9 Golden Rules to Make Your Website UX Flawless—Backed by Psychological Research
Your products and services are excellent, but your sales are staggering? Don’t worry. Converting prospects into returning customers is a tedious and bumpy road for everyone. But there’s one thing that solves a big chunk of that problem—good user experience. To create an excellent UX, follow these 9 researched-based design principles.
The more options available to execute a particular task, the more time it takes to complete it. In the world of UX, it means keeping things on your website simple for your potential customers.
- Don’t bother your customers with numerous pop-ups wherever their pointer hovers
- Don’t make users fill in multiple forms if they only want to make a single purchase
This law doesn’t apply to complex situations requiring in-depth analysis. But when it comes to shopping online, Hick’s law should be one of the top rules to follow to improve your UX, regardless of what you’re selling.
Relating to human-computer communication, Fitts’ law claims that the time a person needs to move the mouse pointer to a particular point depends on the size of the goal and the distance to it. The Fitts’s law applies to the physical movement of the hand and the on-screen movement of the mouse pointer.
To boost UX with Fitts’ law, arrange important elements on your site in a way that makes it convenient for the user to reach them. Also, remember about the size of those valuable elements—the more noticeable the better.
If your users spend more time on your competitors’ websites, it means they expect your site to work in a way they’re already familiar with. Here are some of the user-preferred patterns: search bar in the upper right corner, brand logo in the lower left corner, etc.
Get to know your competitors’ sites, find UX elements your site lacks, and then incorporate those into your own website. But remember, it’s not about copying after your competition but getting inspired by it. Tweak and modify the features to target the expectations of your customers even better.
Law of Prägnanz
People tend to perceive complex and ambiguous images in the simplest form possible. This involuntary approach requires the least amount of conscious engagement. To avoid unnecessary confusion caused by fancy and abstract graphics, bet on simplicity—primary shapes breathe power and familiarity. They also help your customers navigate through your site more efficiently.
Law of Proximity
The human eye seeks connections and groups elements placed close to each other. To create a user-friendly layout, you need to arrange and group specific elements present on your site so that they create a coherent unity. Cluttered space with multiple different elements confuses the viewer, disrupting the message and intention of the design.
An average person is capable of storing 5–9 elements in short-term memory. The number varies depending on the kind of information required to memorize (sound, taste, image, number), but usually equals 7.
You can apply Miller’s law to organize products available in your eCommerce store. By grouping items into 5 to 9 categories instead of listing them, you help your customers find what they need faster. This is especially useful for new customers who can promptly familiarize themselves with the structure and organization of the store.
Serial Position Effect
Users tend to better remember the first and the last element in a list, on a website, etc. To leverage this phenomenon in UX, structure your website so that the content with the highest selling potential is placed where it makes the biggest and longest impression on the user.
For example, put the main benefit of a product at the beginning of its description. After listing other features, finalize the product page with the much appreciated “free shipping” perk. The main benefit and the perk will stay in the memory of your customers for longer, increasing your chances to sell.
Von Restorff Effect
Humans have a natural ability to memorize objects different and distinctive from their surrounding elements.
By playing with color and arrangement of elements on your website, you can imprint the memory of the product in the customer’s subconscious. A well-thought layout with subtle persuasive techniques in mind is the key to selling online. To put it in the words of eCommerce, make the “proceed to payment” button the most visible element during the checkout process.
People are inclined to remember unfinished and interrupted tasks than finalized ones. A practical example of the Zeigarnik effect: a waitress better remembers the guests who haven’t yet paid than she does those who have already left the restaurant.
That said, users are more likely finalize a task if they can track their progress. As users move from one stage of a process to another, show their progress in percentages. Even a small step such as registration should amount to something in the eye of the user. Most of us exhibit a desire to reach that 100% mark rather than leave the process at an awkward 34% 🙂
User Experience is Important
As I already said, the road to good UX and high conversion rates is a bumpy one. But there are numerous tips and tricks you can start using today to improve both. The 9 rules above will help you create a website that aligns with the needs and natural behaviors of your users. Remember to monitor all changes with an A/B testing and a thorough analytics of user on-site behavior. If you need a hand in redesigning your website or developing one from scratch, we’ll be happy to help you out.