10 Principles for Outstanding Web Design, User Experience and Usability

User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are important for an ecommerce website to ensure a potential visitor becomes a customer that buys your products or services. Ensure your website has an optimized ecommerce shopping cart design including sufficient use of whitespace, visual checkout process, clear description of each section, product summary, testimonials and product ratings, shipping details, clear call-to-action buttons (CTA), color contrast and more. Visual elements are important to the success of a website since they help improve conversion rates and user experience.

Two crucial factors to be looked into and enhance when attempting to do so are (1) user experience (how much customers enjoy the experience your website) and (2) usability (the ease of use of your website). This can be done in a few different ways which we have discussed below:

1. User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX):

User interface and user experience (UI/UX) should be at the forefront of your omni-channel strategy. Top rated ecommerce websites continuously improve their search technology to improve their user interface & user experience (UI/UX) and promote their products relevance at the same time. Amazon, eBay, Buy.com and Staples have already better UX on PC’s, mobiles and tablets and as a result they have more customer retention than the websites with bad user experience. You should design a clean layout which must be easily accessible from all devices – desktop, mobile and tablets. You should do UX testing or usability testing on your website in order to understand what users do and why they do it? The big internet marketing giants like Google, Twitter, eBay and Amazon have incredible UI which has a direct impact on their consumers. These companies continuously test every aspect of their online business with loyal consumers to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction.

2. Web Design Process: Is it Simple?

Passionate web designers often end up overestimating the role that design has to play in drawing customers to the website. These impede buyers/customers – thanks to all the clutter they produce – and make it more difficult for them to accomplish what they set out to.

So how do you achieve such simplicity? Just take the simpler route with each decision – in the colors you choose and in the fonts you go for, for starters. Also, restrict the use of graphics only to places where they add value or perform a function.

3. Visual Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy refers to the ordering and organization of the content and other elements of a website such that customers naturally gravitate towards the elements most relevant to you first. It is important to remember here that if visitors to your website do not find the visual hierarchy natural and indulgent of their needs, they are bound to leave the website in search of greener pastures.

You can control user movement through your website by structuring the spacing, color, position and size of elements such that visitors are drawn to certain areas of the screen first.

A couple of pointers that can help you here are:

  • Place the call to action (CTA) at a prominent position on the webpage and use a fill color that stands out from its background.
  • Remember that an overwhelming majority of visitors scan webpages from the left to the right. Thus, it makes more sense to place elements important to you towards the center-left.

4. Make Good Use of Typography:

Typography is quite simply, the art and technique of arranging various elements on your website. It’s more about the skills of a designer and making the words legible. Your choice of typeface and how you make it work with your web layout, grid, design theme, color scheme, font and so on will make the difference between a good, bad and great design. Some of the most important typographic considerations that a professional web designer needs to take into account include tracking & kerning, choosing a font, leading, text block measurement, hierarchy & scale and more.

Outstanding Web Design, User Experience and Usability Principles – Infographic:


Infographic Source: webdesignledger

5. How Navigable is Your Website?

The simple and effective principle here is: keep it easy for your customer. The online logistics – moving from A to B – should be kept as simple as possible. That is to say, visitors shouldn’t have to think about their next steps. Some key methods used by designers to simplify navigation are:

  • In the footer of your webpage, include a navigation option.
  • Allow users to search for keywords. Conventionally, this search bar is placed on top of a webpage.
  • Includes links as part of the page content, and offer clarity as to where these lead to.
  • Lastly, keep navigation consistent across pages on your website.

6. Design of your Website Must be Consistent

It is extremely important that the web design is kept consistent across pages so as to allow your visitors to take in all elements of your brand and form strong impressions of them. This includes look and feel – fonts, colors, backgrounds etc. – and even the tone of your writing.

Feel free to play around with different layouts for different types – e.g. landing pages, informational pages etc. The trick is to stay consistent across similar pages while being experimental with different types of pages!

7. Accessibility on Different Devices/Responsive Design

To allow users to have a great experience, it is imperative in today’s age that your website must be accessible on all devices (mobile, tablets, PC’s), operating systems, and browsers. This essentially means shifting to responsive website design that allows content to be automatically reshuffled and resized to fit the device you are accessing it on.

8. Conventionality Matters

Think of an e-commerce website. What does the shopping cart look like? Where is it placed on the webpage? You find that you have clear images of all these conventions. These are conventions that internet users have grown used to over the past decades. To break certain conventions simply isn’t worth the effort and following them can be rewarding. Some areas to focus on in this regard are:

  • Logo: This is conventionally placed at the top left or Centre of the page
  • Is clickable options in such a way that the visitor is always able to return to your homepage with just a click.
  • Navigation: This is usually placed on the top left in a menu format.
  • Links should change color when you roll your mouse over them.

9. Credibility

The web designing conventions mentioned above can offer credibility – i.e. the amount of trustworthiness your website offers. Here are a few pointers to improve your site’s credibility:

  • Be honest and clear about your products or services
  • Make your pricing available on the website

10. Has Your Website User-Centered Design (UCD)?

To cut a long story short, simply bear in mind that you need to be mindful of the preferences of your end users. These could be different from your own in many cases. Also, perform user testing, collect feedback, and implement the proposed changes. Some of the popular user testing software out there are Crazy Egg, Loop11 and The User is drunk! Try out all these in your web design endeavor, and you should be sorted.

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