How to Improve UX for Northern Irish Websites
In a modern digital marketing strategy, the website is often the backbone of a business’ online presence. Websites are so important as they are a place you can tell your present and potential customers who you are, what makes your business unique, talk about your products and services – but also give audiences a good impression of your business through strong aesthetics and branding.
It is not only about having a website, you need a well-built website. There are many factors that make a website successful. Today we’re going to have a look on how to improve UX for Northern Irish websites.
What is UX in Website Design?
User experience (UX) website design is the process that makes a website easy to navigate, providing it’s audience the most pleasing and relevant experience while visiting your website. Responsiveness, website speed, accessibility and of course a good design are among the factors that provide a quality UX.
Why is UX Website Design important?
Website UX impacts hugely on the customers’ behaviour while visiting your website. A great UX will provide users with a seamless visit to your website, allowing them to get what they need from the website.
Providing the visitor the best possible navigation is simply essential. Spending more time on a well-built website and appreciating the navigation helps to build trust for the brand and gives the customer an insight into the quality of the brand.
Also, a longer navigation on a website helps to increase the conversions – whether they are about contacting you or buying a product.
Nowadays, users and their experience while navigating a website are one of the most important factors when designing websites.
How to improve UX for Northern Irish Websites
1. Think as a user
The first, simple rule of UX is to think as a user. With this mindset the web designer can communicate with the client to understand their needs.
Although it is important to make sure your design and content are both of the highest standard, here the focus is not on the design, nor on the content.
Here the focus is on what the user expects to find on the website, in all its pages and sections.
You have to be sure that your website provides the most useful information at first glance, ensure it is easy to use, loads fast and is easy to navigate on desktop, mobile and tablet. The website structure must be clear, no one wants to visit a website that looks like a labyrinth!
It is not about ‘us’ – whether ‘us’ refers to the designer or the owner of the website, it is about the website’s users, as the main aim is to provide them with the best possible experience while they visit the website.
2. The right message: images and words
Putting the user first will reflect on all pages of the website. You should be asking yourself; what I am going to communicate to the visitors? And most importantly, how can I communicate my message in the most effective way?
A good example of UX for a Northern Irish website is VisitBelfast’s website. On VisitBelfast’s website we can find a simple but very effective home page, ‘The spring has come, and finally the restrictions are eased: the perfect time to finally enjoy our beautiful city again!’
The hero header provides a simple but eye-catching photo, with a family walking in the colourful Botanic Gardens. The designer left the right third to the flowers’ colours, while the left and centre thirds are occupied by the written text.
The text is balanced, the white emerges thanks to a slight dark overlay and the user’s eye immediately goes to two elements: “Spring in Belfast” (the title) and “Discover Spring Walks” (the button).
This is something that should be highlighted as an efficient communication strategy, we know they might want people to visit Belfast, but here they made a smart choice by not using ‘Come to Belfast’ as the main title. Instead, they used the evocative power of spring, the season in which nature explodes with its colours, the days are longer and we can enjoy the beginning of the warm weather after months of a cold winter. That’s it “Spring in Belfast”, three words to sum up a feeling of relief, optimism and joy.
On the top, the menu provides further information, but on the bottom third we can see other useful elements. On the right, purple buttons invite the user to interact with the page by contacting them or subscribing to their newsletter; on the left, “Recommended for you” invites to scroll the page to learn more information.
This is a simple, eye-catching and very useful page that is clearly directed to the user. How can we help you? What kind of useful information can we provide you with? These are the implicit questions that this homepage answers effectively.
There are many ways to tell the people who you are. The ‘about us’ page is a must have, and social media channels can help as well. There are subtler and more efficient ways – IMAGES!
Throughout the website you can provide different types of images. Among the most important, you need to provide your logo. We cannot highlight enough the importance of an effective logo for your business. This is not about your website or your online presence: this is about your brand’s identity.
Providing to the users a coherent, consistent and quality logo through the website gives them a clear understanding of who you are.
The logo should be placed on your top bar. Many websites place it on the top left, whilst the menu is on the top right.
Another must-have position is the favicon, which is the little icon placed in browser tabs. Considering the dimensions of favicon, here you should provide just the image, as text would not be easily read.
The favicon sits on the top, near the tab’s title, as a simple company logo used to mark the website itself, while on the top of the page is where your brand’s complete logo is placed. This is a smart and easy way for branding.
Using stock images, especially on a key page, is something to avoid. Simply, put authentic and quality images representing you and your business across the website, as this will define your identity at a first glance.
Providing client testimonials is a great way to enhance trust and authenticity of your business. You can ask for testimonials on Google My Business or Facebook, the feedback provided by your past customers will help the potential customers have a clearer understanding about you, your business and the services you provide.
Provide the right amount of choices on the menu. Remember that providing an excessive amount of possibilities can be overwhelming for the user. If you have a lot of pages on your website, you should give a well-defined hierarchy to the pages, and opt to put some pages as sub items on the menu.
Also be sure that you don’t have broken links on the website. There are different tools to check this, a free solution for a small website could be DeadLinkChecker.
To fix this, be sure that 404 and 301 errors lead to specific pages or creating an engaging 404 error page.
If your website has a huge amount of pages, enabling onsite search is helpful in finding the right information quickly.
Users do not have the patience for a slow website! Optimise the images, serving them in a proper resolution, and use a lazy load tool to load the image only when it is shown on screen.
Caching tools are also helpful to improve the speed of the website for returning visitors.
Online has its own rules, even when it comes to how text is written and displayed. Break the text up in different paragraphs and use subtitles to improve readability and UX.
Also make sure that the space between the lines is enough to ease the reading.
Website UX impacts hugely on the customers’ behaviour while visiting your website. A great UX will provide the visitors with what they need from the website.
If you think your website needs improvement in this perspective, here at Rapid Agency we deliver our bespoke web design services that will provide and improve UX for Northern Irish websites. Get in touch with us, we’d be happy to help!