When it comes to professional web design, one crucial design aspect that has stood out over the past two years is user experience. As more and more people turn to the web through a variety of different devices, including mobiles, businesses are being forced into updating and improving their websites to deliver much greater user engagement. 
For just about any business, their website is their new shop window. Small businesses and high street retailers found themselves in the position of ‘no website, no customers’ during the pandemic. As the country emerges into a post-pandemic world – and we mean world as in businesses with an online presence are seen worldwide – consumer’s behaviour is changing. Engaging with businesses and companies online has become the go-to trend, whether it’s looking for information, finding a local supplier or shopping for the latest fashion statement. 
User experience (UX) has driven the need for user-centric websites. Web design and web development requires a much bigger focus on website speed and overall website performance. So, how can you make sure your website delivers a 5-star user experience? 

Why should your website focus on user experience? 

A visitor to your website will take 2 to 3 seconds to decide to stay or go. That means your website has 2 to 3 seconds to convince your potential customer to remain on your site, navigate to your product or service pages and take action. The benefits of a user-focused, user-friendly website include: 
Better lead conversion – converting your leads, i.e. visitors to your website, into paying customers is ultimately the aim for any business. Ensuring better usability and guiding visitors to the best solution to resolve their problem, or pain point, will lead to better lead conversions. 
Lower bounce rate – the bounce rate is the number of times visitors have ‘bounced off’ your website within 5 seconds. Making sure your visitor can find what they’re looking for quickly, combined with excellent website load speed and performance, means they will hang around. 
Increased sales revenue – the longer your visitor stays on your website, the more likely they are to make a purchase; it really is as simple as that. 

Tips to improve your website’s performance 

If your website isn’t performing at its optimum level, or needs a refresh or upgrading, it doesn’t necessarily mean a brand new, bespoke website is required. Sometimes, it can just be a case of identifying the areas that need improvement and making those changes. So, what can you do to improve the performance of your website? 
Website speed – how fast your website loads its content, images and functionality is possibly the top tip to improving your website’s performance. When 53% of online visitors leave a website page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, and that includes loading on a mobile device, you’ve got to make sure your website loads quickly on any device, be it mobile or static. Assessing the design of your website and reducing the number of images or buttons on the page, as well as fields on a contact page or even the amount of text, can reduce the page loading speed significantly. 
Simple yet responsive – do you really need that third or fourth image? Can you do away with some of the call-to-action (CTA) buttons? Are so many fields on your contact page or download screen necessary? Your visitor should be able to clearly see where they need to go on your website and get there in two to three clicks. That means the more simple the design, the easier it is for visitors to navigate. Most people scan the content and pick out what they need to know. Then they want to be able to see the CTA quickly and get to the page they need to make a purchase. So, keep the layout clean, don’t add too many colours, reduce the amount of white space and use fonts wisely. But your website pages need to be responsive, too, and that means every page must have a purpose that is clear and easily understood. There’s nothing wrong with adding information that the visitor may be interested in, such as related products or special offers, but they should be at the bottom of the list or page. The checkout process must also be as quick and simple as possible; too many steps and your visitor is likely to go elsewhere. 
Optimise white space – this doesn’t mean large areas of white throughout the website or even sticking to a white background; we’re talking about using white space wisely. Let’s give you an example: if your website has every inch of space filled with colour, images, content, titles or anything else, it will look cluttered. Much like a room in a house that has too much furniture and objects so you can’t see the floor space. This is an immediate no-no for visitors as they can’t see or find what they’re looking for. By adding white space around images or titles, or even around your content, and adding extra space between your lines of text, will give a sense of relief for your visitor. It doesn’t have to necessarily be white either as long as it means your visitor can focus and not be distracted. 
Pop-ups are old hat – not so long ago websites included numerous pop-up pages; it could be to advertise a special offer, notify the visitor of a new product, promote a new service or even a chatbot. Today, they are considered old hat and nothing but a distraction to visitors. That’s not to say you don’t want to tell your visitor about special offers or discounts, or tell them you’re available to chat online; you just need to find an alternative way of doing this. 
Mobile-friendly – this is now an absolute must for any website. 66.7% of UK shoppers switched to using mobiles in 2020 – making sure your website looks and functions on a mobile device in the same way it does on a desktop or laptop is paramount to keep a visitor engaged. Whilst it might mean combining some of the functionality for mobile, it doesn’t mean a completely new website 
Building a website is one thing, maintaining it to ensure your visitor’s user experience and your website’s performance is constantly working at its optimum rate is another matter entirely. In today’s digital world, nothing stands still. As consumer demands change, it’s important for businesses and companies to adapt and change their online presence to gain maximum benefits. 
It’seeze Twickenham website design company offers bespoke web design that is affordable and delivers custom-designed websites that promote your business and brand successfully. As well as offering ongoing expert support, we offer a free Website Health Check that will identify the areas where improvements can be made. Call us today to create the website of your dreams and turn your business into a success. Contact us for more details. 
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