User Experience (UX) is now the most influential factor in website rankings. That's why we created this Website UX Checklist, so you can improve website performance with actionable UX tips. Use this checklist to improve your website user experience.
Why is Website UX Important?
But why worry about UX at all? Well, these tactics will help improve the user's experience on your website, which in turn, improves your website's authority and ranking. Essentially, Google's algorithm will recognize that your website visitors share your content, explore more webpages, or stay on-page longer. That raises your website authority - and Google uses website authority when deciding what webpage ranks first on search engine results pages (SERP).
How to Use the Website UX Checklist
First, download the checklist by clicking the button below.
All the tactics to improve website UX are in the checklist. But if you have additional questions, consult this blog. We added explanations and visual examples for why each tactic below is important to website UX.
We sectioned the UX checklist by six categories:
Each category focuses on an influential part of website user experience. Now let's get into it.
Navigation UX Design
Consistent Navigation – most important pages are located in the primary navigation.
Why this matters: consistent navigation helps people navigate to important pages quickly. As a rule of thumb, you want to reduce the number of clicks required to navigate to any given webpage.
Mobile Menu – larger than 46 pixels high and wide for easy tapping with thumbs.
Why this matters: the number of mobile website users has exploded in recent years - and is only expanding. Mobile menus allow users on every device to easily navigate your website.
Running Room – avoid redesigning navigation when new content / features are added.
Why this matters: a website is never truly finished. Websites that regularly add new content are prioritized in SERPs.
Interaction UX Design
Repetitive Actions – repetitive actions feel uncomplicated and effortless.
Why this matters: repetitive actions drive away users. Make the action feel seamless to maintain engagement.
Success Messages – positive feedback messages for form submittals. Messages should be consistent with website look and feel.
Why this matters: giving users positive feedback, like "Nice - your form has been submitted" gives assurance that they completed whatever website action they attempted. It also stops people from spamming comments.
User-Generated Content – user content (like comments) are reportable so people can flag inappropriate content.
Why this matters: even if you moderate comments, you might miss an inappropriate message. Allowing people to report user-generated content not only speeds up the moderation process but reduces the risk of driving away website visitors.
Visual UX Design
Stand-Out – brands differentiators and unique products/services are instantly scannable (bullet points help).
Why this matters: highlighting your most important selling messages clearly communicates your business's value. Today, people are accustomed to shorter copy, so scannable content increases the likelihood of it being read.
ID Industry – with a glance, the audience should know your company’s industry and services.
Why this matters: if someone can immediately relate to your industry, they're less likely to exit the webpage without clicking to another page. This is called a 'bounce session' and your 'bounce rate' is a great indicator of how engaging your website content is for users.
Secondary Actions – clear, not overshadowing the primary action you want users to take.
Why this matters: too often websites derail users from conversion paths. With visual design, you can identify the primary action you want users to take (sign up for our newsletter). Then, with inactive or disabled buttons, you can let users know another action is possible (like "go back" or "undo").
Video Elements – animations convey meaning. Be simple and succinct.
Why this matters: people search the web for answers. If you don't provide them quickly, they'll look elsewhere. Video is great at maintaining engagement while communicating your company's value. In fact, YouTube is now the 2nd largest search engine (second only to Google) and is flooded with 'how-to' videos and tutorials, for this reason.
Whitespace – whitespace surrounds important elements to focus user attention.
Why this matters: whitespace keeps pages from looking busy. It also draws our focus naturally - perfect for focusing attention to your primary action buttons and most valuable content. Think about what's more visually appealing: a phone book or a cookbook.
Foreground – clear contrast between foreground and background design elements.
Why this matters: if you've ever struggled with reading dark text on dark background colors, you know why this is important. Keep in mind, you're also designing for those with disabilities, so clear contrast helps all users navigate and interact with your website.
Typography UX Design
Type Families – maximum of two type families are in use.
Why this matters: too many fonts overcomplicates the visual identity of your brand. Maintaining visual hierarchy is key, so rather than adding a new font, focus on how you can use font families to communicate order and structure.
Font Size – text content is 12px and larger. Uppercase words reserved for headers and labels.
Why this matters: text should always be readable - users are searching for your information, after all. But webpages will also be penalized if they use illegible text. And reserving uppercase words for headers also helps maintain visual hierarchy, helping people scan content until they find the information they're looking for.
Font Styles – distinct font styles for content, controls and content types.
Why this matters: defining font styles and their uses keeps site architecture and look/feel consistent. These font styles also influence visual contrast and the ability to find and click interactive web content.
Copy UX Design
Microcopy – copy segmented into bite-sized chunks. Content is “glance-able”.
Why this matters: longer, scrolling pages have been shown to increase conversion rates by 30%. But you wouldn't place all that great content into one paragraph, would you? Breaking copy into bite-sized chunks increases legibility and the likelihood of a user reading your content.
Don’t Write for Robots – know your audience and write for them – not search algorithms.
Why this matters: with Google's latest update, the search engine is much better at contextual and conversational speech. This means SEO is less focused on keywords and semantics and more about topic context. So, don't try to game the system with black-hat SEO tactics. Just write great content that answers questions and solves problems.
A/B Tests – test various copy tones, call to actions and selling messages with A/B tests.
Why this matters: now, we have affordable methods for A/B and multi-variant testing. These shouldn't be overlooked, as they can boost your conversion rates and give you hard-data to support your design decisions.
E-commerce UX Design
Reviews – product pages include reviews, highlighting customers’ experiences.
Why this matters: online reviews give users confidence in their buying decisions. Reviews are also another form of crowd-sourced content that helps to sell your offering for you.
Clicks to Content – product categories have two or more items, avoiding too many clicks to find desired content.
Why this matters: clicking to a product category, only to find a single item is frustrating and brings too many repetitive actions into the user flow. Make sure the shopping experience as consolidated as it can be, without being cluttered.
Prove Credibility – shows trustworthiness by identifying no-hassle returns, fast or free shipping and SSL certification.
Why this matters: a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) creates an encrypted link to protects users data from would-be attackers. So an SSL certification shows your audience that you're taking steps to protect their data. Plus, Google Chrome will warn users if they're about to send sensitive information through an unencrypted connection.
There you have it - 21 actionable tactics to improve website UX.
If you haven't already, download the website UX checklist here.
Or, schedule a Website UX Review with Axiom. We'll show how theses aspect of UX design are important and how we'd improve your website's user experience.