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. Because user experience website design is here to stay. So whether your a one-man marketing team or a B2B marketer in a global company, see where web design trends are going.
Why is Website UX Important?
But why worry about the user experience 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 examples for why each strategy is important to a website user experience.
We sectioned the UX checklist by six categories:
Visual UX Design
Each category focuses on an influential part of website UX. Plus, we'll show how user experience design, or the user interface can increase lead generation and e-commerce sales. Now let's dive in.
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. This is sometimes called "website freshness". This is important to Google and search engines, but also shows your customers that you're keeping up with your website.
Red Routes – map out your red routes, or the series of pages that customers often use to complete tasks.
Why red routes matter: not every webpage is created equal. Some pages will have higher conversion rates or sales. Red Routes are the series of website actions that create value for marketers, like more newsletter sign ups or contact form submission. For example, clicking "contact us" isn't a red route. But what if someone starts on the homepage, clicks to read a blog, then clicks to a landing page and completes a form? That's one example of a red route.
Get your red routes on paper, look for the gaps, and design websites that make these actions easier. Or, you can use interaction design to reinforce user behavior. Speaking of interaction design...
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 User Experience Design
Stand-Out – brands differentiators and unique products/services are instantly scannable (bullet points help).
Why website design 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 user experience design 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. For B2B website designs, this is crucial, since you want your potential customer to immediately know your specialty within the industry.
Secondary Actions – clear, not overshadowing the primary action you want users to take.
Why secondary actions matter: 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"). Rethinking your user interface can open all sorts of possibilities for secondary acitons.
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. High quality videos earn long-term engagement.
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. What keeps your attention, a social media feed or a newspaper?
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 a user experience for people 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. Usability testing shouldn't be overlooked, as it can boost your lead generation and give you hard-data to support your web design decisions. If you're not sure what current customers like about your website, you're likely due for user testing.
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. Savvy B2B marketers will tap every source for reviews and user generated content.
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. Great UX projects 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.