Web design tips

Create a self-selection experience

As someone who finds themselves overwhelmed when it comes to shopping on e-commerce websites, I can’t tell you how happy I am when I find tools that can help select the right things for me. These tools, called self-selection tools, bring users through a series of questions to arrive at a specific type of result. These results could be a customized quote, product, or an answer to a very high level question (ex. ‘What is my personality type?’). Tools like this can make it immensely easier for people to understand what the best products or services are for them without them having to navigate through your website to find the answer. My favorite, seemingly simple tool is Amazon’s product recommendation selector below certain items on the site. Whenever you thumbs up or down on anything shown, the tool instantly changes other products shown in the feed that it believes are closer to what you’re looking for. Needless to say, this made finding the perfect vase a lot easier for me! A less intimidating recommendation tool to checkout is IMPACT client Yale Appliance’s product configurator for the best range oven. This essentially just matches whatever inputs you select and filters through products. Using detailed iconography, users are able to select which options work best for their situation which results in them being served the best product. This saves users countless hours searching the website and the trouble of calling a sales representative. Also, the quicker you get what your prospects to what they are looking for, the quicker they might be to purchase it. While this might be more of a later project, it's a worthwhile tool that will ultimately help differentiate your company from your competitors and offer a unique experience in your business vertical.

Test and iterate

Your website needs to be a living, evolving piece of your company, not static. There is likely always room for improvement. Improving certain areas of your website can aid in improving conversions, time on page, and pages per session, but knowing what solution might work best in improving your website is the tough part. This is where running A/B tests comes in. Taking two variations of a page and testing them against each other can reveal if certain areas are creating issues for your users. In some cases, your pages may be performing quite well, but contain outdated information. A/B testing the page can show you how much of an effect the page’s content has on session duration or possibly conversions. In other cases, you may want to see if design updates could affect a page’s performance. Simple changes such as button colors, headers, or refining copy could make incredible differences in conversion rate. All that said, other than taking a set-it-and-forget-it approach, especially if you don't know what to change, you can use tools to create A/B tests for them, multivariate tests, or even set up heat maps to see what users are doing. Each test can reveal a variety of data that identifies why users are interacting with pages in particular ways. From here, I would monitor these tests and tools on a weekly, or bi-weekly basis to see how changes you’ve made are affecting your page performance. Checking frequently also allows you to adjust sooner rather than later if things are headed in the wrong direction. I recommend checking out tools such as Lucky Orange or Hotjar for heat mapping, and A/B test tools like VWO, Omniconvert, or A/B Tasty.

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