When you think about it, building the perfect website is as simple as taking everything you know about your audience’s expectations and giving it to them. Of course this is the dictionary definition of something that’s incredibly easy in theory, but not quite as simple when put into practice.
The thing is though, there are still millions of business owners and webmasters all over the world who seem to completely ignore or overlook the facts and figures right there on the table. The simple fact of the matter is that at this stage in time, we have a pretty good idea as to exactly what the average web users wants, expects and is not willing to tolerate. Put these all together and you effectively have yourself a rock-solid blueprint with which to work.
No excuses, no ifs and no buts – the following web design and user-experience statistics say all that needs to be said on the subject:
Flash First Impressions
First of all, evidence shows that you generally have no more than 10 seconds to make a positive first impression on your visitors before they’ll head for the hills and never return. And this doesn’t just mean impressing them with prettiness – it means genuinely impressing them with your site as a whole…hence the challenge.
Keep it Brief
The importance of being concise and brief when it comes to the message you’re trying to deliver can perhaps best be illustrated in this particular statistic. Research has shown that the average web user reads no more than about one-quarter of the written content any given webpage features. If what they’re looking for is in the remaining 75%, they’ll never see it.
Up the Pace
In terms of page loading times, approximately 40% of web users stated that they would definitely leave the site in question and head elsewhere, if they were forced to wait a loft three seconds for the site to load. You also have approximately five seconds to fire up your internal pages too, before they’ll head for the hills.
When it comes to how the content on any given website is read, the vast majority of web users scan pages in the shape of an F. Left to right, down a bit, down a bit more, to the right a bit and so on – this should be implemented in content strategies to ensure key points are not overlooked.
Thought the ten-second rule when it comes to first impression was harsh? Well, get this – research suggests that from the moment your landing page appears, the respective user will form an opinion of your site in no more than HALF a second. That’s 0.5 seconds to influence their opinion…best of luck with that one!
This particular fact should be pretty easy for most to figure out, simply by acknowledging the way in which monthly online video content views are increasing by the billion every month. In the simplest of terms possible, web user polls have proven that the overwhelming majority of people prefer visual content to written web content.
When it comes to getting across the true value and importance of mobile market focus…well, let’s just say the phrase ‘flogging a dead horse’ comes to mind. The long and short of it is that mobile web traffic has well and truly shouldered past standard desktop traffic in practically every arena that’s of any importance or relevance. As such, when it comes to web design and user experience considerations, the time has officially come to think carefully about prioritising mobile customers, giving standard desktop users the back seat for the very first time.
The Dark Side
Interestingly, research has shown that time spent on a website, bounce rates, page views and traffic volumes in general can all be improved by use of darker colours. The most extraordinary of the statistics is that of bounce rates, which can apparently be reduced by up to 2% simply by having a darker colour scheme. 2% might not sound like a great deal – it is if your site attracts tens of thousands of users daily.
One Time Only
The overwhelming majority of web users admit that after experiencing anything unpleasant or undesirable when visiting a website, this will be the very last time they bother with it. Or in other words, it’s actually something of a one-time only opportunity to win over the majority of visitors you attract.
UE Above All
Last but not least, recent surveys have shown that a growing contingency of consumers hold things like user experience and customer service in even higher regard than low prices and even the quality of the products on offer. So while it may appear that to focus on impressive site design, product promotion and the provision of low prices makes perfect sense, evidence suggests focus on user experience and outstanding customer service can be ultimately more rewarding.