Tom Starley Consultancy

Well, that’s a big ol’ question!

The truth is that very few organisations or products get everything 100% right 100% of the time, and that’s to be expected! …But as a novice, there are some questions that you can ask to start uncovering where you may be letting your users down through bad UX, and knowing the UX problem is half the solution! These questions are good basic starting points to help you improve conversion if you are new to UX.

Ask yourself:

1. How old is your site? So much has changed over last few years and user experience is finally getting the publicity and investment is deserves – Woohoo! As it has come into its own relatively recently though, if your site hasn’t been radically overhauled in the last 3 years or so, it’s very likely it will not be the best from a ux standpoint.

2. Does your site visually represent your business? As discussed in this blog post, if a prospect cannot understand what you do and why that benefits them within 5 seconds of landing on and interacting with your site, your not providing good user experience.

3. Does your site “feature” distracting animations? – Following on from point 2, if any animation that you do use is not helping people get what you do and why that helps them, it’s a UX problem and just unnecessary visual noise that’ll lead to a poor experience.

4. Is your site optimised for mobile? – This is not optional any more! If someone has to turn their smart device, pinch to manipulate the screen or scroll side to side to be able to see the content, they are not going to hang around. As a side note, Google penalises sites that aren’t mobile friendly so you’ll lose out on natural rankings and people landing on your site in the first place if you don’t go mobile friendly!

5. Is the content geared towards the user?…honestly? – Or is a business or product owner practising “self design?” When decision making stems from what one person wants or feels they need, it is not going to work unless they are the exact intended audience (which they almost never are!)

6. Is your site slow? – This is a huge UX issue. 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load! You definitely can’t provide a prospect with a great experience on your site if they’ve left already …Check out this post about loading times and UX.

7. Do you use stock photography? – Marketeer Jeff Bullas states that content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images – can’t ignore a stat like that! But, images should be great quality and super relevant, which let’s face it, stock photos often just aren’t. Using photos of your actual product, customers, employees etc is vastly preferable, more believable and relatable to your prospect… and in most cases, infinitely less cheesy!

8. Are your signup forms putting people off? – Users really hate long sign up forms… I mean you do too right?! Forms should be as short as possible. If you ask too much from your user too soon, you’re going to be negatively impacting on your conversion rates in a big way! Handy tip – in general users far prefer social login. This study found that most people feel websites should offer a social sign up, companies that do are perceived more innovative and that the majority of people are more likely to return to a site that “welcomes them through social login.”

9. Are you using pop ups? – Pop ups are useful to a returning visitor who wants what you’re offering… New visitors not so much. Popups drive people crazy. Whenever I land on a site and am immediately presented with a pop up, I’m gone. Use with caution. The same goes for auto-playing music, don’t put your prospect through that (well unless you’re a musician …then it’s maybe ok …just.)

10. Do you use Captcha forms? – Oh yeah! Another captcha form to fill in! …said no one ever. Studies have been done to determine the effects of Captcha forms on conversion rates. Check out this post on Moz for more in depth info but bottom line is Captcha’s kill conversion!

11. Can people easily contact you directly? – Whilst a contact form is good way of getting together an email list, it really shouldn’t be the one and only way a user can get in touch with you. From a trust point of view, letting anyone that needs to contact you via their preferred channel be it email, phone, social media goes a long way!

12. Are there inconsistencies in communication? – Consumers have come to expect (and rightfully so!) consistency and uniformity across every stage of interaction. This means tone of voice, navigation, brand colours – everything right down to your email footer is relevant and shouldn’t be overlooked when crafting an excellent user experience.

13. Is your user interface intuitive? Bias makes this hard to judge for yourself but it is so important! Users need clear instruction or an obvious flow to follow. People haven’t got the time to be bothered learning how to navigate your app or website, if it’s not intuitive, they are going to churn.

14. Are your visitors converting? If your prospective customers aren’t taking whatever action you are encouraging them to; making a purchase or enquiry, signing up to your newsletter, downloading your e-book etc it’s very likely there’s a UX problem at the root of it.

15. Are people frustrated? This should be a fairly obvious indicator that something is amiss! If you are getting frustrated customer feedback or repeating user support requests, there’s a UX issue (or quite likely issues!) that need addressing.

So, there’s 15 questions, the answers to which should shine a light on some of the more obvious and common UX problems. But facts are ALWAYS better than assumptions and I always advocate of user testing. So…

16. Are you asking your users?! – User testing done properly is probably the one, sure fire way to uncover if and where your users experience problems, so don’t’ shy away from it!

Hi, I'm Tom! A UX/UI specialist and founder. I'm passionate about increasing conversion and revenue for growing online companies through expert UX/UI design and consultancy.

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