The goal of web design is to persuade customers to purchase your product or subscribe to your service. In order for your website to achieve that goal, it must offer a good user experience, which is largely characterized by a good user flow. Let me explain.
The term “user flow” refers to a set of features that allow visitors to interact with a website without being distracted or frustrated. As a result, your conversion funnel improves and your bounce rate decreases.
Designing a user flow that performs well is easier said than done, but these nine tips will help ensure your website provides a good experience for your customers.
Know your Audience
The first thing you should consider when creating a user flow is your audience. To create a well-defined user flow, you must first have a thorough understanding of your target customers. It will enable you to create content that keeps your users engaged, and ultimately helps you convert them to customers. The first step in this is creating buyer personas and customer journeys that match each one.
Develop Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are a set of qualities that characterize the vast majority of your potential customers. These aren’t just wild assumptions. Creating buyer personas, of course, necessitates both qualitative and quantitative research. You must research and recognize your consumers’ behavior patterns, goals, abilities, attitudes, and background knowledge.
Gather as much information as you can about your users. Make sure the user persona you’re creating is focused on the present. You must understand how users are currently interacting with your product, rather than speculating on how they will interact in the future.
Every characteristic of your buyer persona should also be linked to genuine facts. You have the option of creating many personas. However, you’ll need to rank them as major (most important) and secondary (less important) personalities in this situation. For each persona, you’ll also need to create unique user flows.
Map the Customer Journey
The next step in getting to know your clients is to sketch out their path on the website. A user journey is a timeline of user behaviors that demonstrates the various points of contact between clients and your website. It enables you to see how users interact with your website and what you can do to boost engagement. For example, you might discover that deleting or realigning a stage from the customer process improves conversions.
Personas, timelines, contact points, and interaction channels are typically included. You can identify your customers’ trigger points or challenges using detailed customer personas. The journey’s duration is determined by the timeline, whereas touchpoints are the stages in which consumers interact or perform specific actions, such as signing up for your email list.
Various ways to contact your customers, such as sending promotional emails, text messages, or online chats, are known as engagement channels. A customer journey map, on the other hand, would be heavily influenced by your market niche and consumer personalities.
Identify Places for Entry
You must understand the many entrance points on your website in addition to the user personas and buyer journey. Your website’s entry points are how potential clients get to your site. They will usually access your website through one of the following entry points.
- Directly inputting your website’s URL address.
- Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
- Finding you in search results by typing in keywords or queries that your website ranks for organically.
- Pay-per-click advertisements on Google or Bing.
- Ads and referrals on other websites, internet forums, and blogging platforms.
- Direct to consumer advertising such as radio, TV or print ads.
It’s critical to understand these access points because they’ll have an impact on your user flow. A person who visits your site after clicking a link in a promotional email, for example, is likely to become a repeat customer. Instead of perusing your site, this customer is more interested in taking advantage of a specific deal highlighted in the email.
A visitor who arrives via organic search or social media promotion, on the other hand, is more likely to be a first-time visitor. So, before taking any action, they will explore your site for a bit and try to learn more about your company. In comparison to returning consumers, they will have a longer user flow with multiple micro-interactions.
Too Much Content can Overwhelm Users
UX designers frequently create user flows that are packed with content in an attempt to interest consumers. Regrettably, this has the exact opposite effect. Users are more likely to be distracted or frustrated by too much content or too many features, resulting in a higher bounce rate.
Scrape Off Unnecessary Content
You must eliminate as many visual distractions as possible whether they are superfluous content or UI features. They are not only ineffective but also unappealing. So, get rid of all the extra information, images, animations, flashing lettering, and blinking logos. To put it another way, you must embrace simplicity.
If at all possible, go for a simple design. Most static and service-oriented websites can benefit from a minimalist approach to create simple, yet strikingly attractive user flows. Create site layouts that are just the most important features. Use a well-balanced combination of graphics, text, and other features to enhance your user’s experience.
Reduce the Number of Features and Options
Various functions on your website can also benefit from a minimalist design. You should reduce the number of features or options on your website. Too many options can make it difficult for the user to make a decision. Always ensure there are obvious options that lead to a specified activity or call-to-action.
The easiest way to achieve this is to build appropriate calls-to-action (CTAs) and post them in the appropriate area on your website. If your primary aim is to grow your email list, for example, your CTA should urge your prospects to share their email addresses with you. You can lure them with a monthly newsletter or a discount code for their next purchase.
Construct and Test your Prototypes Thoroughly
It’s time to construct several prototypes and test them once you have a strong concept for the user flow. A prototype is a physical representation of your website’s user flow. It will help you to solve possible flaws before the design is built, which will save you time and money.
It’s always a good idea to put your user flow prototype to the test with real people. For testing, you can employ a small sample of your target demographic (that matches your buyer personas). Make as many prototypes as needed. Request that this group look at your prototype and see how they navigate the site and where they end up or fall off. Encourage them to be open and honest with you when it comes to feedback.
Once you get their comments, use A/B testing to resolve the bottlenecks and areas of friction. You have the option of providing multiple solutions to a problem. A/B testing will help you make an informed decision to create the best solution.
Getting real clients to participate in prototype testing is, of course, costly. Consider it an investment in the creation of a website that will result in higher sales conversions. You can also engage a UX professional to investigate any potential difficulties with your current user flow. It will be less expensive, but it may not be as thorough as client testing.
Always Keep Optimizing
The process of creating a user flow is never-ending. Consumers will use new access points, your competitors will improve user flow components, and the Internet itself will continue to evolve. To stay current with these changes, you’ll need to keep refining your user flow on a regular basis.
You can pose the following questions to your user:
- What do they like the most about your website? Is there something special about it that makes people want to keep coming back?
- What is your site’s most appealing feature, and why?
- What element or elements of the site do they find unappealing?
- What other features do they think your website should have?
- Finally, what would they say about the user experience?
When modifying your user flow, keep this feedback in mind. Make the changes they suggest and see how this improves or doesn’t improve conversions.
That’s A Wrap
The user flow and the user experience are inextricably related. Applying the above learnings when designing your next website for a client or hiring an agency to do it for you will set you up for success and a really solid website!
The opinions expressed here by Guest Contributors are their own, not those of Rise Marketing.