What’s Wrong With Your Website & Why It’s Costing You
Sean McGowanApril 28th, 20173 minute read
Sean is a technical researcher & writer at Codal, authoring blog posts on topics ranging from UX design to the Internet of Things. Working alongside developers, designers, and marketers, Sean helps support the writing team to ensure Codal produces engaging web content of the highest quality. When not writing about the latest innovations in app design, Sean can be found cooking, watching old movies, or complaining about the shortcomings of his favorite Philadelphia sports teams.
Everybody has a website: Your barber, the local little league team, your grandmother. It’s not enough anymore for your business to just “have” a website, when just about everyone does. The baseline has risen: you need a high-quality, error-free site if you want to seriously compete.
Most recognize this, yet too often I see businesses that still invest little to no resources in their web presence. They think the bare minimum is enough. They don’t realize that their poorly-crafted website is hemorrhaging money, essentially funneling it right to the competition.
There are endless detriments to maintaining a poorly-designed website, but perhaps the most compelling argument against a flawed website is the financial one. While the literal cost of a shoddy website is heavily dependent on the size and nature of the business, I found two basic case studies that reaching some telling conclusions.
One site performance analyst, who had a poor user experience with an enterprise appliance company, performed some rough calculations to estimate the company’s substandard site was costing them 52.5 million per month.
On a smaller scale, a digital presence agency approximated a loss of $126,000 per year for a modest discount shoe store, all because their website had an unsatisfactory user experience. And these were just the conservative estimates!
It’s clear that if your website contains design flaws and user pain points, your bottom line is going to pay for it. To help identify these potential flaws, here are a few diagnoses of what’s wrong with your website, and how you can fix it.
This is one of the most forgotten features that every website should have. You could design a beautiful, accessible, user-friendly website that looks great on your monitor. If it doesn’t look good on everyone else’s, it’s useless.
Your website needs to be designed to fit as many screen dimensions and resolutions as possible. It should scale to the most common screen sizes, and it should absolutely, without a doubt, be optimized for mobile.
Mobile phone usage in the US is overtaking the desktop (Source)
Whether this is just optimizing your site for mobile access, having a separate phone-friendly version, or even using a mobile app, your website needs to have both android and iOS development on the back end.
Making Users Think
Coined by web usability expert Steve Krug, “making users think” refers to any design conventions, features, or devices that are needlessly complex. It covers layouts that are “too creative”, functions are out of place, or anything that could confuse the user.
A convoluted website layout like this will only frustrate and confuse - (Source)
This layout, for example, is needlessly cluttered, poorly organized, and the user’s point-of-interest has been reduced to a small link the top right corner in red.
Organization is a crucial component of all high-quality UX, especially if your site is content-heavy. For blogs, online journals, and other publications, this means employing categories and tags so users can easily find the content relevant to them.
For e-commerce sites, this means using robust, intuitive filters that provide prospective customers with the most accessible path to the product they’re looking for. It also means displaying those products in an aesthetically pleasing arrangement.
Never User Testing
Ostensibly a no-brainer, you’d be surprised how few site owners and operators actually test their work with the people that matter most: the users. Your customer’s satisfaction is the end-goal for all designers, so why not go directly the source?
Skilled UX design agencies not only recognize the importance of user testing, they inject it into the DNA of their design and development processes. By performing this testing, they determine what provides value to the customer and what doesn’t, before they even start designing.
The Easiest Fix
While most businesses understand the importance of having a website, considerably less recognize that this website must be well-crafted, and tailored to the user experience. If not, you’re losing sales, customers, and a significant amount of profits. It’s as simple as that.
While we’ve covered just a few of the major blunders site owners make with their websites, it would be ideal if there was a cure-all solution, a way to ensure your site was completely impeccable, free of mistakes, and operating at peak usability.
Luckily, there is.
When you hire a premier UX design company, you’re placing your site in the capable hands of experts in the field. The foremost authorities of web and app development have years of experience recognizing flaws and pain points of a site, and providing the appropriate remedy.
The easiest fix to any website problem is consulting an expert. Your website, and your wallet, will thank you.