Don’t forget your website fundamentals
Here at Element78, we have been designing & building websites for over 16 years, so we like to think we know one or two things about what makes a successful website.
Sure, every website is different. But whether you are selling t-shirts or promoting a good cause, here are 3 key areas where EVERY website should perform well.
1. User-centric design
The overall design of a website represents your online brand, drives user behaviours, and highlights your content. Well thought out design encourages positive action. A thoughtful design process should reflect the real-world challenges that your customers are facing, not simply a reflection of your internal structures.
Keeping users engaged – ensuring a consist look/feel, along with a good balance of content, imagery and video is the best way to keep your users engaged.
Finding what you need – is the homepage cluttered with multiple CTAs, banners, and messages? Keeping navigation simple and focused will help simplify your users’ journey across your website.
Signposting content – linking relevant content will help keep users on your website for longer. If you have a key product/service you are trying to sell, try showcasing related case studies, blogs, or other content.
We have created a UX Framework called Conflux which helps drive user-centricity in the websites we build for our clients. Find out more about Conflux here.
2. Make your site super accessible
Your visitors can be impatient, so they won’t witness your great design and content if they can’t find you, or properly view your website. Too many websites still don’t consider the fundamental principles of accessibility.
Mobile friendly – optimising your website for mobile and tablets should no longer be an afterthought. It is an essential part of any website, with over 62% of users accessing the internet using their mobile phones.
SEO – a good keyword strategy and regular content updates to your website can help improve your search rankings. But there are many factors behind the scenes that can positively impact SEO – is your code optimised? Are you using meta descriptions? It can quite techy, so we are here to help if you have any questions.
Performance – in a nutshell, is your website fast? There are many tools and websites out there that score your website, but there is no single score or metric that can tell you this. From your users' network connection, to the size of images and videos on your website, many factors can affect site speed.
Accessibility – millions of users have disabilities and conditions that can affect the way they use websites. Your users might be using different hardware, screen sizes, devices, the list goes on. Everyone should be able to use your website, regardless of these factors.
3. Keep your content up to date & accurate
Content Management Systems (CMS) – A good CMS is great for making light work of content updates. It should be tuned to the needs of those making the changes to help them work faster and more accurately. Umbraco is well known as the ‘friendly CMS’, but every CMS can be built differently. We wrote a blog on our 5 Top UX tips for Umbraco if you want to find out more.
Dynamic content & integrations – Dynamic content can make things more personalised for your users based on in-session behaviour, user data and characteristics. Integrating your website with other systems, as well as making it work with business processes can also help reduce duplication of effort and increase productivity.