5 UX Issues You Can Fix Without Any Design
Maybe you’re not hitting your sales goals. Or perhaps you’ve noticed customers are calling with the same complaints or they’re bouncing away from your site in record numbers.
But when something is amiss, it can be a real challenge to pinpoint where, exactly, things went wrong.
Of course, this is about the time where you might consider hiring a UX designer or enlisting the help of an agency. But, we should mention, there are several UX fixes that just about anyone can do—whether or not they know how to design, code, or perform usability testing.
This article will look at some of the key things preventing users from having a great experience—from common technical issues like page speed and 404 errors to navigation mistakes and content problems.
Let’s dive on in, shall we?
1. Basic Technical Flaws
If your users are stuck waiting for pages to load, they won’t hang around to find out if it was worth the wait.
Site speed is one of the most important elements in the user experience, and it directly impacts your conversions and ultimately, revenue.
For a little context, if a website takes more than three seconds to load, more than half of your users will leave. This means a large percentage of visitors form a negative opinion about your product or service before they see anything.
Fortunately, it’s easy to find out if there’s a problem. Head over to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and they’ll give you a score ranging from 1-100 (worst to best).
What’s more, once you receive your score, Google gives you a list of things you can do to reduce load times.
Check Out Your Redirects
Redirects; whether they’re 404s or 301s can have a negative impact on both UX and SEO.
Think about it, it’s disappointing when you click on a link and you’re met with this familiar message: “404 Page Not Found.”
On your end, it’s a missed opportunity to sell a product or connect with a new customer. On the customer side, errors mean they’ll quickly click the back button and go to a competitor to find the information they need.
We should also mention, too many redirects will slow your site down.
How to Find Redirects
There are countless tools out there that perform redirect audits for you—there’s this no-frills free checker, Redirect Checker, or SaaS products like Moz that include redirects as part of their reporting package.
Additionally, a tool called Redirect Path is super useful—it’s a Chrome extension that gives you insights into every redirect happening on your site.
Still, some redirects are necessary. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that you’d use when you move a deleted page to a new URL. The benefit is, Google gives the new link the same value as the old URL. Use these sparingly, as again, too many redirects will weigh down your site (or cause it not to work)—stick to top performers only.
To View Traffic From Redirects
So, you’ll want to run a redirect audit to determine what percentage of your traffic is coming from these useless pages.
An easy way to do this is to head over to Google’s Campaign URL Builder and set up a campaign. The image below shows you how to get set up.
Then, after the requisite 24-48 hours, you’ll be able to see the results in your GA account under: Real-Time Traffic Sources and under Acquisition Campaigns, All Campaigns.
2. Your Site Is Full of Off-Putting Pop-Ups
If you’re like most brands, you’re using pop-ups as an attempt to increase conversions. However, it’s easy to get them wrong. The pop-up is a delicate art. A well-thought-out pop-up can improve UX, if the right message is delivered at the perfect time.
A few places where pop-ups can go wrong:
Irritating Entry Pop-Ups
Pop-ups that show up the second users land on the site is disruptive to the browsing process. Yes, brands do this all the time, but they can tank your UX.
We get it, you need to capture leads. We recommend delaying entry pop-ups, so the visitor has time to take in your site before being asked to do something. Change the settings so a pop-up is triggered after a few seconds or when the user has scrolled to a certain point on the page.
All Users See the Same Offer
Pop-ups will only be well-received if you present a solution to the visitor’s problem. Of course, those problems and solutions aren’t going to look the same for every prospect.
And, treating everyone the same means alienating some or all of your audience. When you’re trying to identify user segments, approach it by trying to figure out what the customer thinks.
Segmentation might divide new versus returning users, cold leads versus hot prospects, and so on. It might also mean your popups are geo-targeted, so users in different locations receive a different offer.
Finally, visitors at different stages in the sales funnel should receive different offers, as well. Figure out what someone might need at the awareness stage when they’re just trying to gather information. How does that compare with a prospect who is about to make a purchase?
If you decide to use pop-ups, divide offers like this:
1. Early-stage: Awareness and interest, no hard sells
2. Middle-stage: Consideration, showcase features, benefits, and why your brand is different
3. Late-stage: Evaluation, time to close the deal
Finally, we should mention that knowing the customer means more than guessing what they might want in a solution. You’ll need to conduct interviews, surveys, and gather feedback to inform these decisions.
Visitors See the Same Pop-ups, Over and Over
Seeing a pop-up one time, fine. But, over and over, regardless of whether you subscribed or declined the offer is annoying.
If you’re trying to improve your site’s UX, you need to look for the areas your visitors are likely to find most annoying.
