There is no secret recipe that will boost conversions. However, following UX principles can certainly help. As with every other piece of advice on the internet, some things work and some don’t.
Here are the 6 UX principles to follow for better conversions:
1. Make it simple
The harder it is for someone to understand your website, the harder it will be for you to make them buy.
Oberlo does a great job at explaining what they do. Using only 16 words they have mapped the complete journey you have to take before you start selling. Truth be told, this is oversimplified. But their app is not about design or traffic generation, they simply help you outsource and add products to your Shopify store.
People have a really small attention span. If they don’t find what they are looking for in just a few seconds, they just bounce. If your traffic is coming from SEO, imagine that your competitors are a back button click away. You should always strive to synthesize your content in bite size information.
2. Make it familiar
“The hamburger button, so named for its unintentional resemblance to a hamburger, is a button typically placed in a top corner of a graphical user interface.”Wikipedia
When you see it, you know what it does. If you are not a visionary agency (like this one) then your website should have the same elements as all the others in your niche.
This is a really sensitive field. Don’t copy the whole design of another website, but make sure that your navigation elements are placed in a familiar way.
The greatest example is the hamburger menu. Everyone knows what it is and what it does. It can have different shapes, sizes, colors or text.
These are just 13 variations of the same menu (see how it works). If the initial design is not different, their animation is. Experiment with whatever you like, but always try and stick with the familiar.
3. Make it intuitive
Or just plain easy. Providing guidance to your users can pay out big time. CrazyEgg does a great job at pointing the user in the right direction, literally.
Another great example is freedomfastlane.com:
This technique is very popular as it relies on human psychology.
It almost certainly happened to you before. You were just walking down the street when you notice someone looking at the sky. Your instincts kicked in and the next thing you did was to focus your attention at the sky too. Maybe for just a second, but that was enough.
Visual cues are an important part of design. They can be really powerful when combined with good copy. Speaking of which:
4. Copy is key
Images, videos, CTAs or pagination are nothing without good copy.
Your copy should be short and sweet. Moreover and most importantly: you should be consistent. Sendinblue did a great job at capturing my attention with their header: “Put the pedal to the metal on your marketing”. This creates a visual image in users minds. To further emphasize this they have added a car as the icon, although they have nothing to do with cars at all. The last piece of this great banner is the actual CTAL “Take a free test drive”.
The whole section is consistent, creates a visual image and takes advantage of power words.
You don’t necessarily have to use images to explain what you do (like Oberlo). It’s the first time I heard of ZoomSphere, but I knew in a second what they do.
Their header might seem too simplistic, it really is. But simple is way better than complex (in the vast majority of cases). Try to explain what you do in a few simple words. In case of ecommerce websites, use this space on your website to tell users why they should buy from you.
5. Forms design
When you want to open a bank account you WANT to give all of your information to the bank. Especially when applying online. In this case a long form can actually boost conversions. If they only asked for your name and email then you would know something is wrong.
Long forms are not conversion killers in this case. The same applies to ecommerce websites, they have to know your address so they can deliver your purchase.
But what if you have a Saas?
Even though they have a paid service, Buffer only asks for 2 pieces of information to get you started. This reduces friction and streamlines the signup process. If they were to ask for your address, phone number or your credit card, would you trust them? No way.
When designing your own forms, you should ask for the bare minimum information from your prospects. If you are a bank, you might need 40 fields. If you are a Saas, you can just add social login and thus get rid of a form altogether.
There isn’t a one for all solution, so always adapt your forms to your business.
Speed is one of the most important factors in UX. I’ve partially covered this in a previous article about how to increase mobile conversion rates.
Amazon found out that they could lose $1.6 BILLION every year if their site would load slower with just 1 second. Keep in mind that they are the biggest online retailer (when this article was written, in 2019).
Social media has trained people to expect instant gratification. We no longer wait for something, we want it right now. When your users land on your website, it has to be blazing fast. They want to see what it is about instantly. If it takes a second or 2 to load, you are in the safe zone. Everything above this is considered slow nowadays.
Most importantly, make sure that your pages load fast on mobile devices. As the internet is going mobile, more and more people, some with slow connections, will land on one of your pages. Delight them with a smooth experience and you might have a better chance at converting them.