Does your site utilize purpose-driven design? These days there’s no room for websites that provide a poor online experience.
User experience (UX) can make or break a website, and when that experience is less than it should be, you’ll find a wide variety of problems will occur. Google may rank your site lower, site visitors may bounce quicker, and you could see a drop in engagement and conversion rates. The trouble is, how do you ensure that your site offers the sort of experience your current and potential customers are seeking?
HINT: Ask your web designer.
Web designers were once thought of as online interior decorators. They helped make sure a site look great. And sure, this has always been partially right, but in truth, the main goal of a web designer is to create a user experience (UX) that will leave site visitors admiring the look AND functionality of the site. In web design, form and functionality must go hand in hand, and this is where purpose-driven design comes in.
A clean site with a fuzzy goal of driving conversions can be as useless as a super cluttered site with tons of opportunities to ‘click here’ or ‘buy now’.
The question then becomes, how do you ensure that your website has a purpose-driven design? There are four main ways to do so. First and foremost, your web design team must understand your business.
Who are you? What is your business all about?
When you are preparing to design and build a new purpose-driven design for your website, take the time to make sure your web design team knows your business. While you might think that a designer simply needs to be concerned with brand identity, this is definitely not true. Without knowing how your business works, a designer simply can’t achieve the highest level of effective design possible. They have to know your audience and understand what would motivate them to interact with your brand.
Work with your web design team to develop profiles – buyer personas – for all potential end users for your site. This includes potential buyers, new hires, consumers, etc.
What are you trying to accomplish?
Define the purpose of your site before moving forward. A purpose-driven design will address this moving forward, wrapping in both form and function.
- Are you looking to increase sales?
- Do you have a new product or service launch?
- Are you looking to announce changes at your company?
- What is it that your new site is looking to accomplish?
One tip: just because other businesses have a new site is NOT a purpose for you to redesign yours.
Increasing conversions, cleaning up cumbersome chunks of text, and lengthening the time visitors stay on a page are all goals that you may be seeking to achieve. Make sure you very clearly define each purpose of your new site.
Mapping it all out
The next step is to map the user journey from the beginning to the desired outcome.
- Where are my users coming from?
- Are you using Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook ads that may drive traffic?
- What about Google searches?
Take a look at how your visitors will arrive and what purpose they will have for coming to your site. This includes what keywords may have attracted them or what sentiment motivated them to click.
Once on your site, how can you best answer the need or problem they have that drew them there in the first place? Map out how your purpose-driven design will fulfill that need. Then, take the next logical step. Identify other potential needs that user may have that align with what your website will offer. Finally, design a logical connection between those needs and map out how your visitor may go from one to the other.
Once you have everything mapped out and ready, take what you have and prioritize which goals are most important. Work down that list as you design the new site, making sure to simplify things as you go.
Studies have shown time and again that limiting choices makes it easier for individuals to make decisions. Don’t add too many steps when asking users to complete steps to gain some benefit. Don’t litter the page with tons of requests to click or with too many options. Keep it simple. Remember the rule of 7: no more than seven choices in a menu or list. Now make those options or calls-to-action stand out. Make them the obvious choice for the site visitor. This way, you will help to lead them to the outcome you are seeking.
By following the above suggestions, you will find that creating a purpose-driven design for your website will be much easier. You will also find that a better UX will help your website visitors reach their (and your) desired outcomes.