The world of web design and usability has sure moved on since the first days of the internet, when the first website was registered in 1985 (www.symbolics.com), and nobody really knew how to use a website, let alone critique one and decide not to use it because it wasn’t very “user friendly”, but unfortunately, these days, that’s exactly what happens! There are some common pitfalls to easily avoid though, with the aim of keeping users on your website to complete the actions they came to do, so without further ado:
Keep Essential Content above the Fold
A lot of people use laptops or tablets to browse the web, neither of which typically have large screens, and those on mobile devices are even smaller, so putting essential content such as social sharing/following links, contact details and log in buttons at the bottom of your website will impact on the CTR of these links, as most people typically won’t scroll that far down or notice them. Putting this type of link at the top of each page – “above the fold”, will really help people to find and use them
Clear Contact Details
You may think, especially if you run an ecommerce website, that people will just make a purchase and won’t need to know particularly where your contact details are, but this isn’t the case. Your order confirmation email may have these details on, but to get users to this stage, you need to make sure they can find these details beforehand – a lot of people like to ring before buying to check the company is genuine and if they are local, may even like to check your office or shop out. Not making this information readily available on your website may impact your trust rating and your sales/enquiries accordingly.
Clear Price Points
Users like to see the price of items on ecommerce website clearly and quickly, and don’t want to be hunting on a product page for the total price they will be paying. It’s often a good idea to make your pricing information bold and prominent, and make it clear there and then if there will be additional costs such as VAT. Delivery information on the same page is also a plus point, although not always possible.
Once your website is up and running, don’t make the mistake of never testing it again – external websites that you’ve linked to may go down or remove the pages you’ve highlighted, so you may have broken links on your website. If you see a drop off in purchases, test your checkout process, or make sure your products are in stock – it sounds silly but silly things can be overlooked that hamper the sales process, so make sure you and your staff keep on checking your own website periodically to keep everything running smoothly!