Site builder Stereotypes
A site that is simple for the user can easily inspire trust, deepen interaction and even increase brand awareness.
Users expect that the design of the site will fully meet their needs, and that there will be no errors or confusion in it. And when that’s not the case, they just choose some other site.
Nevertheless, despite the fact that more and more attention is being paid to the user as the main connoisseur of website design, many companies still fall victim to several common myths of user-site interaction.
Myth #1: Home page – Front door
Very often, the home page is considered the electronic equivalent of a shop window or a book cover, and therefore great attention is paid to its design. However, you cannot assume that users will come to your site and will certainly stay on your homepage.
For example, analyzing the data of our clients’ website over the past year, we found that only 30% of site visits occur on the main page. Product and content pages account for 23%, and 47% on other pages.
Most likely, your site is not much different. Therefore, you should treat each page as if it were a home page. After all, search engines and social networking sites often send users to certain pages of your site. If you want these users to stay, you need to inform them more deeply about the content of your site.
In short, you need to make sure that these pages are not useless, otherwise users will leave.
When I conduct diagnostic testing of users, I often see that participants go to a content or product page, and then wonder where to go next. Designers should remember that shopping and learning are not necessarily linear processes. And businesses should consider introducing promotional material and content teasers to showcase relevant articles and products.
Myth #2: All users understand the side, so-called “hamburgers” menus
This wouldn’t be an article about myths on the site if I hadn’t taken a minute to open the hamburger menu– those three horizontal lines in the corner of some sites supposedly optimized for small screens. “Hamburger” still remains popular, although many users do not recognize it! So why is it being used?
Enthusiasts of the hamburger menu will say that this is a low-profile solution that makes it an ideal navigation approach for mobile devices, but I think it’s a crutch that allows designers to skip editing all navigation options. This is the electronic equivalent of quickly throwing everything into the closet before the arrival of guests.
In one of the recent quantitative navigation tests, the “no hamburger” option turned out to be 211% more productive than the “hamburger” menu. And in testing the usability of the hamburger menu, most of the participants were confused. One participant didn’t know that it could be used because she thought it was the company logo!
Obviously, the hamburger menu works well for millennials, but if they are not the target audience, it is much more useful to use priority and (at least partially) open navigation to help users get where they need to go.
Myth #3: Search is the best way to navigate
Designing and building an excellent search engine takes time and effort. In the diagnostic testing of users, I have seen how many participants get upset when searching. And even if a person does not quite know what he is looking for, the search does not help him at all.
What solution is needed? An excellent approach to filtering, which demonstrates the content of your site in a language accessible to the user and allows him to quickly reduce the search to finding what he is looking for.
With the proliferation of poor search results (especially in e-commerce), a great search engine can be a competitive advantage. I’ve seen how implementing a good search engine leads to a 377% increase in conversions simply by following Google patterns and removing the search filter area that prevented users from accessing content naturally.
Avoiding search traps requires an honest assessment of how important the search is to the user. Will there be enough large filters? If not, and the search is really needed, then it is necessary to build a mechanism that will be as clear as possible.
It’s easy enough to fall for these myths, but if you analyze the data and conduct both quantitative and qualitative testing with users, it will help to identify and eliminate site problems that stand in the way of the best user interaction.