When you’re running a business, it’s easy to forget the most important person in the world: the customer. You get so involved in designing the website the way you want to appear and look. You can get so caught up in trying to boost sales, drive people to your website and engage them on different social media that you completely lose sight of the people behind those figures, statistics and targets. In order to increase the sales and make your website user friendly, you need to bear in mind the common mistakes that we make as a business owner. Here’s the 5 common customer web-experience mistakes to avoid.
1. Not understanding the audience
The first and the most important thing to keep in mind is to understand your audience. Many businesses have thrown money at design without having first justified the reasoning for the product existing in the first place.
The right type of product or service should be simple, interesting and in line with the business objectives. It should provide the customer with everything they need, simply, efficiently and without frustration. Keep things as simple as you can, it’s the best way to appeal to the majority.
2. Not having clear call to actions
One big mistake small to medium businesses often make is not making it obvious what you want your visitors to do. For example, if you want people to call you for a quote, or book their car in for a service, or buy your products, tell them…with a clear and prominent call to action. In fact, a website without clear calls to action is a waste of resources, as you can so easily lose business through lack of attention to your user experience. And don’t confuse your visitors with too many actions – if you want people to call you to book a table at your restaurant, this should be your exclusive focus.
3. Encouraging the fear of web forms
Web forms have become an integral part of a website. From business point of you, they have a single, clear mission – to collect and transmit information from website users. But on the other side, web users are generally turned off by and afraid of filling the forms. People do not inherently offer up their personal information to just any website owner and a poorly designed form will compound this fear.
In this day and age a website without a form or two is nearly unheard of, so it’s critical that we design forms in such a way that minimises the user’s instinct to skip over it and make the form as friendly and approachable as possible.
A good rule of thumb to follow when designing web forms is to only ask users for personal information that is essential at this early stage in your relationship with your potential customers. The more personal information we request up front, the more likely we’re going to threaten and scare off potential customers. At this early stage in the relationship, minimal information like name, phone number and email are a good place to start. Once you’ve had an opportunity to connect personally with the user and establish a relationship and level of trust you can begin to ask for additional information. Remember, at this stage your goal should be simply to make contact, not start processing orders or filling up their inbox with marketing material.
4. Not Making The Website Accessible
Accessibility is more important than ever before. If your audience cannot reach your website from virtually any device with a screen quickly and easily you’ve missed the boat! A responsive website design is a must whether you’re creating a brand new website or redesigning and enhancing and existing website.
According to ComScore, 60% of all online searches are now performed on mobiles – and that number is only going to get higher. So make it easy for customers who search on the go – and whether on mobile or desktop – by making sure the design and function of your website is catered for their needs. It’s also important to make sure that your site loads quickly. Customers won’t wait around while the page loads.
5. Neglecting review sites and social media
Lastly, keep a close eye on customer experience once people have left your site or used your services by checking in on review sites. Don’t leave a negative review or complaint hanging on social media without dealing with it. It’s vitally important to respond to customers, whether online or offline, so make sure you respond to comments on social media and pick up the phone promptly for bookings and orders, so that any customer’s full experience of your products or services will be a great one.
Useful Tips and Advice
You probably know this, but we’ve only skimmed the surface. Nonetheless, there are some simple rules to bear in mind, although you should always approach each design project individually.
Keep it as simple as possible – Minimalism and flat design are so popular because they strip away everything that doesn’t directly help users engage with content. Like we recommended in Web Design for the Human Eye, adopt a content-first design philosophy and practice sculpture through subtraction.
Navigation – Build your navigation with a mobile-first philosophy. Ensure that enough padding exists around clickable areas so that they don’t encroach on surrounding fields. More importantly, design each page as if it will be the user’s first experience with your site.
Psychological tricks – All design is based on psychology. Your design must foster trust, inspire emotions and more, so read up on topics such as colour psychology, personality in design, and the seductive art of interaction design.
We understand that it’s a lot to wrap your head around, so it’s normal to make errors while you’re still learning the discipline. When in doubt, ask yourself what the user would do, then slowly work your way back to the business goals.
If you find this article particularly helpful and you’d like to know more contact us today.