It’s Friday and you want to tweak your website and still make it to the pub for 5:35. Here is your quickfire 15-point plan to improve UX. Happy Bank Holiday!
‘Puppy train’ your visitors – reward them for filling in your contact form. ‘Inline validation’ can be as simple as triggering a tick or ‘Thanks!’ message after each field, or providing a progress bar
Use negative space to point your visitors in the right direction. Group similar elements together with a generous margin to differentiate them and to make them stand out
Lightbox your gallery images. While it may sound like something from Star Wars, lightboxing simply means that when a user clicks an image, it appears in its own window (think Facebook). This has a few advantages – it avoids taking your visitor off to a different page, and also means you can add scrolling functionality and social sharing buttons
Use breadcrumbs (secondary navigation) to lead your users around your site, Hansel and Gretel style
Subheadings – use them! Many visitors will only scan. Try reading your subheadings in order – do they summarise the content? Do they make you want to read it?
A picture is worth a thousand words. High quality photos make your content instantly more appealing. Try Photopin for free, creative commons pics
Don’t be a loner – if you use social media, include share buttons at the top / bottom of your posts. Follow the advice of the mighty @randfish and stick with 3 or 4 (to avoid paradox of choice) – Google+, Facebook, Twitter (maybe LinkedIn) are usually safe bets. More inspiration…
Your website should mirror your brand – be consistent across your colours, fonts, alignments, images…
Who are you? Stick your mugshot and a friendly bio on your ‘About’ or ‘Meet the Team’ page. Help your visitors to like and trust you
“Fix” your headers. This means that the header /navigation bar will stay in place when you scroll, so that it is always visible at the top of the page. In a poll on Web Designer Depot (accessed 24.05.2013), over 70% of respondents thought fixed headers were ‘great for usability’
That’s enough for now – hope you’ve enjoyed this pic n mix of UX tweaks. See you at the pub!