I’m going to start this article with a harsh truth: Your website needs redesigning. I’m sorry, I know that’s out of the blue, I mean, I don’t even know you. But the chances are that its true. Now you’ll probably take a bit more convincing than that, but that’s fine. Why redesign website that is the purpose of this article.
I want to change your thinking from:
‘Why redesign the website?’ into ‘redesign website? Yes please!’
Is My Website Really That Bad?
So, let us begin the convincing: When was the last time you redesigned your website? Be honest: Are you constantly updating and improving it or have you stuck with the original design template you got, way back in 2005? If it’s the second one, is that design really working to its maximum potential for you?
Let me help you out there; no. It isn’t. It can’t be. Any website over a few years old just cannot be working to its maximum effectiveness anymore.
Oftentimes, you won’t see the issues with your website yourself and need someone outside your circle to tell you the issues with it. This is because humans have this horrible sensation known as ‘nostalgia’ and this can have a terribly detrimental effect when it comes to business.
Your business website may have been the first website you ever got, and you were so excited because it was yours and it was just perfect. Then, as the years passed by and your website became less relevant or popular with customers, you continued to see it as that perfect website. The thing is, websites don’t work like that; they need constant updating and maintaining to give the maximum effect to users. To follow new design trends, utilise new technologies and new ways to market customers, you need to stay on top of your website.
“Hey”, I hear you cry, “My website is fine and there is nothing wrong with it. I still get conversions! Less than I used to, sure; but that’s because of the economy! It’ll pick back up soon enough. Anyway, you still haven’t got to explaining why redesign website is a good idea.”
Well, the economy isn’t great, that’s true, but with so many businesses moving online, and at an impressive rate, these issues your website has with waning interest and higher bounce rates will only get worse as time goes on. Your business can still flourish; however, it just means you need to take a very critical eye to your website and really see its flaws.
Still don’t trust me? That’s cool, I don’t blame you; I’m just text on a screen. But I am wise text and I can help. I am not here to tell you to spend huge amounts on a new website design without at least explaining the benefits. Let me first explain what I think may be wrong with your website. Here are my Top 6 UX (User Experience) Issues Bad Websites Have. Have a read and see if your website is following these principals. If it is then you need to do something about it, and soon, because these issues will put customers off not only converting on your site, but even visiting your site again in the future.
Six Biggest UX Issues with Websites
Bad Navigation is one of the biggest things that cause users to turn and run away. With Bounce Rate already so high for any industry, adding a bad Landing Page into the mix is just willing for people to stay away from your website.
The issue is that Bad Navigation is very difficult to notice when it’s YOUR website. You know your website inside and out, so of course, you can navigate the site really well. But you need to really try and use the website as if you were a fresh, new user. Is the navigation to specific sections as easy as it could be? If someone wants to find one specific item, how easily and quickly can that be done? As I said, this is not an easy task, but there are websites that can help with this.
- The User Is Drunk – A Bit of a silly website this, but with solid reasons and done by a professional Web Designer. The theory is that your website should be so simple to navigate that even a drunk person should be able to use it. So, Richard from TUID will get very drunk and screencast him using your website. Richard is a Professional Web Designer, so his feedback comes from a knowledgeable background too.
- UserTest – This site is specifically for Website testing, UserTest also gives you a video of someone new using your website and you receive it within 24 hours. UserTest.io also allows you to pre-screen the users, so you know you’re getting feedback from the right kind of people and ensuring the data you’re getting is as relevant and helpful as possible.
- Crazy Egg – Unlike the previous two services, Crazy Egg is Heat-Mapping Software. You incorporate it and will see where users are clicking on your site. This is more geared towards the navigation of the site. If you think a CTA or relevant link is what the user should click on next and you think it’s in clear view, CrazyEgg will tell you if that’s true or not. Heatmaps work by showing a brighter/redder image on areas that have the most action. If you see that people are clicking home more often, you know this page isn’t very useful, and that if clicks are going everywhere on the page then you know that the site doesn’t have clear enough navigation. Available with four different pricing levels and with a free trial starting point, this is a great tool for any site.
There are so many websites out there to help with this; these are just some choice ones. If you don’t want to delegate this task to someone online however, try the ‘coffeeshop method’. This literally involves going to a local coffeeshop and asking people there if they wouldn’t mind spending ten minutes using your website, so you can see how well it works and what issues there are. The great thing about this method is that you can easily get data from a wide range of users and its real-time data. The issue is that you have to deal with real people using your site and it will be painful to watch, but this is a vitally important step to finding out how well your website works.
