If you want to create a highly interactive website, proper UX design is a must. Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that good design is only about making things look pretty.
To create a truly outstanding website, however, you must focus on creating an intuitive and engaging user experience. Every detail in your design should be well-thought and have a purpose and/or benefit. Every colour choice, every button placement, and every pixel must fall right into place.
Enter UX Design.
What do we mean when we say UX design?User experience design (UXD or UX) enhances user satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided during their interaction with a product.
In other words, it's all about making sure that your website visitors have a positive experience when they visit your site.
Why is UX design important?The main goal of proper UX design is to create a website that is easy and enjoyable to use. A well-designed website will keep users engaged and encourage them to come back, while a poorly designed website will do the opposite.
Of course, we know that happy users are also more likely to convert. Positive experiences aren't just about one-time conversions, though.
Creating a positive association with your brand/website/product is critical for building long-lasting relationships (i.e. repeated customers), which in turn increases revenue, lowers marketing and customer support costs, and increases brand awareness and equity
In other words, there are plenty of reasons to make sure that your website is designed with the user experience in mind. And that's where UX design comes in.
10 tips for improving website interactivity via UX design
1. Think from the user's perspectiveThe best UX design is rooted in empathy. You need to think from their perspective to understand and solve users' pain points. This involves getting to know them — their needs, habits, desires, fears, and limitations. Only then can you develop a deep understanding of how they interact with the product.
Conducting user research is one of the most critical stages of any project.
It allows you to obtain first-hand feedback about what works for your target audience and what doesn't. The insights gained at this stage will guide all your future design decisions.
There are many different ways to do user research: surveys, focus groups, interviews, field studies, and usability testing. Your chosen method will depend on your project goals, timeframe, and budget.
If ou're a fan of more structured projects, it could be a good idea to put together a UX research plan as it will help you optimise your research project and clarify your exact steps.
2. Maintain a consistent flow in your website designWhat do we mean by consistent flow? It's about maintaining design consistency with heading sizes, fonts, buttons, colours and spacing.
This isn't just about sticking to your brand colours or specific shapes but also about combining those. Consistent choices make your website's design much better, as unexpected changes in your design will confuse visitors.
A typical example might be a change in your CTA colour. If you have a green button leading to a purchase action and your visitors see it, they will most likely expect ALL of your purchasing CTAs to be green. Placing an orange one instead can confuse them, thus hurting both your interactivity and conversion rates.
3. Add Meaning to Your InteractivityInteractive web design means exactly that - your users will interact with your site. Whatever makes your website look unique will be a better deal for you and encourage visitors to have a fun time navigating through your website.
While some think of interactivity mostly in terms of animations, in reality, you have a wide variety of options. Forms, quizzes, presentations, gamification of features and basically anything else you can turn into a two-way street.
When considering what to implement, don't just go after the aesthetic. Think about what could make the interactive part of your website fun but also meaningful to the user.
For example, Gucci created a website called Gucci of the grid where they advertise their pledge to become a more sustainable brand using recycled and sustainably-sourced materials. The entrance to the website is a quiz that has a double purpose - one, it's making the whole experience much more fun for the visitor and two, they are promoting the main sales points of the collection.
4. Get in on the Action by using White SpaceWhite space is an excellent way of optimising your website for conversions, but it's equally important for user experience. Many studies show that white space significantly contributes to the viewer's attention.
How does white space serve interactivity, though?
By helping users to focus on specific interactive elements of your website, like contact forms and quizzes, of course! If you want your visitors to take a particular action, one way of directing them is to lead them to it by making it the most obvious thing on the page. White space can make your interactive elements pop as much, if not more so than using bright colours and bold text.
Best of all, it's easy to apply on your website, so it's never a wrong option to consider.
5. It's Time to Build a ChatbotWhile some may feel the lack of humans on the other side can be off-putting to users, the benefits greatly outweigh the potential troubles.
Users will often seek ways to learn much more about your products, services, delivery timeframes, etc.; these days, they almost always expect a chat option. If you're relying on customer support, that's great, but if that support isn't online 24/7, you may have a problem.
Users will see your chat icon as an option to get an immediate answer. It can be extremely irritating to them to click on that chat option only to read something like “we will reply as soon as possible."
In this situation, chatbots are of critical importance. In addition to making the website look more contemporary, they will ensure a simple yet timely option to provide your visitors right away with the answers they seek.
If you find the idea of building/using a chatbot somewhat intimidating and don't know where to start. WPBeginner created an excellent guide on the matter that will help you pick a chatbot perfectly suited to your needs.
Remember, chatbots save you human resources AND increase website interactivity.
