10 Tips to Improve Your Website’s User Experience

User Experience, or UX, is an essential aspect of website design aimed at improving the “experience” that users have while navigating through your site. Designers employ UX because it helps capture and retain the attention of current and potential customers. You may not be a designer but there are still several ways that you can improve your websites UX including:

1. Be Mobile Friendly

In 2014 mobile devices surpassed desktop users… It’s now 2016 – it’s time to go mobile – your website must be mobile-friendly and easy to navigate regardless of the screen size. A quick way to test this, is to pull your website up on your phone. Does the layout completely shift from the way it looks on your desktop or laptop? Or does everything simply shrink down to fit the screen? If it shrinks, your website is NOT mobile friendly. If you’re still not sure if your site is responsive, use this free tool: http://ami.responsivedesign.is/

In April of 2015 Google began to give preference in their search rankings to websites that are mobile-friendly. This means, even if you ranked above your competition in search engines with a non-mobile-friendly site prior to April 2015; your competition with mobile-friendly sites will now rise above you.

2. Well Written (and Designed) Headlines

Your headlines should embody what your customers are looking for. These headings are what guides your readers through your site allowing them to quickly scan for the content they are looking for. Providing the right message to the right audience is the key to actively engaging the user.

Your users are not the only ones that reads your headlines, search engines are also “reading” them and they actually give them more weight over other content. So carefully crafting the message of your headlines can directly influence your sites search-ability.a few examples of well-written headlinesTuft & Needle does a great job at creatively and concisely explaining what they do and why their customers fall in love with their product.

3. Use Calls to Action Wisely

Web users know how to navigate a website and look for visual cues that help them find what they are looking for. The way you guide your users is via calls to action. Once you know what action you want your users to take it’s time to test and revise!

Size, color, wording, visual distinctiveness and position need to be carefully considered; many companies have seen 15% or more increase in conversions with just changing the color of their button.

one of the user experiences in calls of action

Manpacks “Get Started” button is visually distinct and the message “join 1000’s of men already signed up” as well as the list of well known companies creates trust through social proof.

4. Consistent Look and Feel

Everything needs to match. Your heading sizes, fonts, colors, images, graphic styles, spacing etc. needs to match across your entire site. Disjointed design makes a user feel uneasy and can cause them to lose trust in your service or products.

5. High-Quality Imagery

A whole separate post could be written on the importance and proper use of high quality imagery on a website but in general follow these tips:

  • Stay away from “generic” stock photography
  • Whenever possible use Genuine original photography
  • Express your brand
  • Keep it user relevant

6. Bullets

Bullets call attention to important content that enable a user to quickly absorb the information they are after. It’s not a rule that you have to use the traditional circle and in many cases it is advisable you don’t! For instance:

an example of using bullets

 

44west dental’s site uses custom icons as “bullets” to highlight their different dental services.

7. Embrace White Space

If I had a nickel for every time I have been asked to “make the logo bigger or add more images and graphics because there is too much white space” well lets just say I would have a lot of nickels. Repeat after me, WHITE SPACE IS GOOD! White space increases user attention and helps draw attention to what is important. If there is too much on a page, the user won’t know what to focus on, and their attention will be divided.

8. Page Speed

It’s no secret that users have short attention spans. Nothing is more frustrating to internet users than waiting on a slow website to load. In fact, studies show that most users won’t wait, they will simply move on to the next site. So, in order to keep users from bouncing, make sure your site performance is fast and reliable.

Here’s a great free tool to measure your sites speed. http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/

9. Fix 404’s

Just like slow website speeds users have very little tolerance for 404 errors. When a user clicks a link or image and instead of getting what they are expecting they are told the page cannot be found you might as well click the back button for them!

So, be sure to check your site for any 404 errors by using a free tool like this one: http://www.deadlinkchecker.com/

10. Redesign Your Website

If you are noticing many of the previous 9 issues on your site it may be time for a complete redesign. It’s important to approach the redesign with specific goals in mind and UX should be at the forefront. Sites that are a few years old often see 30 – 40% increase in conversions after a UX focused redesign.

 

At the end of the day its all about your customer. If you always keep the customers needs and goals in mind, in any marketing that you may do, you’ll provide a great user experience.

Swell Digital Marketing Agency

We’re Rebranding! Here’s Why:

When my business partner and I founded Paramount, we had one main goal: to help businesses grow. We had no real idea what that was going to look like, but we knew both of us had done so in various ways throughout our professional careers, and we knew it was what we loved to do. We never thought our “brand” would be very public and we never anticipated our vision and mission would matter much to our clients – as long as we helped them grow. So, we launched Paramount without much concern for either and got right to work.

