In 2021, Google came out with an important announcement- to make user experience as a decisive ranking factor and a new algorithm to sift through websites that provide the optimal user experience and those that perform at the subpar level. And in the host of factors that determines what composes user experience, user interface (design) comes at the top.
To have a good design is not only crucial for aesthetic pleasantness, but more so it has become a challenge to combine “beauty with brains” i.e. your eCommerce site should look pleasant with optimal functionality for the ease of user navigation. It goes beyond choosing the right colours, fonts, graphics and images. So, for creating or revamping your design, here the first few crucial factors you need to consider:
- Credit goes to simplicity: No unnecessary banners, pop-ups and ads that create distraction for the users.
- Get the psychology of colours right: Choosing the right colours with its right defining characteristics would enhance user experience, like studies reveal that making the buy button in red colour increases sales by 34%
- High quality images: The right quality images not only enhances customer confidence but also increases sales by 40%, getting professional help cannot be far from beneficial
- Crisp content is the way to go: Breaking up the content into smaller bits and pieces (forming the product pages, blogs, product descriptions etc.) for easy and quick scan will keep your users engaged and absorb your message!
- Social proof is key element: Positive feedback from previous customers and testimonials with product images can instil the last bit confidence in users/buyers to purchase the product
- A breezy checkout: A straightforward, hassle free and an easy navigating check out page with all details clearly spelt for a direct checkout will make your buyers come back again and again!
- Mobile friendly: With mobile shopping surpassing desktop shopping, it is imperative to create fully responsive mobile websites.
Keeping the above factors in the background, author Yej Lee suggests that the foremost step in creating the best UI design for your website is to build it on trust and security that can seamlessly handle and protect their personal details. To instil trust then you must have the following placed in your website:
- General information or about page
- Images of people/owners of the business and credentials
- Contact information
- Shipping and return policies
Also, it is crucial to keep the language plain without any internal or legal jargon.
Now, delving deeper into the best practices for UI website design:
- Infuse your website with your brand: Reflect the brand with your set colour palette (remember to take into consideration colour meanings), and styles that should be consistent with online, in-store and mobile devices for a stable brand-customer experience. Having created the structure, make the design simple by following a visual hierarchy with white space, limit your design to high contrast text, clean content and background colours. Use labels and known symbols for shoppers to identify important labels like cart. And try to avoid pop windows that create massive distraction and shoppers are most likely to dismiss them.
- A Clear Structure: This involves creating well defined product pages with proper groups and sub groups that compliment the clean hierarchy and structure of the website and building a powerful product search function. Single words category labels to describe a range of products and regularly update site navigation. Putting a well recognisable search box in every page, supporting all sorts of queries including product names, categories, and customer service information. Also, having an auto search function eases the user experience to a great degree. Next, a must have is filters, or filtering searches according to a range of factors suitable to your site- like best sellers, sizes, product rating, proces, newest items etc.
- Extra charms: This would include best practices adapted by prominent websites such as a quick product view, strategically highlighting special offers and designing great product pages. A quick product review with modal windows hovering over the viewed page, and quick product information to entice buyers to take a closer look. Also, within the modal window be sure to place options like save to wishlist or add to cart for added feasibility to the shoppers. For successful product designing, the motto is to create an experience that rivals in-store shopping experience. This therefore should ideally include high quality product images of sufficient count, detailed descriptions and related information like FAQs, shipping and return policies, videos etc.
- Persuasive design: This idea fosters the need of urgency in shoppers to value an object that is scarce, so creating a sense of urgency is quite fruitful for eCommerce website designing. Using advanced psychology research to drive engagement that turned art into science like showing related recommendations plays right into persuasive design.
- Shopping cart and Checkout: Designing a shopping cart that is user friendly and clearly visible is an important design element for all eCommerce sites. The best practices in this regard would include: a primary call to action in the check out button, conspicuous confirmation texts once product are placed (and to highlight this you can use animation and graphics that catch the eyes), mini cart widgets that are fully linked to the page shopping cart and, proper display of product information for final check. For the checkout process, keep it as breezy as possible with multiple payment options and icons made clearly visible, minimising the number of fields involved to complete the checkout with an ideal single window with delivery and payment information.
These were some of the best practices for an optimal eCommerce website design.