6. Keep Things SimpleSimplicity is the key to getting rid of unnecessary designs within a website.
While sometimes sacrificing simplicity for aesthetics could be worth it, it's good to remember that fetching design cannot replace efficiency. Nobody wants to visit a website and do brain exercises to find what interests them. If your visitors come to search for a specific item and they have a hard time finding it, they will do the usual - go search someplace else.
On the other hand, we are talking about interactivity, which, according to some, makes the design heavier and busier.
But is it really so?
Let's look at the trendy form builder, Typeform. Since their beginning, they have placed their bets on simple design, and their forms become increasingly minimal each year. In fact, their own website is quite minimalistic and makes excellent use of white space.
Yet, they are one of the most prevalent options people may reach for when they want to create an interactive element on their website. Their sleek, minimal design is living proof that you don't need a lot of bells and whistles to make the user interact with you.
On the contrary, like white space, simplicity can help you promote precisely the element you want by keeping them on focus.
7. Is Your Website Still Slow? Fix it!You should be already striving for a lightning-fast website for various reasons like SEO and bounce rates, but let me add another one.
Say you have executed all the steps we've gone through so far - research, rebranding, redesign, etc. This likely means you have invested significant resources in your website with the hopes of getting a solid return of investment.
Now imagine wasting all those investments as you chase customers away with slow loading speed.
Site speed is literally a competitive advantage, and if you still think a mere second won't make a difference, you need to see some recent stats.
Since website loading speeds greatly affect bounce rate, it’s logical that they should be a part of your UX design plan. Like white spaces and simplicity, fast website speed helps retain the customer and, by proxy, improves your site's interactivity.
If you’re using WordPress as a platform, you can check our guide on turbo-charging your website speed with Redis, LiteSpeed Cache & CloudFlare Railgun.
8. Time to Pay Attention to Your 404s404 error pages might not be the first thing that pops into your mind when thinking of UX design, but I'm here to tell you they are indeed important, and there is a straightforward reason why.
Encountering a 404 error isn't something pleasant. Usually, it makes visitors leave your website with a bad taste in their mouths, especially if what they were looking for was the primary reason for their visit. Users leaving with bad experience is the last thing you want, as discussed in our introduction to why UX design is essential, so you may see the connection here.
Checking for 404 errors should be part of your UX design and shouldn't be a one-time thing. Set a reminder to yourself to run periodic checks for them (you can use a tool like Broken Link Checker ), as 404s happen more often than you think.
Also, as an additional step to relieve the bad experience of not finding what they want, you can offer your customers a fun and engaging 404 error page, as we did and still have a small interactivity win.
9. Microinteractions for Macro-effectMicrointeractions are a part of user experience and design, but unlike other elements on this list, they don't necessarily need to be baked into the design from the start.
Microinteractions can be added as you go and usually come in small, self-contained units with a single purpose that revolves around a single use case.
Microinteractions are everywhere, and you've probably seen them multiple times without even realising it. A simple "Like” button on Facebook or a progress bar showing how much time is left until the download is complete are all examples of microinteractions.
While they might seem like a small thing, microinteractions can significantly improve the interactivity of your website by providing users with quick and easy way to do what they need without having to navigate away from the page.
Including microinteractions as part of your UX design can be a great way to increase customer engagement and loyalty while also making your website more interactive.
10. Make use of A/B Testing for Optimal EffectA/B testing consists of comparing two versions of a web page to see which one performs better in terms of conversion rate or other metrics. I
It’s a great way to fine-tune your website and improve its interactivity by testing different design elements and seeing which works better for your audience.
A/B testing can be used for pretty much anything, from the colour of a button to the placement of elements on a page. The important thing is to have a clear goal in mind and to make sure that the two versions you're testing are as similar as possible, with only one element being different.
Running A/B tests is a great way to improve the interactivity of your website as it allows you to test different design elements and see which ones work better for your audience.
Looking for some A/B testing tools and unsure where to start? Check out this amazing guide by Hubspot.
Bonus tip: Why Not Ask Your Visitors for Feedback?If you want to improve the visitor experience, what can be more fun than listening to their feedback? To succeed in doing this, you can either use a separate space for your users where they share their thoughts on your website's UX or even add a survey.
Alternatively, you can ask them directly about what more you can do to improve the web experience. So, these methods allow them to give you an honest opinion about your website. This creates a stronger bond between you and your visitors and gives you an advantage.
After all, the best business is the one that listens the most to its consumers.
Wrapping It UpImproving the interactivity of your website is vital if you want to keep your visitors engaged and coming back for more.
Having some thoughts on how to improve the interactivity of your website? Let us know down the comment section!