Our focus changed, but our goals stayed the same.

Starting in the business development space, we immediately saw how much need and opportunity there was for insightful, responsive, and personal consultants to help small and medium businesses navigate the complex world of digital marketing.  Not only did many of our clients not even know about SEO at the time, but even more of them barely had a web presence at all. During that first year or so, we probably did more educating our clients on what’s possible from a digital perspective than we did actually doing any implementation. But our clients needed the solutions and the solutions they were getting weren’t great, and they certainly weren’t personal.  To help, we partnered with some amazing vendors here in the United States and got right to work. I even learned web design and optimization myself, and we shifted our focus to helping our clients stay ahead of the digital marketing curve and ahead of their competition.

We realized we were on to something.

As we grew our client list and our capabilities, so too did we grow our network of contractors. Then one day I looked at our team, and realized we had come a long way from a “business development consultancy” and had created a full-service digital marketing agency – capable of not just strategy, but implementation. There was clearly a gap in the market and without realizing it, we had begun to fill it. Contractors gave way to employees, consultations gave way to strategy sessions, and the results kept getting better and better. .

The day had come when we looked at what we had created – simply through reacting to the market – and realized it deserved a proactive and purposeful focus all its own.

I think it probably came as a surprise when I came to our team and asked them how they would feel about working on rebranding ourselves. We were working on bigger campaigns than we had in the past, crafting more beautiful websites, creating highly branded material, and developing brands and identities for clients that we could never have without the talents of our designers and strategists. I no longer felt our own brand (or website, for that matter) was doing justice to the work we were creating, let alone the work we were capable of. For me; it was time for a change. While they may have been surprised that I asked, I wasn’t surprised when our team excitedly said yes.

So we got to work recreating our own identity.

We asked ourselves the questions we’ve asked all of our clients but had yet to take the time to ask ourselves. And we came up with answers we were proud of. We went through the lengthy process of renaming ourselves. We went through revision upon revision to our logo, bringing meaning and team investment into every aspect. Most of all, we created values. We hadn’t just renamed ourselves, we had (re)defined ourselves.

“Paramount” has become “Swell”

paramount=swell

There is quite a lot of intention behind our new name, but even more behind our value system. I really can’t say these aren’t the values we’ve operated under as Paramount; because they are. We had just never sat down as a team and defined them. Our values reflect how we do business, they reflect us as people, and we’re excited about the next stage of our evolution with these values at the core of what we do:

Performance

Be Decisive. Use proven strategies. Exceed Expectations.

Passion

Love what you do. Get better at it every day.

Sincerity

Listen with intention, communicate purposefully, be genuine in all that you do.

Creativity

It’s not just a buzzword to us. We craft the noteworthy. We create the distinct.

Relationship

Success is powered by people and we are better together. Invest in each other, trust each other, and watch great things happen.

Mindfulness

We are aware of our local and global surroundings and make time for opportunities to make our world a better place.

Collaboration

We are a collection of experts made better by each other. We are not an assembly line. Everyone puts their stamp on every campaign. Knowledge is shared & everyone contributes.

WE ARE:

swell-final-logos

What’s Changing, and What’s Not.

At the end of the day, there’s not too much changing here. Yes, we’re going to be looking a lot different around here in the weeks to come, but our heart will be staying right where it always was.

When we started, we thought the world would welcome a digital agency that’s just as invested in your goals as you are…That looks you in the eye…That brings expertise and modesty to every conversation…That wants you to profit more than we do…That is incredibly transparent. And we feel like we’ve been received pretty well so far. We have amazing relationships with our clients and we wouldn’t be here without them putting so much trust and confidence in us.

Yes, we care about leads. Yea, we care about reach. Of course we care about sales. And we most definitely care about data. But what we care about most is what all these things can help you achieve. ROI is important, but the most rewarding part of what we do is to see our work impact an organization at the fundamental level. Whether you want more sales to be able to employ more people and feed more families, free up more time to spend with yours, or build your audience to have more meaningful conversations with the world; there’s meaning behind your goals. We’re here to help build momentum to get you there and support you every step of the way. And none of this is different from how we began.

SWELL-SLIDER

So what’s changing? Well, our logo, our website, and our business cards. But not much else. And we truly want to thank you for being a part of it all.