It’s easy for business owners and website developers to become so invested in a website’s design that they fail to consider the consumer experience. This could drastically limit the number of users who can successfully navigate through your website.
Studies have found that 43% of consumers have very minimal computer skills, and only 26% of consumers can complete medium-level complexity tasks on a computer. Even worse is the fact that 26% of adults are unable to use a computer at all without assistance. Therefore, it’s imperative to keep the consumer experience in mind when developing a website.
The good news is that there are several simple user experience concepts that you can utilize to ensure that consumers find the information and products they’re looking for.
The truth is, consumers don’t want a flashy website if it takes too long to load. In fact, a whopping 40% of internet users will abandon a website if it hasn’t loaded within three seconds. Fast loading times are an absolute must when offering an exceptional online consumer experience, but there are still many other things to consider.
1. Ease of Navigation
Can amateur-level users easily identify where your navigation menu is, and how to use it? If not, then it’s time to revise your website’s layout. Most users decide if they’re going to leave a website within 10 to 20 seconds, so a confusing navigation will only increase your bounce rate (i.e. make the user hit the back button). It’s also wise to add an internal search feature so that users can quickly find what they need.
Here’s a neat example from Noah Watch that keeps the menu bar focused only on the elements that matter.
If you’re not sure how to determine if your website is easy enough for novice users to navigate, ask a friend or family member who struggles with computers to take a look at it. If they can figure it out without your help, you might be heading in the right direction.
2. Direct Access to Customer Service
Nobody wants to spend an exorbitant amount of time looking for a way to reach a customer service representative. This is the primary reason why so many websites offer a chat option that pops up if the user hasn’t taken a specific action within a certain timeframe.
However, being on-hand to help the user is only half of the battle. From there, consumers may have a difficult time explaining what type of issue they’re having. To combat this problem, your website could implement a screen-sharing integration such as Pega Co-Browse, so that your customer service representatives can see exactly what the user is seeing.
3. Dedicated Customer Support Service
Having a dedicated customer service department is certainly ideal, however smaller companies tend to require their employees to multitask. This may result in employees accomplishing more behind the scenes, but it would likely be at the expense of the user, who would receive a less-than-optimal customer service.
To ensure that a representative is available to offer their full attention to consumers, you could use integrations, for example, 4mation integrates data between several popular software options. Email automations are also relatively easy to setup using apps like GetResponse. Ultimately, the more time an employee saves on other tasks, the more time and energy that can be put toward improving consumer satisfaction.
4. Use Words, Not Sounds, to Get Your Point Across
Auto-play videos are everywhere, and even though they can be annoying (when implemented incorrectly), there is evidence that videos do work. However, a study of Facebook users discovered that 85% of users watch videos with the sound off.
When you consider the fact that 1.79 billion people are active Facebook users, it’s fair to assume that many of your consumers will have their videos muted by default when they visit your website. If you’re using video media on your website, you can automatically improve the user experience by ensuring that any auto-play videos have subtitles.
Toggl perfectly combines text and video when delivering a captivating first experience to the user.
5. Make Each Step Obvious with Color Choices
Humans have a psychological (and sometimes even emotional) reaction to colors, although most of us don’t quite realize it while it’s happening (a bright green color, for instance, can make us think “Go”). With that in mind, it may be helpful to the user if you made “Add to cart" buttons green, along with the “Checkout” button and any other call-to-action that results in user-progression.
You may also want to research which colors are associated with your industry. Not only will this help you set the right mood, but it’ll play a major role in whether or not consumers will connect with the website before they hit the back button.
Examples of branding psychology include using soft, gentle green hues for healthcare sites, because people equate this with hope and safety. Also, did you know that red and yellow colors tend to make you hungry? I’m looking at you McDonald’s!
Teamweek is an another brilliant example of smart color usage. The CTA button stands out despite the colorful pricing boxes. In short, the user needs to know where to click without hardly thinking about it.
The Bottom Line
Creating the most user-friendly online experience for consumers ultimately comes down to making your website as easy-to-use as humanly possible. Regardless of what action the user wants to take (e.g. search for an item, add an item to their shopping cart, ask a question, etc), they shouldn’t have to “figure out” how to do it.
You can also increase consumer satisfaction by ensuring that the user has no reason to jump ship onto a competitor’s website (for example, if you need to pull the user aside to sign them up, save their shopping cart first, don’t empty it and force them to start over when they return to their shopping cart).