UX stands for “user experience”. It refers to how the users interact with a website: how quickly they find what they are looking for, if they can navigate with ease from one page to another, etc. Bad UX causes users to bounce – that is, to leave the web page quickly and look for another source of information. In this article, we will present the most effective UX best practices that help reduce friction and increase conversion rates.
What Is the Difference between UX and UI?
First of all, let us clear a misunderstanding between two terms: UI (user interface) and UX (user experience). The user interface represents the way web developers plan the structure and design of a website. User experience is how website visitors actually use the site.
In an ideal world UI and UX coincide: users read the content on your page, watch the videos and then take the desired action (such as, they click on the CTA button). If you get many website visitors, but few of them actually do what you intend them to do, it means that you have a major gap between UI and UX.
Thus, you must investigate the problem and fix it. While you are doing it, you should also consider implementing the following UX best practices to increase conversion rates. Here they are:
1. Ensure Proper Readability
You may have great content on your page, but can your visitors actually read it properly? One of the most important UX best practices is choosing your font and size properly. This is even more important when you consider that most people use their mobile phone to browse your website.
According to a study conducted by UX researches at Carnegie Mellon University (United States of America) and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Spain) the ideal font size for websites is 18-point. This is the recommended size for the body of text. Titles, headings and sub-headings should be larger.
2. When in Doubt, Pretend the User Doesn’t Know
When you are testing the usability of your website, you may reach a point when you are in doubt whether an icon is self-explanatory or a form is easy to fill in. If you have any doubts, pretend that the user won’t understand what they have to do without further assistance.
According to UX best practices, icons must be accompanied by text, forms should be as short and simple as possible and the navigation must be aided by adding breadcrumbs at the top of each page.
3. Put the Phone Number at the Top Right Hand of Each Page
A phone call is one of the most desirable interactions between a potential client and your company. If they take the time to call you, then they are halfway determined to trust you and buy your products.
You should make it as easy as possible for visitors to call you – by putting your phone call in a very visible place. According to UX best practices, the top right side of the web page is this place. You should also make the phone number clickable, so that users can use their mobile phone or an application such as Skype to call you directly from your website.
4. Place CTA Buttons above the Fold
Each page should have a CTA button – even if it is for subscribing to your newsletter. No page should be purposeless, including the About Us page. But where should you place the CTA button for maximum efficiency?
All experts agree: this button should always be above the fold. This fold is an imaginary line that divides what users see on the page when they first open it, and what they see when they scroll down.
5. Always Choose Minimalism in Your Page Layout
The main purpose of each web page is to get users to read the content and click on the CTA button. Thus, content and the CTA button are the key elements of a page. Graphic elements and photos have the role of drawing user’s attention, but must not be dominant elements.
Whenever a page is too crowded, simplify it. Minimalism is one of the UX best practices that will never go away. Keep it clean, keep it simple and your users will be able to understand your message and take the action you want.
6. No Navigation Buttons on Landing Pages
Navigation buttons are great all over the web page, with one exception: the landing page. This is a special type of web page. It has only one function: to persuade users to take a specific action.
This means that you want visitors to be focused solely on the copy and the CTA button. Thus, do not give them the opportunity to stray to other pages of your site. Remove navigation and you will enjoy higher conversion rates.
7. Use Icons Inspired from the Users’ Real World Experiences
When it comes to icons, do not let creativity override common sense. You should always choose simple icons that your users can relate to. The basic purpose of an icon is to be the visual representation of a word or action.
Thus, make sure that all the icons in your website are inspired from real life experiences and objects and, thus, are self-explanatory.