We talk about the importance of “ease of use” in our new ebook for healthcare marketers, but UX (user experience) design is something all marketers and businesses must keep in mind when building or redesigning a website. Online retailers need to focus on the ‘ease of checking out’ at the shopping cart, while service providers need ease of navigation so consumers can easily see what they offer.
The question for most businesses is: How do we know if our site is easy to use? There are two ways to figure that out:
- Get a free site audit from our experts at 10x, who have more than 10+ years of E-commerce experience and are based in the U.S.;
- Take the following “ease-of-use test” to determine where your site falls short and what needs to be updated.
If you take the second route, here are a few important questions to condiser as you perform your own “easy-of-use test.”
Q1: What’s your page load time on desktop?
A study by Akami found that consumers expect a page to load in two seconds or less. With so many distractions and online competition, it’s common for frustrated visitors to click away and find a faster, more responsive site. Test your page speed with one of the many online tools available as a benchmark and make upgrades from there.
Q2: Is it easy to find critical information?
Very few people who land on your website for the first time are ready to buy. It’s more likely they are in the research stage and want to browse your site to get to know your brand, pricing, products etc. Is this easy for them to do?
To find out is navigation is UX-friendly, run a usability test, where people who are unfamiliar with your site or brand can explore in-depth and give feedback while they are doing so.
Q3: Do the links work correctly?
This is especially important for linking between different pages in your site. If a visitor wants to go from one product to a similar one, but the link to get there is broken, they may click out of your site rather than digging around to actually find the product. There are browser extension options as well as free and paid online tools you can use to run a link test for your website. When it’s done, you’ll get an overall grade and list of broken links. Also, don’t forget to check form submissions—do they work properly and are they being delivered to the proper email address?
Note that some free tools may ask you to pay for the generated report, which is why working with an agency is helpful—we have the tools that will do this for you.
Q4: Does your website respond well in all browsers?
Everyone has their preferred browser on desktop and mobile, which is why your site needs to work well in all of them. Check Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE, which are the most commonly used. Explore your site like a first-time or repeat visitor would to make sure everything loads correctly. This simple UX test can be performed during your usability testing as well.
Q5: Is it easy to share content?
If you maintain a blog, it should be easy for readers to share the posts they love. The less friction, the more likely they are to share. Consider the two scenarios:
- Click Twitter icon > alter text within pre-set tweet > click “Tweet”
- Open new tab > copy link into social platform > write the text > copy the link > find your handle (if you’re lucky) > click “Tweet”
While it may not seem like extra effort, the visitor’s online experience should be seamless, and that’s also true when it comes to social sharing. Luckily, this is a simple fix. If you don’t already have social sharing available for blog posts, simply download a plugin on your website’s backend platform. Our favorites include: Sumo Share, Shareaholic and Mash Share.
Q6: Is it mobile-friendly?
Being mobile-compatible is no longer a luxury for business websites. If you want to convert visitors into leads or sales, your website has to be easy to use on mobile. A recent study found that 48 percent of consumers start searches on their mobile device with Google. The second most popular starting point is with branded websites, at 33 percent. When someone lands on your site, whether directly or from a major search engine, you want to impress them, not aggrevate them.
Your mobile-friendly checklist should be as follows:
- What’s your mobile page speed? In 2017, Google found that the average mobile landing page loads in 22 seconds, but users abandon if it takes longer than 3 seconds.
- Is it responsive? With flexible layout and design, your site will conform to the size of the screen the visitor is using, making navigation easy.
- Can you read the text and easily click your CTAs and other buttons?
- Do the images load quickly?
If you don’t have time to manually check these UX design items, head over to Google’s Mobile-Friendly test to get a “Yes” or “No,” which can be a good starting point for making improvements.
Do you have more questions about whether your website is easy to use? Get in touch!