UX Best Practices: The Ultimate Checklist

Lucie Courtès
July 13, 2022
This simple checklist helps us (and you!) assess and improve any website’s quality of user experience.

In the world of digital marketing, a website’s attention to user experience (UX) is paramount to a business’s success. At Good & Gold, not only do we design, develop, and optimize websites, but we implement cross-channel strategies that drive substantial traffic to those websites. Before that effort can really pay off, it’s essential for us to ensure that our clients’ websites are high-functioning and easy to navigate, with compelling content, scannable shopping pages, and streamlined checkout processes.

To help us assess the websites we work with, we’ve developed a helpful UX checklist for e-commerce websites that helps us to identify potential issues to investigate. While the checklist below can’t replace a full and focused UX audit, it’s a great place to start when evaluating your own website and searching for the root of any performance issues.

Information Architecture & Design 

  • Organize your content in a simple way. Your primary navigation should have a maximum of 6 primary links and have a clear hierarchy.
  • Be descriptive and clear. New visitors should be able to understand what your business is about within the first 3 seconds after landing on your homepage
  • Grab visitors’ attention. Your hero section should tease and invite visitors to visit other pages.
  • Don’t forget about content hierarchy. Heading styles should be used from H1 (page title) to H6 (smallest title size) to optimize the hierarchy of pages.
  • Feel modern and engaging. Make sure users have the opportunity to interact with your website. For example, add CTAs or links when possible. This will increase the number of page per session and ultimately increase the time spent on your website.
  • Use clear and consistent design elements. Consistency in use of colors, icons, typefaces, and photography will reinforce your identity and make your brand recognizable. 
  • Be responsive! Users shop primarily on mobile devices, due in part to social advertising. Knowing which devices your audience uses will allow you and your team to make more informed decisions about which experiences (mobile, tablet, or desktop) to prioritize. 
  • Be wary of design trends. It is always so tempting to copy trendy layouts, image treatments or design styles—however, these trends never last too long.

Products & Services

  • Organize your products/services. Create categories that feel intuitive, naming your products and services in the most descriptive way allowing users to sort and filter these pages.
  • Be clear and descriptive on product pages. In the product description, make sure to include as many helpful details as possible, and include several product images. (Four images is generally considered best practice.)
  • Make product variants easy to find and select. Users will want to preview several options before making their decision. Make this easy by allowing users to browse variants on product pages, and adding unique preview images for each variant.
  • Highlight special offers. If you offer subscriptions or bundles, be sure to promote these options on product pages.

Costs, Shipping & Checkout

  • Be explicit about shipping costs and additional fees. Surprise charges at checkout are a real barrier to purchase, and will lead to high rates of cart abandonment. Being transparent about these fees on product pages and elsewhere will increase trust.
  • Optimize your shipping and handling times. Be clear about what a buyer should expect and make sure the options are reasonable.
  • Offer a “checkout-as-guest” option. Unless there is a legitimate reason to require users to create an account before purchasing, we suggest making it optional. 
  • Be flexible with payment options. Lots of shoppers like to purchase through Paypal or Apple Pay, and high-priced items can be more appealing with an installment option like Affirm or Shopify Payments.

Accessibility

  • Make sure your text on each page is appropriately sized and legible.
  • Check color contrast to ensure people with disabilities can read and access your content easily.
  • Verify that your website is navigable with a keyboard.
  • Provide alt attributes for non-text elements such as images. Alt attributes describe the image. They are extremely important for customers using screen readers to navigate your site.
  • Provide captions and transcriptions for video content.
  • Don’t use graphic elements such as icons or images to convey important information.
  • Use the simplest and clearest language appropriate for the audience.

And there you have it! While there are several elements that contribute to user experience, these tips should help you create an engaging, navigable, and focused website. And of course, if you need our help reviewing and optimizing your existing website, or designing and developing a brand-new website, we’d be happy to talk. Get in touch!

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