They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the same can be said of a poorly designed website.
A website project starts with a long list of requirements during the strategic planning phase, and with everyone pushing an agenda to get everything put on the website (or even worse, on the home page).
The result? Low website quality.
A website with too many graphics and is tough to navigate is the exact opposite of the responsive web design you want to build. A website needs to target your ideal customer, not work desperately to be all things to all visitors.
How Can You Tell?
Customer feedback is an easy way to know for sure if you have a website quality problem.
Do your customers tell you any of the following?
- “When I checked on your website, I couldn’t find it.”
- “I clicked around for a while but then I gave up.”
- “I got stuck on a page.”
- “You’re website wouldn’t work for me.”
If you’re not getting feedback from your customers or your employees about their experiences, then this doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.
One of the tools we use to view the user experience is a session recorder, a tool that runs in the background of the website, tracking how visitors use the website.
Session recording lets you watch how visitors experience your website.
Last, you can check Google Analytics. This free tool is added to any website just by putting the code on your site.
Google Analytics offers many metrics, some of which are useful for figuring out if there are problem spots on your website. They included metrics like Bounce Rate (the % of people who leave a page instead of going elsewhere) and Behavior Flow (a visual mapping of how visitors progress on your site and where they drop off).
What To Do About It?
It’s often difficult to fix an existing website to move to a simpler, smoother user experience.
This type of work begins at the foundation with a commitment to a focused web experience.
Honestly, depending on how bad it is, you may need an entirely new website.
If you’re going to pursuing building a new website, start by being clear about the handful of critical few things the website should be really good at.
Focusing like this can feel unnatural for businesses, as it seems like you’re letting go of something important or risk losing out.
The idea at the heart of this is simple – you can’t please everyone all of the time. By focusing, you can make sure you’re in a position to please some of the people some of the time.
Is There Anything I Can Do With My Existing Website?
Start with the analysis we described above. Sometimes it’s easy to see where the problems are.
If not, then ask some of your best customers for feedback. Find out from them what issues they have with your website and what they’d like to see changed. This is useful for dealing with issues today and for the redesign in the future.
Once you have a clear view, you can start making changes. These changes can be as simple as removing menu items, changing text locations, or choosing a new button color.