They know what they want right when they get there. But if there is a high bounce rate on similar types of pages, or in specific steps of the sequence, there is clearly a user experience problem. If information isn’t easily accessed at the time it’s needed to make a decision—for example, why can’t I find your size guide that’s relevant to the product I’m shopping at that moment?—consumers aren’t sticking around to explore more.
3. Your site isn’t responsive.
If your site is not using mobile responsive design, your site is likely not fully optimized for navigation by mobile users. In June 2014, Adweek published the statistic that “mobile is on track to account for 26 percent of U.S. retail e-commerce sales by 2017.” The mobile slice of the shopping channel pie is only growing and if your website isn’t responsive, potential customers will go to a competitor who offers an easier mobile browsing experience now.
Top three signs of a good user experience:
1. Simple and easy design.
This sounds like a no-brainer but a lot of websites really get this wrong. Good design respects the rules of positive and negative space, ratio of text to images, has easy-to-read font sizes, is void of technology glitches from browser to browser, and features intuitive navigation. It is an expert science to predicting consumer behavior and creating a user experience that feels intuitive and easy.
2. Your customer enjoys hanging around
Consumers enjoy lingering around websites that offer them an enjoyable experience. Content that feels personal, strong brand imagery, graphics that have a point of view, products that are beautifully photographed, detailed descriptions and simple focused design. In a good user experience, the customer leaves feeling happy and fulfilled in both the visual and technological ease of the experience, rather than frustrated and annoyed.
3. Customers are buying, and coming back again.
Lightening speed load times, clear product value proposition, a clear brand vibe and easy check out—not to mention the fun—all help ensure success. Timely shipping with a no fuss return and exchange policy, they’ll remember how quick, fun and easy that was next time they need to make another purchase—and tell their friends.