Design 27 July 2022

How to Strategically Plan Your Website Design for Ease of Use

Katie Brenneman

7 min read
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When a website design is challenging to navigate, it ruins the user experience.

Inaccessible content can prevent huge groups of people from enjoying your site. They may scrap their purchase when they can’t connect with additional support, and when branding is off, people won’t recognize you.

As a result, your sales and business’s reputation may plummet. Instead, boost your retail sales and brand awareness through a carefully designed website that puts the user experience at the forefront. 

If you’re an e-commerce business owner looking to make your website easy to use, this guide can help. Here’s how to optimize your site, so visitors have the best experience possible.

Define the Customer Journey

Defining the customer journey is an essential first step in strategically planning your website design for ease of use. You must determine where website visits fall in your customer’s overall journey with your brand. In addition, it’s essential to map out how visitors navigate your website.

By doing this, you can create a website that connects with visitors no matter where they are in their customer journey and one that guides them to the next step in that customer journey.

Also, think about your staff’s role in the back end. Website visitors will reach out to your team for help at some point. You don’t want them to have to repeat the same story to every department they interact with. Instead, eliminate silos within your organization so that your visitors can have a seamless experience even if they travel away from your website and interact with another part of your business.

When you define the customer journey, you can create a website that compliments it.

Focus on Clean Navigation

If you want visitors to get frustrated, leave your website, and never come back, present them with a maze for site navigation. On the other hand, if you want them to stay, enjoy their experience, and take something with them, give your visitors the most painless site navigation you can provide them.

Only add necessary categories to your navigation bar. Give every page a name that makes sense. Ensure each page makes good use of white space and organize the content, so it’s easy to digest. Ensure all links work too.

In addition, fuel the customer experience by making it easy for customers to interact with you on your site. For instance, implement chatbots so that they can ask for help, and make it easy for visitors to connect with a live person from those chatbots should they need it. Consider creating an FAQ page, customer portal, or knowledge base as well.

In the end, clean navigation is a critical step in designing an easy-to-use website.

Implement a Responsive Web Design

According to recent user experience statistics: “If a website isn’t mobile-friendly, 50% of users will use it less even if they like the business.” So, even if you’ve got what they need, visitors may never go to your site if they can’t do it on their mobile devices.

A responsive web design ensures your site is optimized for mobile devices. Your website will be navigable, load correctly, maintain its speed, and adjust to the screen type and size no matter the device someone uses with a responsive website design. 

Ensure visitors have a good experience no matter the device they use.

Ensure Your Site is Accessible

Accessibility is crucial to designing an easy-to-use website. People with diverse abilities will visit your site. The last thing you want to do is contribute to them feeling neglected or unwelcome because they can’t access or enjoy certain parts of your website.

Instead, make it easy for a diverse pool of people to use your website by prioritizing accessibility. First, learn the main web accessibility requirements. Next, do an accessibility audit on your site with those requirements in mind to compile a list of website elements you need to improve. Then, work on the most prominent accessibility issues on your website one by one.

Enlisting the help of users living with various disabilities is also a good idea. They can give you feedback on how easy or difficult it is for them to use your site with varying abilities. And you can use their suggestions to improve the accessibility of your site.

Drive a pleasant user experience by ensuring your site is accessible to everyone.

Commit to Good Cybersecurity

You’re asking for and processing sensitive information from visitors on your e-commerce website. All it takes is one successful attempt from a cybercriminal to ruin a visitor’s experience.

So, secure your visitors’ personal information with top-tier cybersecurity measures. Use network diagramming to visualize the components that make up your site’s network and how they interact with and relate to one another. You can then implement the best security measures for each element to ensure your network is wholly protected.

Ensure your site is secure so visitors can navigate and interact with it comfortably.

Roll Out Site Updates One by One

At some point, you’re going to make updates to your website. Unfortunately, updates can sometimes be disruptive to the user experience, especially if you do many of them at once and don’t inform your customers about them.

Rolling out site updates one by one and divulging details about the update is the least disruptive to the user experience. This way, users have an opportunity to interact with those updates and make an informed judgment on whether they improve or detract from your website.

If you have to roll out multiple site updates at once, explain each in detail to ensure your visitors know their experience may change in more than one way.

Rolling out site updates one by one and allowing users to digest them is integral to continually improving your website and learning what your customers actually want.

Welcome Lots of Feedback

What’s easy to use for you may not be easy for your visitors. It isn’t wise to go by what you think your users would want. Instead, go by what they tell you. Welcome lots of feedback from your customers and website visitors. Solicit it whenever you can.

For example, send out a user experience survey after someone makes a purchase. You could ask for a quick rating in real-time when a visitor attempts to leave your site. You could also ask for feedback on your social media pages through polls and conversations about your website. 

The more your users share their experience with your website, the better.

Conclusion

It significantly boosts the customer experience when you plan your website design for ease of use. When visitors can find what they’re looking for when they need it, they’re more inclined to return to your site and ultimately convert. So, use the tips above to prepare an e-commerce website that keeps your users’ needs and wants at the forefront.

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About our Guest Author: Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in digital marketing content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.

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