There are some very simple aspects of web design that most websites follow, and if your website isn’t following these principals then that needs fixing and quickly. Yes, it’s true that the greats always break the rules but:
- Your website is not the Hank Aaron of Ecommerce, and
- You need to learn the rules first, before you can break them
The basics of web design are things like using complimentary colours and use them sparingly, use white space to help keep the page clear of clutter and simplify the navigation and pastel colours work a hundred times better than gaudy, garish colours. These aspects are more-or-less common sense, but it might be a good idea to find an article on the basic principles of good web design and see how much your website is using them.
Fixing the design of your website is so important because after a bad experience with a website,
88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
and why would they? With so many online companies out there, unless you are niche market or a pioneer in your field, you will have competitors that users can (and will) turn to.
Not Optimised For Mobile
Mobile is the way of the future. No, in fact, we’re past that point. Users are on their mobiles more than twice the amount that they use their desktop computers. and that figure only looks to be moving further in that direction,
“with India, Mexico and Indonesia having more than up to 4 times higher smartphone vs desktop audience.”
If you don’t have a mobile-responsive site, then you are holding yourself back. If you do have a mobile site but it’s just a scaled-back version of your desktop website, then that’s maybe even worse. Mobile does not work the same way as desktop: The shape is different; the way users browse mobile and the reason they search websites on mobile is entirely different. If your website is designed perfectly for desktop users, it will not be optimised for mobile users and they will have a worse experience. You need a custom website design that is specifically made for mobile users.
You have a sign-up form on your website. They’re pretty simple, right? Bunch of questions, spaces for details and a ‘done’ button. Easy!
No, not even close. There are so many aspects to online forms that can affect a user’s experience and throwing one together in a slap-dash fashion will not lead to great sign-up rates.
The first thing you need to think about it in any form is: ‘Does the user have the motivation to complete this form?’
VentureHarbour has a good analogy to explain this:
“Imagine I asked you to fill out a 50-question form as a favour. Your initial reaction is likely to be “…I’m outta here” Now imagine I offered you a Ferrari for completing the same form. Suddenly, you’re far more likely to complete the form, despite nothing changing on the actual form itself. The thing that changed was your motivation.”
You need to ask yourself: What am I promising the user for filling in this form and is it equal to what I’m asking them to do?
Next, how complex is the form? If users are signing up for a blog, why would they need to give you their home address, phone number and blood type? The users’ trust in your website is always a delicate balancing act, and never more so than with new users. If you scare them off by asking for too much information, you’ll lose that user forever.
Lastly, your form needs to be utterly easy to use. To you, it may seem obvious how to fill in the form but that is because you wrote it. What if you want their home address but label the section with just ‘address’? The user may put in their email address instead because it isn’t clear what address you want.
Worse, what if your form doesn’t explain what the issue is when they click ‘done’, but simply says there is an error. They’ll be expected to trawl back through and double check everything.
Worst; what if your form resets if they click ‘done’ and there’s an issue. They will need to re-fill the entire form in again but be aware that they need to change something from last time, but they’re not sure what.
Chances are, they will just give up and leave. A users’ patience is thin, and unless your form is clear as crystal, simple, unobtrusive and quick to fill in, people just won’t.
So, they are my Top 6 UX Issues Bad Websites Have. Now, have I convinced you yet that you need a new website design?
No? Wow, you are hard to persuade!
Okay, let’s look at some figures, shall we?
Users have less patience than they used to. That’s not just a gripe, it’s fact.
“in 1999 the average user was willing to wait eight seconds for a page to load. By 2010, 57% of online shoppers said they would abandon a page after three seconds.”
Unless your website is fully-optimised then users will not give you the time of day.
Ecommerce Over Time
E-Commerce sales have been growingly at a steady rate since the early 2000’s, and the trend shows no sign of plateauing currently. The Financial Times believe that
“Convenience is probably the most important factor, with next day delivery pretty much standard now.”
Based on this data, staying with an outdated, business model and not trying to become a force to be reckoned with in this new world just doesn’t make financial sense.
Okay, so have I convinced you that you need a new website yet?
I have? Thank goodness!
So, what’s the first step to getting a new website design? You can’t just say:
“Hello, Mr./Mrs. Web Developer! I would like a super-successful Ecommerce website that makes me rich, please and thank you!”
Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. If it did, everyone would have a million-dollar website. So instead, the first thing you need to do is research. I know, you already have a website, and why can’t you just adopt that? Well, you could, but that website is based on what you thought your users wanted from your website way back in 2005. Your customer base has changed since then. Or maybe it hasn’t. I don’t know. So how do you find that out?
Google’s Research Tools
Google itself has a ton of great tools that you can use to gather information about your ideal customer, what they want and how to deliver it to them.
Google Surveys are a great way to see what users want from your site and what they think of it so far. You can create a survey about your website design or questions about what users want from your type of company and get feedback quickly. This is a great way to find out unbiased opinions about your website to build from.
Google Trends is a great way to see just how popular your idea is. If you sell pyjamas and you want to see if onesies are still a thing, you can use Google trends to find out. As we can see below, Onesies (Blue) definitely had a spike in popularity back in the middle of December, which makes sense, they are certainly a winter item. Compared to Pyjamas they are pretty much equal, but still more popular. Comparing that to a rather niche product like a Night Gown (Yellow) we see that both Pyjamas and Onesies are far more popular, and your website should be pushing these.
Google Correlate is kind of the opposite to Google Trends: Instead of seeing how popular certain searches are, Correlate helps you find other search queries with similar search results. This helps you find new paths that you may not have considered beforehand. So, if we search for ‘Onesie’ (Blue) then we see that ‘Heel Booties’ has a very similar search history, so they may be something else to sell in conjunction with onesies, as you know people are also searching for them at the same time.
Doing this research will help give you a much better idea of how to structure your website. If you see that one of your products is trending at the moment, make it more prominent on your home page. If your surveys say that your blogs are really good, make it easier to share them to social media and encourage audience interaction with them. Use this data that you’ve gathered to start rebuilding your website based on what your end-users actually want, as opposed to what
This isn’t the only reason to get a new website, however. With technology moving as fast as it is, let’s see what other cool new options there are for your website.
Why Redesign Website?
Newer websites are more than just old websites with a new colour scheme or rearranged links; a new website design can totally change the way it works, and the way users interact with it.
Live Chat or Call-backs
Gone are the days of emailing a company for information and getting a reply in 6-8 Weeks. More and more websites nowadays are incorporating Live Chat features to help users with any issues as they happen.
“Forrester data shows that 55% of US online adults are likely to abandon their online purchase if they cannot find a quick answer to their question; 77% say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer service.”
The best way to offer quick answers is to have a Live Chat feature available, so your customers always know where they can turn for prompt answers.
A Content Relationship Management system is vital for businesses today as it means they can keep track of all their customer’s data and use it to create new strategies and campaigns. Nowadays there is so much integration with CRM that not using them simply doesn’t make sense. Connecting websites to Google Analytics, AdWords or using a CRM system like WordPress can offer a world of new insights that you may not be getting with an older website.
Progressive Web Apps
Mobile users are spending far more time on Apps than on the internet;
“Recent research shows that 90% of their mobile time is spent in apps, and only 10% browsing the rest of the internet”
However, that time is spent selectively. Most Apps downloaded are only used a single time before being deleted, and after a 3-months period, less than 4% of all apps are still being used by the average downloader. So, what is the answer? Progressive Web Apps. These are websites that users have all the great functionality of an App but combined with the Reach of the internet.
The plus points of PWAs are: They don’t need to be downloaded, to the initial barrier for the user has gone; Responsive and will work on any browser or device and don’t have connectivity issues. Due to the way they gather and store information, PWAs work well in low-connectivity areas and even offline. They seem to be the website of the future and are worth doing your own reproach into to see if they’re a viable option for your business.
So, that is my argument for you redesigning your website. I really hope I convinced you or at least convinced you to do some research and examine your website and see areas your website could do with improvement.
If you’re looking for a professional company to redesign your website for you, consider Intelicle; a Nottingham based company specialising in Web Design, Development and Web Solutions. They have a dedicated team of Graphic Designers who can help create you the perfect website, and with vast SEO knowledge, can help start to get your brand out there and seen by people.
When it comes to Web Design in Nottingham, there’s a lot of options: Web Developer Companies and Freelancers. Some of them do make mistakes listed in this article, and many learn from them. Intelicle is one Web Development company that makes sure to not include anything into a website design unless it is what the website owner wants and is convinced of its benefits to users. Intelicle listens to issues and is continually striving to create better websites.