It’s no secret, internet users prefer fast websites! They have less patience and they spend less and less time fighting with an unresponsive web page or app. You must make them feel comfortable from the first moment they interact with your website.
A majority of the responsibility for the user experience rests in the designer or UX expert. But it’s certainly advantageous when all people involved in the creation and subsequent management of the website have some basic notions of UX. Even a small amount of UX knowledge will be useful for maintaining a good user experience, which in the end is one of the goals of your business keeping your customers happy with your product or service.
Now, you have to differentiate user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) in order to provide the best experience for your users or customers.
What exactly do we mean by UI and UX? User interface refers to the software or platform the user is going to use. It is the programming and designing part of your website, and generally speaking, it involves the selection of the themes, colors and textures to make the interface compelling to the eyes. On the other hand, the user experience refers to what the user perceives internally and emotionally when using an interface, in short, their reaction. The professional who carries out this work must have extensive knowledge in copywriting, neuromarketing and neuroscience in general to get the most of it.
1. The psychology of UX principles based on Maslow’s Pyramid
Both UI and UX are critical to offer the best possible experience to your users, and below we’ve provided some explanations of the psychology behind it and tips so you can apply them to your website.
In psychology, Maslow’s pyramid is an easy way to explain human needs according to levels and priorities. Starting from this idea, Aarron Walter, in his book “Designing for emotion”, extrapolates Maslow’s pyramid to the field of UX in a pyramid of four levels that correspond to the emotions that a user experiences while using an application or web page. The four levels of this pyramid are as follows:
- Functional: the base of the pyramid, and what we would consider the most basic, is that the website works.
- Reliable: the second level of the pyramid would consist of ensuring that it is reliable, that is, that we do not have server crashes, that the links work, that it is possible to navigate normally, etc.
- Usable: That is, a user can easily use it without extra complications.
- Pleasant: at the last level of the pyramid, the aim is for the user experience to be so excellent and innovative that it is even pleasant.
2. Laws of Gestalt and UX
Although the laws of Gestalt in UX have a connection to designing, you must keep in mind that they will help you consider new elements to include or take into account when checking your UX, and prevent mistakes in the future.
- Law of proximity: elements isolated but close to each other are part of the same group from the perspective of the user.
- Law of similarity: elements with similar visual characteristics are also part of a group of users.
- Law of closure: our mind tends to complete the forms that are incomplete.
- Law of continuity: visual attention instinctively follows the spatial direction of the elements.
- Law of connection: elements that use other elements such as lines to connect visually are part of the same unit.
This means that you have to present elements in your web design wisely to your users because it may be confusing for your users. In fact, simplicity is your best strategy to keep your users engaged in your website. For example, if you place a button with a different size and texture, your users will automatically know it is a different element and it will catch their attention.
3. Use color well in your UX strategy
When you consider the colors on a web page, you have to consider the following elements:
- Colors must adequately convey the brand image and that of the inspiration behind it. For instance, if your website is about seafood, it would make sense that your brand includes cool tones of blues and greens to match the color of the sea.
- Use as few colors as possible. You have to think that your website is an application, that is, that users have to interact with it and colors are a good ally to facilitate navigation. Keep in mind that not by using more colors our website is more striking or attractive to the human eye.
- Use color to highlight what is important. It is good practice to use the same color and style for links on a web page. In this way, the user can quickly identify which elements are links, since they all meet the same standard. On the other hand, we want the button of a call-to-action (CTA) to stand out and that’s why reserving color for this class of elements is a good resource.
- Combine colors harmoniously. When you select a color, you cannot do it arbitrarily. They should convey the exact feelings you want to communicate, and they have to be pleasant to the eye. This task isn't easy without some basic notions in design and color treatment, but luckily there are a large number of web pages that help us create color palettes, we recommend Adobe Color, Coolers, Swiss Style Color Picker, and Material Color Tool.
- Color intensities. A tip to reduce the number of colors you use on our webpage (remember that the fewer colors the better) is that we can play with their intensities and gradients. They will add an interesting touch to your website and you won't have to add many colors.
