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Blog / 20.01.2017

“Where Do I Click?” and 9 other questions you don’t want your customer asking

Mark MacDonald
Creative Director
/ 6 min read

In today's market it is very easy to spend a lot of money on a website that just won’t get you the momentum your business needs.

Why?

Because a website can look stunning, exciting and new without having a single bit of thought put toward the user experience.

So if you have a website that isn’t quite performing to the level you’d like – whether it is outdated and clunky or sleek and up-to-date, explore the 10 questions below and ask yourself: “How many of these would my customers ask?”

1. “Where Do I Click to Get This?”

If you’re customer wonders this then you’ve already lost the game.

Maybe a bit dramatic. But your path to convert should never be hard to find. In fact, it really should be impossible to miss.

2. “Cool! But What Do These Guys Do?”

In a world of website templates and high-quality stock images, a certain vagueness can creep into web design.

If a customer hasn’t got a feel for the service or type of product your business provides within 3 seconds of the page loading then you need to make it more obvious. Visuals are the strongest communicators for this so look at your images and icons first. However also consider the fonts and colours you are using. Don’t be afraid to jump on your competitors websites to see what they are doing and if it is working better.

Colours in particular have a strong influence and will make your website “feel” a certain way. If your business’s website inherently feels like it belongs in your industry you’ll have a much easier job getting your customers to trust you.

3. “How Do I Get Back To [...]?”

Intuitive navigation is essential to keeping the user experience unbroken.

As a user clicks around your website you want them to understand where they are and how they can get where they want to be.

Getting lost within a website’s architecture can feel confusing and if a customer wants to return to a bit of content they were previously reading and can’t find it, they will get frustrated. The structure of your website should represent the structure of your business as a whole and the customer should be able to understand the whole picture no matter where on the site they are.

You can easily achieve this with breadcrumb navigation or other consistent design decisions that denote categories and sections. Including these features may not always create the cleanest design possible but it will prevent the user from feeling lost and frustrated.

4. “I Wonder If They Have [...]?”

Again they should never “wonder” this because the thought should never develop that far.

If you are building the type of website that is likely to have a depth of content (like an eCommerce or directory website) there should be a prominent search function that the user is aware of the moment they land on the website.

This is a simple solution that customers expect to see, but often it is left out or ‘designed’ in unintuitive ways on modern websites, sacrificing function for aesthetics.

5. “Wow! Am I Still on The Same Site?”

Keep your design consistent.

Don’t design new pages in a vacuum. And this doesn’t just apply to the way your website looks, you also want it to function the same everywhere on the site. The way interactive elements behave on your website should be like a language that applies everywhere. That way a user only has to work something out the one time.

This ease of functionality will make it more likely for them to stay on your site and more likely for them to come back.

6. “Which Bit Do I Read First?”

You don’t want to overcrowd your screen. If you do, this question is going to come up - and sometimes for your customer the answer is going to be the back button.

Use the three-second test. Load up your website and try to instinctively evaluate which element draws your eye first. Is it a clear choice? Is it the choice you want? If the answer to either of these two questions is no, then you either have too much stuff on your landing page or it isn’t designed to emphasise your primary goal.

Some quick things to look at if this is the case:

  • Have you used enough ‘white-space’ in your design? Although the impulse is to fill in empty areas of your website, strategic use of white-space can help guide the user's eye.
  • How many options does the user have above the fold. It can be tempting to include as many conversion opportunities as possible but too many options is usually not a good thing from the buyer’s perspective.

7. “Why Do They Need This Information?”

Your user will only think this if you’re asking more than you need to be. Forms are one of the key areas where customers will exit a website and abandoned carts account for $18 billion in lost revenue annually.

You can cut down on this by restricting your form fields to the absolute minimum information you need to get in touch with a person. This will vary greatly depending on what you’re asking for but I find it useful to ask this question: “If this was a cold sale - what would be the minimum amount of information I would need to initiate contact”. If it is enough for a cold sale it is more than enough for a warm sale and you won’t be bothering your customer with unnecessary information like their post-code or bi-annual taxable income.

8. “Is that an “m” or an “n”?”

Readability is a massive issue on the web. It could be because your text is too small or an inappropriate font was used for your body text. There is also issues with font-colour vs. background colour and busy background images disrupting the flow of the text.

Whatever the issue is, online users have a short enough attention span as it is. If your content is in any way difficult to digest you’re going to have a tough time getting them to stick around.

When you are reviewing this factor, remember: you already know what the copy on your site is about. It is much easier to read content you are already familiar with. This is another example where it is beneficial to get an outsider in to help you see with fresh eyes.

9. “Is that a link or a heading?”

With web design, you don’t want to be breaking too many rules at once. You want most of the elements on your website to look like they commonly do elsewhere on the web.

While the instinct to be different can be strong (especially for creative types), you should always remember that a website is built to be used. If the user experience of a website is too obtuse then there is no point in having a website at all.

By design a website is meant to be interactive and people interact with things they understand. You want hover states on your links, underlines on your hyperlinks and any other shortcuts you can squeeze from traditional user design.

10. “I wonder if this would be easier to do on my computer?”

If your customer is viewing your website on their mobile, this should never even cross their mind.

The mobile and tablet experience is crucial to any online business with 2015 stats suggesting mobile traffic accounts for over half of all online activity - a trend that shows no sign of slowing down.

Your mobile experience should feel seamless and simplified, not limiting. A problem with ‘state-of-the-art’ web design is that it is so heavy and feature-laden that it often does not scale elegantly down to mobile.

So, after reading all that how many of those questions do you think your customers have asked about your website in the past week? One or more? Or maybe you’re not quite sure?

Well, the team at 360South can help you understand exactly how your website shapes up from a user experience perspective. Give us a call today for our frank and honest assessment of your business’s current website.

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