When it comes to your websites and User Experience, there is a lot to consider. And when it comes to your website or a top-tier company’s website, you must get it right. User Experience is a complex subject, and broad overviews and tick-box checklists often miss a lot of the nuance you need to get it right – and that’s assuming their checklist is even useful in the first place. Certainly, it is valuable to know some general rules, and it is certainly valuable to know what not to do. Still, these lists often don’t offer you the information you need to make informed decisions.
Of course, you do have a few options. The first is education, looking at websites like this to get a grasp of the situation (which we will absolutely get to in a moment). Still, short of dedicating yourself to an entire degree in User Experience and website design, there will always be details you miss out on that might be critical to setting up or understanding the particulars of your website. What else can you do? Well, the next best thing you can do is hire a professional to do the job. This is usually the most cost-effective method, and web designers in Melbourne often employ highly qualified and highly experienced staff to investigate and analyze your website for you – which is great because it’s a lot cheaper to hire someone to explain things than to do an entire university level course to learn it yourself. The third option is the one most people go with; just wing it. Dabble in a bit of research, do the best you can, and hope for the best.
Well, we’re here to help you with that last one. So let’s go!
If we had to choose seven broad umbrella terms for deciding what the most important parts of Website User Experience are, these would be them:
You can learn more about each of those over here. But, let’s face it, you’re not here for that. Not really. As we said before, it’s great knowing some of the broad generalizations, but you need the nuance. You need the specifics. You need the things that will optimize your website and make it the best that it can be, and no general list will ever manage that. Well then, let me direct your attention to…
What are the Key Elements for YOUR Website?
Websites serve a function, usually one of three. They exist to either convey information, facilitate communication, or facilitate the acquisition of goods and services. Often it’s some combination of all three. Knowing which is the highest priority for your company and your users and when will have a large hand in dictating what the most important facets of your website’s User Experience should be.
For example, if you’re running a pizza place, you don’t need to communicate a lot of information. Just the name of the pizza, the ingredients, maybe a flashy appetizing image of the food, and a button to place the item on the shopping cart. That’s what, twenty words of text per item and a photo each? Well, maybe not even that. What’s the goal here? For you, it’s to make sales – the higher, the better – for customers, it’s to buy the food they want, get it fast, and enjoy their meal. So what if instead of photos for every meal, we only put photos online for the most popular and most expensive food items? That’s less load time, which means faster website loading, which means faster mealtime.
If they’re picking popular choices, there’s a higher chance they’ll enjoy those meals because they’re popular for a reason. And if people like your meal and services, they’re much more likely to try a more expensive meal the second time around. Now getting the balance right is essential – this isn’t an argument to trim your menu exclusively to the popular and expensive items, after all. But by focusing on our priorities – the user’s priority and the company’s priority, all those extra options and less popular dishes become optional extras to fill out the menu or cater for the more long-term or niche customers who’ll form the bedrock of your long-term services. Exactly what constitutes the best elements for website performance will differ based on your customer base, but
Now, here’s the trick. What your priorities need to be can change across the website. Continuing with the pizza place, if the user would prefer to make a phone call to place their order, communicating that information clearly and early might be vital. Alternatively, if customer support is a priority, you might want a section of the website dedicated to that service with employees available to respond to customer queries in real-time, with a lot of time and effort given to streamlining that process to be a “useful, usable, accessible and valuable” experience.
As we said, learning this in the detail your website needs is a university course in its own right. But a big part of that is simply knowing what questions to ask. So ask yourself those questions, and see what answers you come up with. And if you need more, you at least know where to look.