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We exist to make your business thrive and our greatest reward is our returning clients. Our focus is and always will be on our clients and not on industry awards and accreditations, which could account for why we’ve won so many of them…
5 Common UX Mistakes.
Here at Sagittarius, we often get clients coming to us with problems on their website. These issues prevent users from converting and can usually be fixed by doing a little user research and avoiding these common mistakes.
Not understanding your users
"You are not the user of your site."
Even though it can sometimes feel like it, you are very rarely a good example of an end-user. So often we see sites designed not taking into account what a user will actually want to do and hiding user tasks that should be obvious. It's hard as a designer. You put every CTA, heading and search bar in its place, you know where it is, and you can find it, but you need to remember to take a step back and think... is a user, seeing this for the first time, going to find it easy to use?
It's crucial to understand your key user tasks from the get-go. What are your users visiting your site to do, and is it easy for them to action this need?
Discovering your key user tasks isn't always easy, but it's definitely worth doing. The process usually consists of a combination of user interviews, discovering business needs and a lot of common sense.
For example, if you're ASOS, your primary user-task is to add items to a basket and purchase them.
But never assume you know your users:
Messy CTA hierarchy
A common issue I see all over the web and in apps is a cluster of CTAs poorly placed, and all look the same. Part of fixing this comes back to my last point, what is the primary action you want a user to complete? That CTA should stand out above the rest, but it's not just about looks, think about how the user reads and scans the site. Think about where their eye will eventually land that think about putting your primary CTA there.
UX Movement wrote an excellent article on this.
Poor mobile layout
Although these days, designers tend to design mobile-first, we don't every time, and that's not a bad thing. But every so often we see sites that were designed desktop-first with mobile seemingly an afterthought. Everything has been crammed onto the page with no consideration for layout and touch interfaces.
Mobile devices have a much smaller fold, and if an element is pushing the main content down the screen below the fold, consider moving it to the bottom or if it's not too obtrusive halfway down the page. Remember, just because something is on desktop doesn't mean it needs to be on mobile too.
Mobile devices also use a touch input which is a lot less precise than a curser on desktop, and we see sites all the time that don't account for this and cram links together making it easy to 'miss-hit' and tap the wrong the link. Mobile CTAs and buttons generally need to be more prominent when compared to desktop, annoying as they take up more room on a much smaller screen. On desktop, the 'hit area' on a Button or CTA can be as small as 20px on desktop, but on mobile, I always try to make it minimum 50px x 50px, with enough padding/margin though you can get away with 35-40px.
We're living in an age where just about everyone knows how to use a computer or phone. People know what a button is and they can read a label, but if you feel like you need to show people around, it's probably just too complex and not intuitive.
This comes back to understanding your users and what they want from your website. Ensure key tasks have been well-labelled with clear icons by all means, but if you think something isn't 100% clear, add a questions mark with a tooltip.
Users don't want to be told how to use your site continuously and, if they're not logged in, they'll face this irritation every time they visit your site.
Once again, this can be a result of not understanding your users. Often we see websites that cram every single page into a 'mega nav,' and yes people do call it that!
Understanding what your primary user-tasks are and whether or not they need quick access to your blog or about us page will help de-clutter your navigation. Not assuming that you should never put a blog on your navigation as for some brands, this will be a crucial task but don't ever just assume that. There's nothing wrong with putting less important links in the footer.
In case I haven’t hammered it enough, a lot of issues we see on website stem from not understanding users. Yes, a lot of these can be fixed with a little common sense and a little research, but if you don’t understand your users, how can they understand your site? Ok, a bit extreme but you get my point!
Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.
A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.
So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance.
What is a Content Strategy?
It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.
But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business.
Who are my Audience?
You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.
So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context.
Do I need to tailor content?
As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.
Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:
What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?
Who are they most influenced by?
What voices influence their behaviour?
What type of content do they consume?
Where do they consume content and engage with brands?
Different Content, Different Objectives
All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.
There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.
Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale.
Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels.
Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.
Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.
Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.
How do I manage all this?
Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.
Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.
Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.
If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.