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5 UX Design Tips To Improve Your Website’s First Impressions

Crafting an experience that keeps users coming back for more.

A man uses an iPhone to research UX design and first impressions
A man uses an iPhone to research UX design and first impressions

According to Userzoom, by the year 2020, user experiences will outperform price and product becoming the key differentiating factor of your brand. Ninety-five percent of visitors say that a positive user experience is the “most important factor” of your website, and almost 60% of visitors say they won’t recommend a business with a website that isn’t optimized for mobile.

This means that visitors will form lasting first impressions of your business and brand based on a single user experience.

Related: For practical tips to improve your website’s first impressions, check out our guide to 7 UX Laws for B2B Websites.

The Rise of UX Design

Convenient, creative, and seamless user experiences aren’t just a perk anymore. In 2018, they’re an expectation.

According to Sweor, nearly 8 in 10 visitors will leave a site that’s non-responsive, and according to Adobe almost 40% of website visitors will stop engaging with your content if it’s “unattractive.” This kind of aversion can be caused by anything from convoluted layouts to outdated fonts. Think Arial or Georgia.

But the good news is: offenses like these can certainly be avoided. So, how do you ensure your website leaves a glowing first impression on your visitors?

Invest In User Experiences

UX design, or user experience design, is an interdisciplinary practice that focuses on the ways in which real people actually want to interact with your website or products. UX designers seek to develop products that are user-centered, helpful, and above all, a joy to use.

When a website exceeds its visitors’ expectations—especially the ones they didn’t know they had—it establishes your credibility, builds trust, and evokes a sense of wonder.

By investing in user experiences, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a more engaging digital strategy that delights visitors and converts them into leads.

Check out these 5 practical tips to improve your user experiences:

1. Research, research, research.

UX design can be a long iterative process, so be prepared to fail and pivot. For a smooth, strategic design process, we recommend conducting user research to get to know the pain points and desires of your ideal clients. To do this, start by interviewing current and prospective visitors.

Implement focus groups and interviews, and get creative with Facebook groups. Engage, ask questions about your ideal clients’ current struggles and dreams, and pay attention to the trends that surface. Once you’ve analyzed the results, define your user personas.

Related: Download our free, customizable persona template to organize your research and create well-formatted personas that you can share with your entire team.

2. Clear Navigation

As humans, we desire clarity. What am I doing here? And, where am I going? Clear navigation simplifies your visitors’ experience by guiding them toward meaningful actions.

So, how do you create clear and effective navigation?

As user experiences continue to evolve, the allure of minimalism remains a constant. To help your visitors find exactly what they’re looking for in the shortest amount of time, minimize the number of options.

We recommend sticking to 5 main items or less for your primary navigation bar, excluding the homepage. Most digital natives already know to click on your logo.

Keep your website goal-oriented. You want visitors to be intrigued by your homepage and captivated by your content. If composed effectively, they’ll naturally want to learn more about your amazing business and services. Perhaps they’ll even feel compelled to reach out for a free consultation or opt in for updates about that brand new online course you’re launching.

Every webpage has one main goal: to help visitors navigate their way toward becoming engaged leads and, ultimately, delighted customers. To do this, craft clear calls-to-action (CTAs) and place them in prime locations on your website so you’re accompanying your visitors every step of the way.

Begin your CTAs with “action” verbs followed by specific keywords that describe your offer. For example, “Download our eBook to gain access to marketing insights from 100 industry leaders.” This helps visitors know exactly what they’re opting in for, and it holds you accountable to deliver on that promise.

3. Responsive Web Design (RWD)

Did you know that Google now penalizes non-responsive websites? To ensure your site’s visibility and organic search rankings, make sure your website is responsive.

Responsive sites have fluid layouts, which means that anyone visiting your website will have a beautiful user experience regardless of their device. RWD provides you with a website that will scale, adapting to any new devices or screens that are invented in the future. Set yourself up for success. Invest in RWD now.

4. Familiar Site Layouts

Predictable layouts follow the principle of least effort, or Zipf’s law, which states that humans seek to exert “the least amount of effort” to complete any given action.

In other words, familiar layouts provide efficiency and ease, and they save time. If a website appears cumbersome within the first 50 milliseconds, visitors will click out and find a new one that serves their needs in a shorter amount of time.

Effective layouts help visitors focus on what they came for, the content. Familiar features empower visitors to intuitively navigate your site because they already know the lay of the land. For inspiration on some tried and true layouts, we love this post by Adobe about the 11 Website Layouts That Made Content Shine in 2017.

5. Solid Content

“Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.” -Jeffrey Zeldman

When it comes to discussions on user experience, we often get stuck on design. But yes, UX involves content, too. After all, content is king.

For starters, develop a writing process that delivers consistent value.

Always keep in mind that content must be readable and better yet, skimmable. To arrange this, break up heavy chunks of text to capture limited attention spans. Maintain a clean hierarchy through thoughtful heading structure, and give quality quotes the prominence they deserve via call-outs.

Eliminate passive voice and most “being” verbs if you can. And, lastly, write with authority.

Related: Download our guide to learn how to craft cleaner, clearer content that resonates with your audience and ranks well with search engines.

Your website should be your number one source for lead generation. Don’t think your website delivers the user experience your visitors deserve? Don’t worry. We’ve all been there.

For more detailed tips to improve your site’s conversion rates, check out our guide to 7 UX Laws for B2B Websites compiled by our talented team of conversion strategists.