Eighty percent of the errors leading to a bad user experience on the web come from an inadequate arrangement of the content of the pages. This is what was shown in an article published on the site of Nielsen Norman, an expert in the field of customer experience. Learn how Texteur solves this problem.
Your site should make searches easy
Internet users, like any human normally constituted, like order and storage. They quickly detect sites that are poorly organized. A site is poorly organized as soon as some of the information it contains is hard to find, even untraceable. Many sites make the mistake of incorrectly designating the titles of categories and pages based on their content. Other platforms do not take into account how people think when they look for information. The logic they apply is that of enterprise, a reasoning a thousand leagues from the way of thinking of a human. This error makes certain information too complicated to obtain. A minimum of tests would have been sufficient to correct this current defect. To remedy this, it is possible to ask for input from users to be as close as possible to their requests.
Avoid similar pages by varying links and presentation
The names of pages and links are crucial for the ergonomics of a site. A user will have trouble navigating a site if two or more pages look identical to their title. Often, he should randomly choose between two links in order to access the information he seeks. Moreover, if he has the misfortune to fall on the wrong page, the risk of seeing him frustrated is great. He may even abandon his search and move on to another address.
Bring logic to your site with internal links
Some sites offer quality content but it is scattered in several different sections, which often have no links between them, or too little. The problem occurs when people come across these isolated pages. If they find no link to other related information, they will simply be tempted to look elsewhere. Even if he were looking for additional information on the same site, he would have to make the link himself. The image of the site undoubtedly suffers, as does the user experience. Beyond the user experience, isolated information poses another major problem. Checking the adequacy of an isolated paragraph with other pages is a real headache. Without very strict monitoring, some information could be duplicated, or distorted, or even contradict other information on the same site. The solution to this problem obviously lies in the setting up of internal links that link the different pages of the site.
Avoid the trap of repeating links
Often the titles and categories of a site clearly indicate the type of information they contain. The user then easily accesses the data they are looking for. Nevertheless, some sites fall into the trap of repeating links in the same category. These repetitive links unnecessarily lengthen the path to the page sought by the user. The idea is not only to minimize the number of clicks needed to access a given page – there is not really a magic number about it. By the way, instead of reasoning in number of clicks, it is better to consider the quality of the clicks. In other words, every click made by the reader must be able to lead him to information that he really seeks. This would make it easier to navigate through the pages and optimize the user experience.
Make your visitors clearly aware of the cost of the service
Internet users are ordinary people. They prefer to have no surprises with regard to service fees, subscription fees and other costs related to the use of a product. Some sites seem to forget this truth. As a result, users sometimes have to go through several pages and convoluted paths to have a semblance of idea of how much a benefit will actually cost them. The error is often the same: readers must register to become a member of the site before actually knowing the cost of their membership to the site in question. Price indications are displayed, but these data are insufficient and do not show some commissions, taxes and other additional charges yet substantial. Compliance with a single rule is sufficient to fill this gap: every reader is entitled to detailed and precise information on the real costs of the services of the site, even before committing.
The sub site must not interfere with access to the main site
Sometimes, large companies and other organizations create sub-sites in relation to their main site. These addresses usually serve to present in more detail certain offers or specific activities. This practice has a number of benefits, including the ability to better inform about a particular product or service. Sub-sites can nevertheless scatter visitors to the main site, or even confuse them. Many Internet users do not even realize that they are redirected to a sub site after clicking on an internal link from the main site. This is often explained by the great similarity between the design of the latter and that of the sub site. When this happens, users often find it difficult to return to the main address. Some must re-enter the URL of the main site to return to it. Others abandon their approach. The creation of a sub site could therefore be problematic, unless facilitating the access of users to the main site.
Optimize search engine legibility by analysing data
Search on Google or other engines are rarely used when the user knows exactly the URL and the page containing the information he is looking for. If so – and this happens very often, the user relies on the research results, or more precisely on the summaries of the research results. This particular aspect is still a major flaw in several sites. The summaries displayed on the search pages do not often correspond to the users’ queries. Sometimes results are accompanied by advertisements that unnecessarily complicate navigation and hide the information sought by the user. This error can be corrected by closely analyzing visitor behaviour against your site’s search results.
Choose filters and search criteria carefully
The use of filters greatly improves the browsing experience of Internet users. These precise search criteria make it possible to direct the user to the product, the service or the exact content that he wishes. Adding filters and selection criteria does not guarantee a quality user experience, but they contribute greatly to meeting the specific needs of users. Some sites, however, ignore this rule and use filters that do not always help in finding users. Others simply do not use filters, allowing users to scroll through the sections and subsections of their catalogue before finding what they want. Another common mistake concerns products, content or services associated with poor filters, often because of incorrect tags.
Write clear concise and well edited content
The Internet lambda appreciates sites with content well ventilated and well readable. It will avoid sites where the content is messy or improperly formatted. A quality content embedded in a dense paragraph, without spacing and without line break, would thus be futile. Similarly, pages overloaded with information quickly divert the reader’s attention. This false step is avoidable by remembering another reality of web browsing: Internet users do not read, they scan. The use of short sentences, paragraphs, bulleted lists and other key words in bold appears obvious when this concept is understood.
Highlight your links to make them visible
This error mainly affects the sites of companies that believe to have a very complex design, with graphics and animations spread all over the place. The owners of these sites forget that users tend to avoid links and content that look too much like advertisements. The same applies to content placed in an area or a page usually reserved for advertisements.
All these errors can be avoided in the design stage
All of the above web site design errors therefore relate to the organization of content and links across pages, sections, subsections, and sub sites. Clearly, site designers make a mistake when they do not correctly consider how the Internet user sees the organization of information. The user gets lost in his navigation when a problem affects one of these elements:
- The content, which may be too dense, scattered without a separate logic, or isolated
- The links, when they look too much like each other, or they do not really correspond to a section or when they look like an advertisement
- The names of the sections and categories
These problems are common to several sites and have even been known to web designers and marketers for years. These design errors persist, often due to poor organization and lack of coordination between the teams involved in the creation of the site.
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