How to Use Data to Build a More Effective Website

Learn to leverage qualitative and quantitative data to build a stronger user experience, interface design, and navigational structure.

If you’re a business owner, then chances are you already know how important it is for your company to have a website. From planning, to design and upkeep, a website is a huge undertaking that requires countless hours and regular maintenance. Whether you handle everything yourself or hire a professional, there are certain elements that must work together to make your website effective.

Two of the main functions of a website are to provide information to your current and potential clients, and to generate quality new business leads. If these two things are lacking, then you don’t have an effective website. Luckily, this is a fixable problem, thanks to the abundance of data we now have at our fingertips. If your website isn’t bringing in new business, it’s time to take a look at these main elements.

User Experience

User experience (UX) drives website design by focusing on understanding your users, what they need, what they value, and their abilities in relation to your business objectives. The goal is to improve the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of your products and services.

In order for your website to provide a valuable user experience, it must be:

  • User-Friendly – easy to use and navigate
  • Meaningful – provides original, trustworthy content that builds credibility
  • Designed Intently – design elements are used to evoke emotion and connect with your users
  • Responsive – available for viewing on mobile and other platforms

Interface Design & Navigational Structure

Once you’ve taken the time to understand your users, it’s important to make sure to incorporate the information into your website design. Consider the following when designing your interface:

  • Keep the interface simple – a simple interface makes your site more user friendly
  • Create consistency – users feel more comfortable and navigate the site more quickly
  • Have a purposeful page layout – placement of graphics, images, and content can help draw attention to important pieces of information and improves readability
  • Use color and texture –you can direct attention toward or redirect attention away from items using color and texture to your advantage.
  • Use typography – different fonts, size, and arrangement of the text helps to increase legibility
  • Communicate – informing your users of site changes or errors on the page helps to decrease user frustration

How do You Know What’s Working?

One word – data. Designing an effective website has never been easier, thanks to all the advanced data collection resources available nowadays. To gain a better understanding of what is and isn’t working with your website, it’s important to use both qualitative and quantitative data. For example, if you’re using Google analytics to look at your bounce rate or number of clicks, you can use the data to determine problem areas and make adjustments as needed.

While numbers provide concrete information, they fail to fully understand the user’s experience. Why did they click off the page? What made them leave your site? That’s where qualitative data comes in handy. Things like interviews, group discussions, and surveys can help you gain insight into what drives user behavior. Using both types of data provides you with the information you need to build an effective website. By concentrating on the user experience, design, and structure, your website will be generating new business in no time.

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