5 UX Design Tips To Improve Your Website’s First Impressions

The numbers don’t lie: First impressions matter.

88% of users won’t revisit a website if they have a negative experience on it and 61% say that if they don’t find what they’re looking for within about five seconds, they’ll go to another site. Neglecting your user experience (UX) is critical to your brand and a major business differentiator.

Visitors will form lasting first impressions of your business and brand based on a single user experience on their mobile and/or desktop devices. This is why it’s essential to keep both mobile and desktop design in mind from a business prospective.

The Need for UX Design

User experiences that are mobile-friendly, intuitive, creative, and seamless aren’t just a nice-to-have anymore — they’re an absolute must and are essential to your website’s overall functionality and brand experience.

According to Oberlo, in August 2023, 55.5% of all web traffic came through mobile phones, with the average for 2023 so far coming in at 56.69%. Moreover, 40% of people search only on their smartphones. Seventy-four percent of online users are likely to revisit a website if it is mobile-friendly and according to a survey, 38% of people look at a website’s page layout or navigational links when visiting a website for the first time. In comparison, 42% of people would leave a website because of poor functionality, showcasing the need for accessible web designs.

But the good news is offenses like these can certainly be avoided. So, how do you ensure your website leaves a glowing first impression on your visitors?

How to Create Great User Experiences

UX design, or user experience design, is an interdisciplinary practice that focuses on the ways in which real people actually want to interact with your website or products. UX designers seek to develop products that are user-centered, helpful, and above all, a joy to use.

When a website exceeds its visitors’ expectations—especially the ones they didn’t know they had—it establishes your credibility, builds trust, and evokes a sense of wonder, keeping them coming back.

By investing in user experiences, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a more engaging digital strategy that delights visitors and converts them into leads.

Check out these five practical tips to improve your user experiences.

1. Research, Research, Research.

UX design can be a long iterative process, so be prepared to fail and pivot. For a smoother, strategic design process, we recommend conducting user research to get to know the pain points and desires of your ideal clients. To do this, start by interviewing current and prospective visitors.

Implement focus groups and interviews, and get creative with group interviews over a Miro board. Engage, ask questions about your ideal clients’ current struggles and dreams, and pay attention to the trends that surface. Once you’ve analyzed the results, define your user personas and their current journeys.

2. Build a Clear Navigation

As humans, we desire clarity. What am I doing here? And, where am I going? Clear navigation simplifies your visitors’ experience by guiding them toward meaningful actions.

So, how do you create clear and effective navigation?

As user experiences continue to evolve, the allure of minimalism remains a constant. To help your visitors find exactly what they’re looking for in the shortest amount of time, minimize the number of options.

We recommend sticking to five main items or less for your primary navigation bar, excluding the homepage. Most digital natives already know to click on your logo.

Keep your website goal-oriented. You want visitors to be intrigued by your homepage and captivated by your content. Ask yourselves, what do I want the visitors to do most? Make sure they understand that message loud and clear on a first scan of your homepage.

If composed effectively, they’ll naturally want to learn more about your amazing business and services. Perhaps they’ll even feel compelled to reach out for a free consultation or opt in for updates about that brand new online course you’re launching.

Every webpage has one main goal: to help visitors navigate their way toward becoming engaged leads and, ultimately, delighted customers. To do this, craft clear calls-to-action (CTAs) and place them in prime locations on your website so you’re accompanying your visitors every step of the way.

Begin your CTAs with highly actionable direction followed by specific keywords that describe your offer. For example, “Download our eBook to gain access to marketing insights from 100 industry leaders.” This helps visitors know exactly what they’re opting in for, and it holds you accountable to deliver on that promise.

3. Design a Mobile-First Approach

Google predominantly uses the mobile version of a site’s content, crawled with the smartphone agent, for indexing and ranking. To ensure your site’s visibility and organic search rankings, make sure your website is mobile responsive.

Although our strong recommendation is to actually go to a mobile-first approach, which will allow you to save design time by doing the hard work of thinking how your brand, content and strategy will fit those mobile visitors first and then consider how that design will be amplified for larger screens, to create an easy, clean and beautiful user experience regardless of their device. Providing you with a website that will scale, adapting to new devices or screens that are invented in the future.

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4. Use Familiar Site Layouts

Predictable layouts follow the principle of least effort, or Zipf’s law, which states that humans seek to exert “the least amount of effort” to complete any given action.

In other words, familiar layouts provide efficiency and ease, and they save time. If a website appears cumbersome within the first 50 milliseconds, visitors will click out and find a new one that serves their needs in a shorter amount of time.

Effective layouts help visitors focus on what they came for, the content. Familiar features empower visitors to intuitively navigate your site because they already know the lay of the land. For inspiration on some tried and true layouts, we love this post by Adobe about the best website designs to inspire you in 2023.

5. Create Great Content

“Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.” —Jeffrey Zeldman

When it comes to discussions on user experience, we often get stuck on design. But yes, UX involves content, too. After all, content is king.

For starters, develop a writing process that delivers consistent value.

Always keep in mind that written content must be both readable and skimmable. To do this, you have to break up heavy chunks of text to capture limited attention spans. Maintain a clean hierarchy through thoughtful heading structure, and give quality quotes the prominence they deserve via call-outs.

The writing matters, too. Eliminate passive voice and avoid most “being” verbs if you can. And write with authority.

Your website should be your number one source for lead generation. Don’t think your website delivers the user experience your visitors deserve? Don’t worry. We’ve all been there.

For more detailed tips to improve your site’s conversion rates, check out our guide to 7 UX Laws for B2B Websites compiled by our talented team of conversion strategists.

Want to learn more about how we create great UX and content experiences? Let’s chat.

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