April 8th, 2010
by Anne Orfila
Before I delve into a simple (and often, overlooked) way of how you can enhance your user experience on your website, let’s practice a bit of marketing meditation (I’ve just re-introduced yoga into my weekly workout routine so humor me on this! Thanks!).
Sit up straight in front of your computer. Close your eyes. (Inhale, exhale.) Open your eyes. Repeat after me, “Ommmmmmmmm”.
Release any tension in your wrists and type in your website address. Begin to navigate through your website as if this is the first time you have ever been to this website.
FOCUS on what a new user would have to do to get to the page of information that was of their interest. Repeat after me, “Ommmmmmmmm”.
As you move through the website, you begin to develop an AWARENESS of what a user of your website may be experiencing. Repeat after me, “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”.
Through this experience ask yourself:
- Is the information I am offering easy to find?
- Do the text links on my website take the user to where they expect to be, or where I want them to be?
- Am I giving the user a roundabout or straightforward experience on my website?
Seriously now, reviewing your website objectively – as if it wasn’t yours – is a great thing to do from time to time. In this fast-moving internet world, you want the user to be able to find what they are looking for, without adding in any “extracurricular clicking”.
A simplified example is something that I encountered recently on a website I was reviewing. First I had to navigate from the homepage to the list of services page. One click. The list of services page was nicely laid out. Each service was hyperlinked. Great! I click on the hyperlinked service of my choice and was brought to a one-paragraph description that was anchored text, below the list of services (i.e. I could’ve just kept scrolling and there it was, on the same page). Two clicks. After reading that paragraph, I clicked on the “click here for more information. . .”. Three clicks. And then I was brought to the robust page full of information about the service which included the FAQs and had pictures and video too. Voila! This is where I want to be!
Eliminating that second click, and taking your users directly to the robust information page, may possibly make or break whether or not you get the sale (or capture your audience, whatever the case may be). We made these changes on the abovementioned example and it took less than an hour. And it made the website user experience an easier experience.
How does that ol’ quote go? “It’s the small things that make a big difference”. You get it!
Now repeat after me, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh”. (And exhale)