Everyone knows design is important when it comes to eCommerce. The saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is just as true online as it is in a magazine or an art gallery. Great design draws customers in and keeps them on your site longer while bad design sends visitors looking for another site.
But design goes beyond simply looking good. Design plays an important role in the overall experience of the users who visit your site just as user experience goes beyond how easy a site is to use. This article will explore some of the top ways design impacts your user experience.
Branding is important for any business. You want a consistent look and message that identifies and represents your company no matter how they encounter it – online or in person.
Your branding also ties into the user experience. If you’re consistent with your branding, that helps customers recognize your store right away. Making sure your logo is clearly displayed is only part of the equation. It also means making sure that all the elements of your site reflect your brand from your content to the colors, fonts, layouts and features.
For first time visitors, the look of your site is extremely important. Again, this goes beyond looking good, though that is obviously very important. The design of your site also conveys what your site is about – does it look like it sells products for women, kids, men, a specific profession or hobby? You’ll want your site to look the way it needs to look to target your core audience.
Going along with the importance of first impression is your bounce rate. As I mentioned earlier, great design draws customers into your site. It tells them they found the right kind of site and it encourages them to stick around and find what they’re looking for. If your site doesn’t look like the kind of site customers searching for your products expect, they may leave. There are many things design conveys in those first crucial seconds someone lands on your page: business name, business type, products sold, brands sold, location, quality and more. If these items aren’t clear to a first-time user, they won’t spend a lot of time searching your site. They’ll just go somewhere else that does tell them this vital information right away.
Design plays a huge part in your conversion rate as well. Buying online can be a little daunting sometimes. If a customer has never seen your product in person, great design can convince them to click the “buy” button. You can create a virtual experience as close to the real thing as possible. Include a lot of pictures from all angles. Allow them to zoom in or show images or videos of your product in action. Provide dimensions, sizes, colors – any details you can to help convince the customer that your product is right for them.
Your product pages can make or break your sales based solely on the information you provide and how you provide it – that’s great design creating a great user experience.
Security is a very important aspect of the user experience. To complete a sale, a customer needs to give you very personal information. If they don’t feel they can trust your website to keep their information secure, they may decide it’s not worth the risk.
Are you asking for too much information? Are any of your processes redundant? How are you assuring your customers that their data is safe? These are all the kinds of questions that designers should consider when creating your site.
Testing and Auditing:
No matter how great your site looks to you, it’s important to keep testing it or seek a professional user experience audit. Consider using Google Analytics to find areas of your site to test. Maybe you add a banner or move your phone number. Maybe you change the colors of your call to action buttons or simplify your categories. There are countless ways to adjust your site’s design to improve your user experience.
If you’re ever interested in a User Experience Audit, ioVista can help you. We can look at your site objectively and make recommendations based on data and 10 years of experience. You’d be surprised what a big difference even small changes can make. If you’d like to learn more about a User Experience Audit for your site, email me or give me a call.
In addition to User Experience Audits, we specialize in redesigning online stores. You can check out some of our recent work in our Before and After Gallery.