The success of your website is determined by a myriad of factors. Of course it has to look nice. Of course it has to be well-written and be driven by compelling messaging. And of course it has to have a robust engine driving all the pieces. Quite literally, the success of your website relies heavily on the User Experience as well. It’s the question of, “How does a real person, someone you hope to entice, interact with your online presence?.”
Now–UX is a buzzy term in the industry that has been hijacked and misconstrued in all sorts of ways. Search UX on dribbble or Google images and you’re likely to see endless screenshots of iPhone app concepts that all look something like Uber. While this isn’t incorrect, it’s not helpful to reduce User Experience down to pill-shaped buttons and app icons.
Put on your Tour Guide Hat
We reference this in Mistake #1 in our article on common web design mistakes, but it’s way too easy to fall into the trap of planning your website around what you think the world wants to see from you. It’s easy to just add every single bell and whistle that comes to mind and offer it to your users as quickly as possible. Sometimes you turn your website into a Walmart, thinking it’s best to let the user have the widest selection of options everywhere all the time. However, we don’t want our users to get lost in Walmart. We want them to get in, get the goods they came for, and head out.
If we slow down and zoom out a little bit, we can put on our tour guide hat and seize the opportunity we have to guide a potential customer to the exact bits of information and opportunities we would want to show them if we were there in person.
Here’s how we can better direct our User Experience on our website:
Have Clear Calls to Action
One of the most common struggles for businesses is seeing their web visitors not call the office or hit their inbox. We know what we want them to do, but we can’t assume they know what we want them to do
Pick 1 ideal scenario and 1 backup scenario for visitors.
What’s the best possible outcome for a new lead? Is it getting a form submission? Is it getting their phone number? Is it getting them on the phone? Choose one and then use that to orient the flow of the rest of your website. Your Call to Action should be clear, loud, large, and present on every single page of your website. Don’t assume everyone will think to scroll down to your footer and look for a phone number.
Also, pick a backup scenario for those who might not want to call immediately (maybe they get a freebie if they drop their email address). That way they can still get in your sales funnel without committing to anything on the spot.
Wield the tool of Hierarchy
This one is pretty straightforward. Hierarchy (or the size of different elements on your website in relation to each other) is the best tool you have to tell visitors what is important and what is less important. In short, make the important stuff big and the less important stuff small. Don’t hide important stuff as small text that requires multiple clicks to find. Pick the handful of most impactful messages and directives and make them BIG, then make sure everything else is smaller.
This is extremely difficult in practice. We tend to think everything is important so we make it all big, and then everything ends up being the same size. It takes discipline and critical thinking to prioritize information by importance and simplify areas that are too complex or cluttered. You should also take this time to completely delete anything that falls at the bottom of your importance scale. Simplicity is a hard-fought battle, but it’s always worth it.
So, as you head over to revisit your website with these tips in mind, remember you’re a tour guide. You have the capability and the opportunity to lead the way.
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