4. Correct use of sizes, margins and spaces
You have to start from the premise of facilitating navigation for your users with the minimum possible effort. To do this, sizes and spaces within the content are key.
- Be minimalist. People want clarity in the interface. Reduce the noise to the essentials and prioritize. Eliminate elements that have little or no value. In this way, you will achieve clarity.
- Use space to create groups. Whitespace is a very powerful resource for guiding the user’s eyes and helping them to easily spot groups of items. There is a very simple rule that will help us to space our elements correctly: the more in common the elements have, the nearest you should place them.
- Hierarchy and sizes. The size of the elements is fundamental to create a visual hierarchy that helps and guides the user. For this reason, you have to follow logical criteria to show elements in different sizes according to their hierarchy.
- Balance sizes and distances. You have to make sure that the sizes, distances and margins maintain a good balance, so all texts are easy to read and have the same structure.
5. Simplify your UX
- Try not to frustrate users. Overwhelming users with pop-ups at inappropriate times hinders the user’s objective (for example, reading an article) by trying to impose certain actions (such as clicking on a CTA), you can make the user leave your website. Use common sense to achieve a proper balance. Reminding users to subscribe one time may be more advantageous than launching several pop-ups as soon as you enter. That bad user experience is known as saturation.
- Create an accurate and accessible navigation menu. Make sure your links are direct and visible. Find the words that your target expects to see and use submenus, but without saturating or confusing the entire structure. Also, you can show icons or some type of effect or animation in each action.
6. Provide relevant information for each user
Avoid showing a subscription form to an existing subscriber. In fact, segment your users to show them more effective messages. Thanks to browser cookies you can recognize users when they are on your website. This makes it possible for us to better focus on messages and actions. For example, users who visit you for the second time aren't the same as users who have been visiting you for several months, are already a subscriber and downloaded some content, providing you data such as their age or profession.
7. Use clear and direct language
Make sure that all copy on your site is strictly necessary, direct language that provides clear information to the user. Optimize all your copy, from the titles of the sidebar to the texts of each item in the navigation menu, a blog subscription item, etc. It is key and helps your users know where they are.
8. Accessibility and how to make your website usable for everyone
Dictated navigation works. This will help visually impaired users to move around your page smoothly. Working with dictated navigation means that each element contains a clear and direct description of what it is.
9. Think about the user (and not Google)
- Google’s algorithm aims to reward pages that have good usability and quality content. Therefore, if you strive to provide a good user experience and you assume that the content you offer is of quality, you don't have to worry much about Google.
- Create a whole strategy to show related content. Always try to extend the user's time on your website to improve your metrics, especially, as an SEO factor.
10. Test, analyze, and optimize
- The importance of A / B testing. This is a powerful tool to improve any element of your page. A / B testing allows you to test changes in elements of your blog randomly to 50% of users and then check if they really improve the results or not.
- Measure your UI design and UX constantly. You can start with something simple, like Survey Monkey or a general survey to find out what the user thinks about the experience on your website. It is a resource that many powerful sites use and it is easy to apply. You can also do more advanced monitoring to find out what the visitor is looking at on your site.
As a bonus to further improve the experience of our page you could take these tips into account:
- Adapt your website to the profile of your target user. If you did research and segmentation (targeting), and you already have the profile of your target user, take it to the UX of your website and adapt colors, images or part of your writing according to their liking. Unconsciously, this will make them feel comfortable and familiar with your web page.
- Add importance to your internal search engine. Something that has a lot to do with offering a good experience on a website is the search engine. It’s usually placed in the header and with a size not so small. It can be helpful to show a search box and not just an icon of a magnifying glass.
- Make your contact medium more accessible. A big mistake (and also a bit ironic) is having the contact form far or distant from the user. It’s common to place the contact information as a small icon. To start, you need to provide contact information from the homepage or a well-designed call to action that leads to the full contact section. It’s the same form that opens with a button on any page or you can go to another level with a real-time chat. This form incomparably improves the user experience and ends up increasing the overall conversion of the entire website by almost 30%.
Now that you know how to make a great user experience on your website, you can apply all this new knowledge and start receiving it from your users and we are here to help you. Just contact us!