User Experience (UX) Design: How To Create An Intuitive And Engaging Website

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Your website is often the first touchpoint for customers. It’s a virtual storefront created to generate a great and lasting impression. 

In fact, a study has shown that it only takes 0.05 seconds for a user to form their opinions on a given website. Hence, your site’s look, feel, usability, and so on can make or break your business.

Keeping visitors’ perspectives at the front and center in your site design choices can create a user experience (UX) that delights and builds brand loyalty with every visit. 

This post will help you understand why user experience is vital and break down the components of developing a user-centric website design. Read on to learn more.

Positive UX drives business success

Multiple elements make a good website, as you’ll find out in the rest of this post. Henceforth, a website developer must be adept at the design principles, guided by the owner who knows their customers well. This holds whether you prefer to build your site with an in-house team or outsource through reputable web solutions providers like smartlydone.com and similar firms. 

UX

Get your UX design right and enjoy the following rewards:

Increased conversions

Users are more likely to convert when they can easily understand what you offer and how it benefits them. Your site must be easy to use and have clear calls to action, compelling them to sign up, purchase, and perform any desired action.  

Higher engagement

Visitors who enjoy interacting with your content and features will spend more time on your site. Conversely, 38% of users won’t engage with a site that doesn’t have compelling content and an unattractive layout, according to the study referenced earlier.

High page interaction and views boost your search engine optimization and brand awareness campaigns—enabling you to build credibility and authority. This also leads to more repeated visits.    

Stronger loyalty and advocacy

A frictionless and pleasing experience builds familiarity and trust with your brand over time. Users are likewise more likely to share your site links and content with potential buyers within their network. Studies have shown that an emotional experience with a brand builds loyalty.  Moreover, a company evoking social motivation is more effective than just focusing on a certain product. 

Reduced support costs

When usability issues raise confusion, a customer service representative needs to step in to iron out these challenges. Adding this process requires additional resources and delays a customer’s buying journey. An intuitive site design with helpful content prevents such issues upfront.

Cost savings

Essentially, prioritizing the user’s perspective builds an emotional bridge to your brand. This connection drives marketing and sales metrics by fulfilling human needs and desires. In other words, the more your user experience generates delight, the more benefits to your bottom line.    

Steps to creating a great business website  

Providing a positive user experience that drives your core business objectives is at the core of every intuitive and engaging website design is. According to a 2021 McKinsey study, enterprises offering personalized customer experience stand to earn 40% more than their counterparts who don’t provide one.

This can be challenging, as customer preferences often change. But reaching out to consumers with the right offers at the right time and experiences often do the trick.   

1. Conduct thorough user research

Understanding the preferences and behavior of people using your website is the cornerstone for providing an excellent user experience. Develop a good understanding of your buyer personas and segment them properly by digging for the details below. 

  • Demographic information (i.e., age, gender, socioeconomic status, among others)

  • Values and priorities

  • Motivations for visiting your website

  • Their challenges and frustrations  

  • Common barriers to accomplishing their purchasing goals 

Conducting surveys, interviews, site performance reviews, and competitive analyses can further boost the quality of information you get from these audience research methods. That said, the information you get is crucial in eliminating roadblocks to creating optimal user experience. It takes time, but the payoff from hard work is well worth it.   

2. Put yourself in your users’ shoes

A solid knowledge about your consumers is likewise necessary to comprehend what users go through before buying a product. This method involves balancing users and your brand’s perspectives to determine a great UX design. These typically include:

  • The goals and tasks they’re trying to complete

  • The critical information and pages they need

  • The decisions and actions you want them to take 

  • The roadblocks they’re likely to experience

Creating an ideal user’s journey requires brands to determine the resources to include on their site. For instance, a 2021 survey revealed that the most essential elements from the users’ point of view are the ‘Contact Us’ and ‘About Us’ pages, social media icons, live chats, and product images and views. Ensure your site contains these components to win half of the battle.    

website design

Moreover, identify where visitors might get stuck or abandon your site and minimize these issues by setting your site’s optimal architecture, content, and functionality.  

3. Prioritize simplicity and intuitiveness

Digitalization has made everything fast and convenient, and users can achieve their goals with minimal effort. As a UX designer, your job is to create a seamless process by focusing on simplicity across page layouts, navigation workflows, and content.

A user-friendly web design that’s convenient and easy to understand and navigate. Stick to the following design principles to make this happen:

  • Streamline page design 
  • Publish concise, scannable content 
  • Go for a flawless site-wide navigation
  • Implement logical information hierarchy and groupings
  • Integrate smart defaults that minimize repeated user data inputs
  • Use progress indicators for multi-page flows

Limiting options could feel restrictive, but these don’t necessarily impede creativity. You can still present an interesting layout while minimizing confusion and foster decisiveness. Besides, Google doesn’t support intrusive interstitials that hamper UX and search crawlers’ understanding of your site.     

