Shopping online is easy. You don’t have to wait in line to checkout; you don’t have to weave around people to get to the blue shirt you saw when you walked into the store; you don’t have to worry about staying six feet away from people, and worrying about wearing a mask. You can sit on your bed with your TV in the background as you shop. You get the jitters when you see you have a package on your front porch. You get to open the box as if it’s a birthday present.
Whenever you shop online you hate when the page takes too long to load, you won’t buy something off a site you don’t trust, you won’t buy something from a website that continuously has pop-ups that you have to exit out of, you won’t buy something from a confusing site, and you can’t navigate where anything is. But, you will buy from a place that has the exact opposite.
Here are the top five elements you want while shopping online.
Whenever you go to a website you aren’t there to be bombarded with pop-ups and ads, you want to be able to find your products swiftly without being confused. You don’t want fancy typography otherwise you can’t read anything. When sites have components that don’t add anything to the experience those components are irrelevant, and you don’t want that either because it doesn’t enhance your experience in any way.
You want something similar to what is pictured down below. It’s simple, elegant, doesn’t have a lot going on. You can find everything easily.
You don’t always online shop on the same device. Sometimes you shop on your laptop, but at other times you are buying or looking something up on your phone. You want a store that works on both devices. If it works exactly the way you want it to on your laptop, but not on your phone, that’s an issue. You’ll look for a new site that does work on your phone to shop for the same item.
Brand loyalty is a serious problem that society has. To keep the commitment, brands need to make sure their sites are compatible with all devices. Below is Adidas’s website with a laptop view and a phone view. As you can see, they are nearly identical. This is an example of excellent compatibility.
Easy to Navigate
This is probably the most crucial aspect of any website. It needs to be easy to navigate; otherwise, people leave the site immediately. Nowadays, users aren’t patient enough to try and figure out how the website works. For the user, it’s either I find what I need within eight seconds, or I go somewhere else. You might be asking yourself, why only eight seconds? That’s our attention span. It’s smaller than a goldfish’s attention span, which is nine seconds.
Navigating is a vital component for any website; successful and useful websites have the most straightforward navigation system. Below is TJMaxx’s website with the Women’s tab open to show you all of the different categories options they have. This is a simple navigation system because you can quickly go to the menu bar and find even the smallest of groups.
DressHead is a website that has too many options and that makes it harder to navigate because you are overwhelmed with the options. Users want to be able to browse through the entire category of clothing instead of picking one type of the category, which is why the TJMaxx website is easier to navigate than the DressHead website.
We judge, it’s in our human nature to judge. “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” is a quote everyone has heard at least once in their life. We judge everything, even websites. If the initial image of a website doesn’t catch our eye, it’s onto the next one. Imagery is essential because if you don’t catch the user within two seconds of them opening the website, you aren’t going to keep them.
Below is a side-by-side comparison of Disney and Universal Studios. On the left is Disney; it has one large picture with four smaller images below it with little to no negative space. On the right is Universal Studios; it has one large image with some negative space and four images below it. Disney’s website is more visually pleasing because it has less negative space and a more variety of color.
Using a website that can be hacked or have your information stolen from you is an untrustworthy site. You don’t want to put your credit card information into the website only to find out that the site was able to take your information and use it without your knowledge. You also want to make sure that if there is a registration feature that the passwords are encrypted and that the “Forgotten Password” feature asks the security questions, otherwise, anyone can log into your account.
In conclusion, the five elements of what makes a good website mentioned above are the top elements user experience designers need to understand because, without these five elements, a users’ experience will be negative. Users need these five elements to create brand loyalty and to recommend the sites to friends and family. Word of mouth is one of the most significant marketing strategies for e-commerce.