You may have heard the terms UX and UI thrown around these days, but do you really know what they mean? And do you know why they are critical for converting sales or other actions?
UX stands for User Experience, and it’s rather self-explanatory – it’s the experience a user has when interacting with your website. UI, which stands for User Interface, is everything else that brings the experience together. UI is more related to design rather than the way something works. However, that’s not to say the way something is designed doesn’t relate to how it works. You can think of UX like driving a car, and UI like the way the car looks along with its features.
Effective UX and UI work in tandem, giving your users a great and great-looking experience. This will make it more likely your audience will convert to views, sales, visits and more. How, you ask? Let’s find out.
Often, Less is More
There’s a tendency to throw any and everything on a web page, thinking every visitor is going to grasp every word and picture. That’s not the case. That’s a recipe for turning people away, no matter how great you think the content is.
Fewer frills and features on your website make it much easier for your visitors to decide what action to take; they won’t feel inundated with too much happening at once. Think about a Cheesecake Factory menu vs. simplistic fine dining options. Is it easier to make a decision when sifting through a booklet of dishes or skimming five high-quality dishes? This doesn’t mean you need a drab and boring website – it just means that each element should be purposeful and clear. The visitor shouldn’t have so many options they don’t know what to do within a few seconds.
A minimalist-based approach works with UX/UI because:
- It’s more meaningful.
- It’s clearer.
- Every element has its own functionality.
- It eliminates non-functional and ornamental elements (what we call, “flash over function”).
- You have sufficient vacant or negative space.
The level of minimalism will depend on your goal, brand and desired user action, but in general, remember that less is more.
Make Your Call to Action Efficient
Your call to action, or CTA, is arguably the most important element for conversions. Usually, your primary CTA will go “above the fold” so it is seen right away. This means it should appear at the top of your website without the need to scroll.
Your primary CTA is the No. 1 thing you want someone to do when they visit your website. It might direct to a product purchase, download or consultation. Sometimes a secondary CTA is used further down the page if there is another action that would be beneficial to your goal, but it’s generally best not to go beyond that on a single page. Too many CTAs can negatively affect your UX and overwhelm or confuse users. You are using your CTA(s) to effectively hold the hand of your visitors and lead them to your desired goal.
The Most Important Information Goes Above the Fold
As mentioned above, “above the fold” refers to the top of the website or landing page. This is a term borrowed from the newspaper world, and the concept was used to promote newspaper sales. The most important or breaking news of the day would be visible on the front of the newspaper without the need to unfold or thumb through it. So, people would be enticed to purchase the paper while passing by a stand or before inserting a quarter into a newspaper vending machine. Same concept applies to websites.
The content visible from the top of your website – before scrolling – is your most important real estate. You have seconds to capture someone’s attention in today’s fast-moving world. You need to give them a reason stay, click, read, watch or convert in another manner. “Burying the lede” (another newspaper term) equates to lost customers. As you likely suspect, this refers to including the most important information at the bottom of the page (or a story).
Increase Your Site Speed
It can be said that speed isn’t everything these days, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important for winning conversions. Your website should load quickly with minimal structural errors. The text should also load without pushing things around (see: CLS, or Cumulative Layout Shift).
A few tips for increasing site speed:
- Choose a Virtual Private Server (VPS) host
- Optimize and scale image images appropriately
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to boost speed and security
- Place less-important scripts (like Google Analytics or popups) lower on the page
- Reduce page redirects
Here’s a fun fact for you: expect a website to load in less than two seconds. Moreover, 40% of users are likely to abandon the website completely if it takes longer than three seconds to load – that’s a lot of lost conversions!
While UX and UI are arguably very different things, they work together like peanut butter and jelly. You really can’t have one without the other. We can help you with a strategic and thoughtful approach to your website, taking into account both crucial issues. Learn more about our inbound marketing and creative services.