I’m revisiting the blog posts I wrote in the past between websites. This one goes back to 2017 at Greteman Group.
Let’s see how it comes out of the brain now.
1. Optimize Sitemap
This is the largest are of improvement I see when evaluating and auditing an existing site, especially if it’s been around for a while. Identify pages in the navigation and path that people are leaving or going to the previous page to look elsewhere for the information. If it’s confusing people will bounce off your site.
2. Contact Info Front & Center
If you want to be called by interested web users place the phone number predominantly in the site. It’s customary to find phone numbers in the top of the site in the header area in addition to the footer area. Place your preferred method of contact in an easy to find area.
3. Use Call To Actions
What is the goal of this page? What do you want them to do? Set up the problem, how you solve it, what your accreditations are and then offer your solution and ask the user to get on board with the solution. Maybe you walk dogs for a living and your call to action could be call to schedule a walk for your dog today. Limit yourself to one CTA per page. You might have a couple buttons if it’s a long page, but have the action be the same.
4. Be Visually Deliberate
Does the image support the message of the page? Does it make sense? If it’s just there to look nice, let it go. Find a way to present your content in a way that makes sense to how the user will be digesting the information. Use supportive graphics to give visual breaks between large masses of copy. Let’s say you’re writing a blog post about lightning and thunder. It would add effect to the post if you included photos of a storm you witnessed or described. Add some negative space when a layout is feeling busy or crowded.
5. Purposeful Messaging
Focus on the mission of the page and stay on topic. I see a lot of mix matched messaging that is confusing too often when navigating the web. People do not have time to decode what you’re trying to say. Just say it. Remove fluffy stuff.
6. Guide User
Using a CTA and visuals to build the layout is a great way to guide the user through the journey. Let’s say you have two types of users and on your home page you have two funnels. One funnel is intended for user 1, the second funnel is for user 2. User 1 gets directed to a page giving them a set of information and asks for them to sign up to an enews. User 2 is sent to a page to fill out a discovery form.
7. Deliver Feedback
I referenced micro interactions in the first post. Those are great ways to give your user an indicator that something happened. You don’t want to leave them wondering if a button click took, if a link was broken or if a form submitted.
8. Test UI and UX
I have to laugh a little because either in 2017 I didn’t know better or “user interface” was changed through the editing process to “user interactivity”. You can simplify your website by considering UX and accounting for that when designing and planning the UI. It’s a bit harder to integrate when efforts of optimization are done at the tail end of a project, it is doable but will probably result in a big of rework. Figure out where you’re UI is confusing or losing people and come up with a different solution and test.
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Designing simply is not easy. There are many things to consider and many pieces to fit together to make the end product.
What’s is your favorite way to simplify a website?