User Experience (UX Design)

It is all good to have an attractive website but is it user-friendly? Can the website visitor find your contact info quickly? Are they able to find the page that they are looking for? Do you engage their interest fast? That brings me to these two UX Design rules below.

7 Second Rule

There is a rule a few years ago that if your website does not load up and catch the interest or find what they are looking for in seven seconds or less they will hit the browser back button. I noticed this of myself on Facebook if the comments don’t load up within one or two seconds I skip them.

This rule came about years ago and with the increased speed of internet connectivity and how everyone’s attention span has decreased due to on-demand information at everyone’s fingertips due to technology, I’m sure this rule should be modified to be even smaller.

Now with faster internet connections and the lowering of the attention span because of the “I have to have it now” mentality these days the loading time got even shorter.

According to an article on Hubspot, there was a study done by Portant that for the best conversion rates the website should load up between 1 to 4 seconds and the highest conversion rates are from websites that load up within the first 2 seconds. Conversation rates dropped 4.42% for every additional second it took to load up the website.

3 Click Rule

The three-click rule suggests that you should be able to get to any page on your website within three clicks or less. At one time I had a website that had several hundred web pages but you were able to get to any page you wanted within three clicks or less. That did not mean that you hovered over the navigation menu without clicking to reveal submenu after submenu until you get to the right page. Instead, I utilized a search engine on the website which popped up a detailed search result with descriptions and a snippet of the page to find pages quickly on my website.

Tools to Use

Website visitors are accustomed to certain areas of a website containing certain information. You can use mapping software like HotJar or Microsoft Clarity that records what areas of the website people look at the most and even view recordings of their actions. This can be very helpful to watch and study to see how if website visitors are having trouble navigating your website, how popular certain content is on your website (do they scroll through it quickly or read every paragraph), and if they keep going back and forth like they are having trouble finding something.

Google Analytics can show you how popular a web page is but it cannot show you how they interact with it. Not yet, anyway. But Google Analytics is very useful to study how the website visitor interacts with your website.

Along with Google Analytics, you can use Google Search Console to analyze PageSpeed Insights and other potential problems with your UX Design. With these tools, you can analyze if web pages are mobile-friendly, slow to load, do not adhere to quality guidelines, etc.

Quick Rules to Follow

  • The site navigation should go along the top or left side of the page.
  • Phone numbers are usually at the top of the page.
  • The address and other contact information are usually found at the bottom of the page.
  • The Front Page (from the old Microsoft Frontpage days) or Home Page (from the days of CMS software like WordPress) of a website is meant to be like the front page of a newspaper. List snippets of the most important areas of your website with links to read more details on another page. This rule helps a lot in the aforementioned 7-second and 3-click rules.
  • Use proper font size and color contrast for easy reading. You can read more detail about this on the ADA Compliance page.
  • Use images to attract attention not distract.
  • Convert documents to PDF file format. That way the website user will have the best chance to open the document on your website. You can convert documents to PDF for free at Zamzar. Note: If Zamzar should go out of business then my link to its website will become a broken link and that would affect UX Design as well.

Recommended Books

Here are a few of my favorite books on the subject to help you learn more about UX Design.

Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg

Even though this book is mainly about turning website visitors into customers it gives you very good detailed information on how the website visitor’s mind works which in turn helps you design a good UX website.

Web Design for ROI: Turning Browsers into Buyers & Prospects into Leads by Lance Loveday & Sandra Niehaus

This book is similar to Call to Action which goes over statistics of what people are looking for in a website, shopping cart abandonment, etc which in turn helps you design a great UX website.

You can tell if it is a good book if you see a lot of highlighted text and notes written on the side of the page and these two books have a lot of that.

Note: This was before I started using Kindle on a regular basis.

I have several other books on design and layout that go over the looks of the website but do not delve into UX design specifically the books that I mentioned above are more sales orientated but they do go over the psychology of the website visitor which will help you with UX design.

More information and how-tos will be included in the paid version of this course.