One way to improve UX with minimal effort is to reduce the frequency of your pop-ups. Change your settings so that users don’t see the same thing more than once every week.
3. You’ve Got Navigation Problems
Nothing is worse than a confusing navigation process. Navigation refers to the map and directions of a website. And how the site presents those directions is directly correlated with the user’s all-around experience.
Navigation should guide users toward a specific goal. Done right, it enhances a user’s understanding of a product, answers a question, and lends credibility to the product/service.
Bad navigation, on the other hand, lowers conversions and frustrates would-be consumers.
A few content “don’ts” to keep in mind:
Deviate from the Norm
Everyone wants to stand out in a sea of competitors. Navigation is one area where sticking to the standard trumps originality most of the time. Here, we’ve included an example of straightforward navigation—clean, simple, easy to understand.
In this example, the navigation bar is inexplicably placed in the middle of the page. Visitors could easily miss the navigation and have trouble figuring out where to go next.
The Menu Doesn’t Stand Out
While Superior Web Solutions has done a good job naming their tabs, the menu doesn’t stand out. Everything on the homepage is treated the same—there’s too much text, and we don’t get a sense of what we’re supposed to do here.
There’s No Clear Path
Look at the example of dating site Plenty of Fish. While we know what the site is supposed to accomplish, first-time visitors may find themselves confused. The sign up form is on the home page and the navigation options make little sense.
What is the difference between the “Meet Me” “Search” and “Online” tabs? What does the chemistry tab mean?
You’re Using a Drop-down Menu
Drop-down menus are a UX killer. They encourage users to skip over important content—causing low numbers on the pages that contain the most valuable information. In other words, it’s the opposite of how this is supposed to work.
The one exception to the no drop-down rule is a really large drop-down menu—but this works best if you have a really large site that requires several sections.
4. Evaluate Your Content
UX isn’t so much about what you provide, but how you make people feel. And content is one way that brands can foster stronger connections with their audience.
But, you need to deliver high-quality resources. If you’re asking for an email opt-in in exchange for an eBook, that eBook better deliver. If your users see that your resources are cobbled together from scraped content, they will be disappointed.
Focus on being helpful first and sharing your product/service second. This allows you to build trust with your audience.
With that in mind, here are a couple of things to consider as you look through your content.
Content Isn’t Relevant
Prospective customers are interested in one thing: “how can you help me?”
When your content fails to answer this question upfront, users don’t have a clear sense of what they’re doing on your website.
Content in the form of videos, blogs, and images can influence a visitor and entice them to make a purchase. Just make sure you’ve thoroughly researched your audience and understand their pain points.
You Don’t Emphasize High-Priority Information
Before you dive into blog content, eBooks, and newsletters, make sure your site does the following:
- Offers contact information in a visible area
- Navigation labels communicate exactly what users will see on the page
- Font and color scheme are easy to read
- Visual assets match brand goals, and
- On-page content matches calls-to-action
The point is, consumers—whether they’re coming in with no context or they’ve visited several times—should be able to look at your website and have a clear picture of what you do.
When you do start considering blogs and other written resources, spend more time on the planning stage. Content should look at the biggest problems facing your audience. Seek to educate and provide some tips for how visitors can help themselves.
5. It Takes Too Long to Complete a Task
Among the top reasons for abandonment during checkout: the process was too long and too complicated.
Visitors must be able to easily find what they need and pay for it. If the shipping options are too involved, your checkout forms have too many fields, or there’s some other issue with completing a task, that’s a poor experience.
When you demand too much from a prospective customer, something called cognitive load suffers. This is the amount of mental processing required to complete a task.
So, when something like subscribing to a newsletter requires more processing power than necessary, friction goes up.
While the checkout page is the most obvious place to measure task completion, sign-up and onboarding processes are other areas that can cause friction.
Even something as simple as this QuickBooks login adds a little more friction than necessary, by requiring users to enter both an email and phone number to log in.
One way to combat sign-up friction is by employing a one-click sign-up process. Canva’s solution simply allows you to use your Google or Facebook account to sign in. This way, new visitors might say, “hey I’ll give it a try,” since they don’t have to come up with a new password, confirm the account, and so on.
Wrapping it up
When it comes to reducing churn and increasing conversions, it’s best to go back to basics to identify the problem(s). Fixing smaller things like the spacing in your blog content or the frequency of your pop-up offers can make a big difference in your conversion rate.
Still, more work may need to be done. After you’ve improved load times and cut back on redirects, it’s time to look toward optimizing the user experience—starting with the research stage.
UXOps works with you to continually optimize your site’s UX. Contact us today to learn how our research team can help you reach your goals—whether it’s more conversions or better reviews.
Click here for your free UX checklist—things you can fix without any design savvy.