9 Ways to Improve the UX (User Experience) of Your Website

Date updated: 20 March 2024 | by Sybil Mayard

What is User Experience?

User experience (or UX) is all about how your website visitors feel when they are browsing your website. Is it a positive or negative experience? Do they feel happy and satisfied, or angry and frustrated?

When designing and building a website, your visitors' experience should always be your top priority. An enjoyable browsing experience means more engagement, more enquiries and ultimately, more sales.

In this blog article, I will offer you 9 ways in which you can improve the user experience of your website or online store.

1. Ensure that Your Website Loads Fast

Open up your website on your mobile phone. How long does it take to load? If it took more than 3 seconds, then your site is too slow! Your website visitors do not want to be kept waiting; if they find that your site is too slow, they will leave and go to a competitor's site instead.

Try to identify what is affecting the speed of your website. Some common reasons include inadequate hosting, large videos and/or photos, outdated files, or too many plugins. If you own a WordPress site, you may want to refer to my article, 10 Reasons Why Your WordPress Site is Slow, for help with fixing the issues.

2. Make Your Navigation Logical

The pages on your website must be presented in a logical manner so that visitors landing on your site can easily find the information they are looking for. At the very least, there should be a menu at the top of every page (the header), with the links to the main pages on your website. Here is a standard example:

Home | About | Services | Blog | FAQ | Contact

There is limited space in the header of your site, so I'd recommend no more than around 7 links in this section. Then you'd want to think about what goes into the submenus. Rather than listing all of your services in the main menu, you can place them in a submenu below Services. A similar thing applies to Blog, and so on. Arranging your menu like this will help you to organise the structure of your website, and will also help your users find their way around your site with ease.

You may also want to place a menu in the footer of your website so users can easily access it from the bottom of every page.

3. Remove Annoying Pop Ups or Ads

How many times have you visited a website, only to get bombarded with popups for newsletter sign up forms, offers, discounts or ads? Annoying, isn't it! Don't do this to your website visitors.

Including a newsletter sign up form on your site is a good way to build a mailing list, but it doesn't have to appear in a popup. Instead, embed the form into the footer of your site. That way, it will be visible on every page and won't irritate your customers.

The same goes for announcements, like offers and discounts. A subtle banner at the very top of each page is sufficient.

I would certainly not recommend placing adverts on your website, these can ruin the look of your site and make it look spammy. Keep your site clean and professional.

4. Fix Broken Links

If you've ever clicked a link on a website and got a '404 not found' error, you've encountered a broken link. Broken links are an irritation for users, and can also harm your website's SEO (search engine optimisation).

Broken links can develop over time; perhaps you've deleted a page and forgotten to remove the links that connect to it. Test all of the links on your website. If you find a broken link, update it so it points to the correct location, or remove it entirely.

For further information about how broken links affect SEO, please see Point 5 of my article, How to Improve the SEO of Your Website.

5. Remember to Consider Accessibility

With more people using the Web every day, accessibility is becoming increasingly important. Your website needs to cater for as many different types of user as possible, including those with visual/hearing impairments, and disabilities. Here are some ways in which you can improve the accessibility of your website:

Please refer to my article, Accessible Design: Creating an Inclusive Website, for further information about websites and accessibility. You may also want to take a look at the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

6. Use High Quality Photos or Images

A website without images would look extremely dull and boring. Adding good quality images can make all the difference. Where possible, use your own photos or illustrations, and for best results, hire a professional photographer or illustrator. This is highly preferable to using low quality, blurry photos shot with your smartphone.

If hiring a professional exceeds your budget, then the next best thing is to use stock photos. If you do go down the route of using stock photos, however, bear in mind that hundreds, if not thousands of other websites may be using the same images.

There are many free and paid websites available where you can download stock photos, such as Unsplash and Shutterstock.

7. Display Your Contact Information Clearly

Including the contact information for your business on your website is a legal requirement.

Your customers should be able to easily find your contact details, so they can quickly get in touch with you with any enquiries, therefore I recommend placing them in a prominent location, such as in the footer. You may also wish to put your email address and/or phone number at the very top of the website (in the header).

Also include a dedicated Contact page or Get in Touch page, where you can repeat your contact information, along with further details like maps and opening hours, if applicable.

My article, The Importance of Contact Information on Your Website, explains in more detail why you should include this information on your website and the best ways to do it.

And remember to respond in a timely manner, whenever you receive a customer enquiry.

8. Test the Responsiveness of Your Website

Website responsiveness is about how your website works across different devices. With many people browsing the internet on their phone nowadays, it's vital that the mobile browsing experience is just as seamless as the experience on a desktop or laptop. Check your website on devices with different screen sizes, orientations and operating systems. Don't forget to test on older devices as well - not everyone will be using the latest models. It's a good idea to ask a friend or colleague to test on their device too.

9. Use Fonts and Colours Wisely

Last but not least, I'd like you to think about the fonts and colours you are using on your website. Here are a few things to consider:

Conclusion

User experience is a very important aspect of website design. Your website visitors must be given the best possible experience when browsing your website, in order to keep engagement high and bounce rates low. In this article, I discussed tips and advice on how to improve your website's user experience. If you need support with this area, please feel free to contact me.

Would You Like To Start A Project With Me?

Click the contact button to get in touch with your requirements