User Interface Best Practices | User Experience, IA & Usability

By | April 18, 2013

A solid, fun and smooth user interface should be every ecommerce site’s top priority. Without it, your chances for success are slim. You need to make it easy and attractive to purchase from you. If you don’t, you give visitors a reason to check out your competition. For a successfully optimized user interface design, there are three things you need to focus on: user experience, information architecture, and usability.  Here’s a closer look at them.

 

User Experience

This is the first and most important step in optimizing your user interface. If you don’t provide a great ecommerce user experience, nothing else matters. Careful planning and design of your user interface will help your site reach your business goals.User Experience Quote

To provide a good user experience, make sure your design is polished and professional with high quality images. Avoid hard to read fonts, audio or video that plays as soon as the page loads and pop ups. Also, make sure your ad placement complements your site rather than cluttering it. Make your offers simple and to the point and if they need to sign up or register, make it easy and brief. Remember that less is more. If you jam pack your page with images, videos and other content, you risk overwhelming your visitors and sending them packing. Instead, opt for a simple, clean look to avoid distraction. Your goal is to provide the best ecommerce user experience online.

Information Architecture

If your site was a car, this would be the view under the hood. Your site’s information architecture wireframes are like blueprints. This architecture also includes your site’s navigation, content organization and naming conventions. You want your products and information to be easy to find, read and above all, purchase. Don’t make users have to work hard to find what they want or learn more about what you offer. Good information architecture for ecommerce sites is critical as it sets the foundation for your user interface. Your navigation should be intuitive, non-intrusive and get users where they want to go quickly. Along with providing high quality images and clear, concise product descriptions that engage the user while providing all the info they need to make an informed purchase, you should be making it easy for your users to find your shipping and refund policies, contact you with questions, and access important info like size charts and FAQs.

Usability

The better your site’s usability, the better your user’s experience will be. Great usability makes the experience seamless and engaging, which increases sales and optimizes your user interface design by promoting a user-centric approach that analyzes your transactions from a customer’s perspective.

Good ecommerce page usability practices include a simple, streamlined shopping cart, consistent site navigation, a user friendly design, a functional and easy to use site search and sitemap, and quick, easy to use, friendly customer service options.  Good ecommerce usability also means a site that loads quickly and offers accessibility. Your site should be easy for people with vision issues to read and also be easy to use on both computers and mobile devices.

The goal is to fulfill the customer’s needs as effortlessly as possible, which benefits both your customers and you!