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Five Ways to Enhance Your Website User Experience

We all want our websites to look as unique as possible whether it's to show off our creativity or give our brand a memorable image that sets it apart from the rest. However, the importance of functionality and user experience should never- be put before flashy visuals and daring design styles.

In order for a website to succeed, it also needs to have great content and an easily accessible design that people will find familiar as soon as they visit for the first time. Web users tend to have rather limited attention spans, and it is very easy to turn people away within seconds if your website does not offer the user experience that they're looking for.

1- Implement Responsive Design Techniques

Long gone are the years when browsing the Web, shopping online and using social media were largely restricted to desktop and laptop computers. Today, people use the Internet everywhere they go, from the small screens of mobile phones to the larger ones of tablets and slim laptop computers.

Given the far more extensive variety of screen sizes and the fact that more people than ever use touch screen navigation, it shouldn't be hard to see why your website needs to cater to such visitors as well. Responsive Web design techniques allow your site to scale automatically to the size of the screen, making it a cheap and easy way to better accommodate a wider audience.

2 - Add Social Elements

The likes of Facebook and Twitter have undeniably become an important part of life for hundreds of millions of people around the world. The modern Internet is driven by things like social sharing and commenting and any successful website should take that into account by providing social elements which encourage conversation, feedback and sharing.

Enhancing user experience means creating a community around your website and participating extensively in it. Any website should make use of sharing buttons to help facilitate social sharing by making it easier for people to share content they like on their own social media profiles with the click of a button. Blogs should also allow and encourage commenting, and you can also further enhance user experience by adding the occasional poll or survey to your site.

3 - Optimize Graphical Elements

People are visual creatures, and many of your visitors want images and other media content rather than just a wall of text. Elements such as images, infographics and video can greatly help to enhance written content or even act as an alternative for those who prefer not to read content online extensively. However, visual content also takes up vastly more bandwidth than textual content, so it is essential to find the right compromise between qualities and file size in order to keep your website performing at its best.

With regards to images you should make extensive use of thumbnail previews, providing larger, higher quality versions as an optional extra. For video content, use a host such as YouTube in order to use their bandwidth rather than your own, and offer a range of quality options for those with faster Internet speeds.

4 - Use a Consistent Design

Particularly if you are running an eCommerce venture, it is essential to stick to conventional and easily recognized page layouts and navigational elements so that visitors instantly know what to do when they reach your website. However, you should also keep your design consistent across your website so that you don't confuse your visitors A consistent design also tends to be much easier on the eye, and it helps to build up brand recognition.

Whether you're revamping an existing website or creating one from scratch for the first time, determine a solid design style before you even get started. Choose your colors, fonts and page layouts carefully, and keep this style consistent across not only your website, but also on your other online portals such as social media profiles.

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