Here are a few tips which will help you create websites and user interfaces that offer a magnificent user experience and in turn, repeat visitors.
Deliver an Experience
People often put more emphasis on their feelings and first impressions than on the information presented on a site. The entire focus of a user interface should be touching or selling to our hearts. The information itself is not as important as the emotional effect on the audience.
This is why UX design is an integral part in making the web work. The design should be efficient in its combination of text, graphics, layout and miscellaneous interactive elements so that users have a great experience and not just the dry informational view.
Since websites have become more complex with a large volume of information, it is important for sites to create differentiators in terms of design and approach. The best sites offer visuals, a story and content which makes the visitor emote.
People Don't Read
If you can scan your site, it is bound to succeed. Visitors generally do not read websites and infographics have become standard fare as they marry visuals and data to deliver impact.
People also scan subheads to get the gist of the story, not the details. So making the interface scannable will make it easier for your audience.
Make it Simple
Visitors have about 0.5 seconds to decide it they would like to continue exploring a site or back out. This means your first impression must be great. Interfaces now need to guide the visitor to act so they are not confused as to what you want them to do. An uncluttered site makes it clear and precise about the calls to action. Calls to action can include a way to message the business, book an appointment or even pay online. Calls to action must be straight-forward, easy to use and most of all, obvious.
A consistent design helps users to associate with the brand since the components, behaviors, colors and the like are similar in every page reducing the effort that users would take to rethink.
Weigh Creativity & Common Design Patterns
Innovating new UI patterns is a tough ask, but one should first make use of commonly known patterns. Users need not be pushed to think too hard about common elements. Most interfaces are known to users and elements should function as expected. Buttons should look like buttons. Login access should be in the upper right hand corner, while logos and company names should rest in the upper left hand corner.
Too much creativity can lessen impact as it's just too busy, too much to comprehend. It might seem really cool to do something nontraditional, but that doesn't mean your users will use the feature. Usability and creativity should be well balanced. Usability is one of the first factors in creating a website so don't let your creativity over shadow it.
Capture the User's Attention Immediately
It is important to capture attention so the user scrolls down or clicks the calls to action you have guided them to on the page. The experience is more important than the information as your mission is to navigate the user deeper into your site. Make sure the home page is simple, clear and offers a good impression, motivating the user to continue the journey.
Scrolling & Clicking
Today's websites are vertically longer and more clickable. Ten years ago, scrolling was taboo due to speed issues. Now, it's preferred since it's faster than paging and less complex.
So keep the user experience a priority when building your next site. Your focus should be on delivering the highest quality site possible to capture, entertain and retain users.