4. Guide users with visual cues

Internet users tend to scan sites rather than read deeply. Intuitive navigation guides users by presenting options and the next steps to help complete their objectives. Ensure your site has the following features preventing visitors from getting lost, distracted, or confused:

  • Distinctive headings and subheadings 
  • Short paragraphs and bullet points
  • Bold key action phrases
  • Using buttons and tabs for navigation choices
  • Icons indicating additional information or next steps
  • Intuitive error messages if users go off-track

These cues are effective in orienting visitors and enable them to stay on track even before digesting site content. Incorporating them into your site cuts down unnecessary tasks, making the experience more enjoyable. 

5. Delight users with unexpected interactions

While guiding users with visual cues is crucial, don’t forget to provide pleasing experiences along the way. Look for ways to surprise and engage visitors with unexpected interactions, such as:

  • Micro-animations on buttons and icons
  • Playful error messages
  • Amusing confirmation messages

These small touches of whimsy and personality enrich a reader’s UX, but only when used judiciously. At the end of the day, they shouldn’t turn into distractions that take attention away from a user’s critical tasks.  

6. Create content based on user needs

Filling your content with fluff is a surefire way to frustrate consumers. That said, ensure that your resources provide helpful solutions regardless of which stage they are in their journey. Achieve this by researching and targeting keywords and creating content around these search phrases. Doing so ensures your assets resonate with your audiences. 

keyword research

Fight the urge to become too promotional and align your content with the following steps:

  • Offer practical advice to help them achieve their goals 

  • Answer common questions 

  • Use relatable examples and case studies

  • Focus on user pain points instead of product features

  • Link to detailed pages for additional information

Speaking directly to your audience’s logical and emotional needs demonstrates your willingness to help them. As a result, visitors will reward you with their time and engagement. Focus on enriching their knowledge to foster credibility and build trust.

7. Streamline forms and other processes

Filling out lengthy forms or going through complex checkout processes are other primary reasons users abandon a site. Having to manually enter data that could be auto-filled and reviewing a seemingly endless list of selections can hamper signups.

Streamline critical user flows by:

  • Prominently displaying critical action buttons 

  • Auto-completing common fields to save time

  • Offering guest checkout options to eliminate barriers to account creation

  • Using drop-down options whenever possible

  • Remembering user details and choices when they’re revisiting your site to encourage repeat engagements

  • Allowing easy editing of quantities and shipping choices

As mentioned, progress trackers guide users on the next step, so clearly communicate whether they need to do more clicks or if the transaction is being processed. Take time to smooth data input flows to remove obstacles preventing users from converting or purchasing.  

8. Optimize site performance and speed

Page loading time impacts user experience and your bottom line. For instance, a one to three-second delay can cause conversion rates to drop by 32 percent. The figure declines further to 4.42% for every second beyond the three-second mark. If your visitors are more likely to bounce or abandon your site, you won’t be able to sell them anything, affecting your revenues as well. 

Site performance can tank your conversions in the same way. Forms that refresh or erase key-in data entries, videos that buffer excessively, image carousels with laggy transitions, and pages that render content out-of-order all ruin UX. Specific tweaks can help, for example: 

  • Optimizing pages 

  • Minimizing hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) requests 

  • Compressing videos and images 

  • Browser caching 

After tweaking some elements, it always pays to review performance, conduct tests, and get user feedback before publishing.  

9. Test and iterate based on user feedback   

No website can perfect user experience off the bat. Continually test your designs with real users and enhance certain elements based on their comments. Helpful UX techniques include: 

  • Prototype testing, where you evaluate clickable wireframes or design mock-ups. Observe where users need help to refine your design.  

  • First-click tests allow you to show the homepage design and ask test users what they would click first.

  • User surveys to know user preferences, impressions, difficulties, likes, and dislikes.

  • Analytics review reveals user behavior and the site elements that need improvement. 

Audit

Regular website audits can help improve ranking and enhance user experience. It also ensures catching and fixing issues on the fly so you can connect with potential buyers and entice them to convert more effectively.    

Final thoughts

With so much competition online, having intuitive and visually appealing site is critical for converting visitors into customers and eventually retaining them. However, creating a great user experience requires more than good visual design. By following the steps on this list, you can continuously craft a website that new audiences would love to visit repeatedly.  

Companies must go beyond aesthetics and understand how their potential buyers think, learn, and feel. Guiding them seamlessly through their journey is key. Remember that your website isn’t always about you; it’s about your users, too. Keep them at the heart of everything you do and let their needs guide you moving forward.   

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