Having worked with dozens of companies in my design career I've gotten to see as many different approaches to project management as there are projects. Some work better than others. (Waterile, anyone? That's some hybrid of agile and waterfall methods, but I digress.) Across the board what I often see is a lack of a structured approach to planning the UX part of the project specifically.
Originally posted February 2013
I recently put together a few ‘best practices’ for a client. They needed a very short list of things they could do with minimal effort to improve the SEO of their site.
Make global nav items text, not graphics
Establish target keywords
- use google analytics to find top keywords
Include keywords in text & in page attributes
Make sure URLs are friendly
Name images with friendly filenames
Create a sitemap for the search engines: there does not need to be a link to it – it can be virtually invisible to users
Improve page load times
I put together this list of industry ‘best practices’ which I culled from various sources (listed below). Although this was for a recent client, I realized it could be helpful for many teams to use this list when they’re thinking about how to improve their product design increase conversion.
While the articles listed below are helpful to read, I know most of my clients just don’t have the time, so I put together the top items to make a ‘checklist’ when the question ‘What could we do better?’ gets put to the design team.
Improve the clarity of your main homepage message.
A clear headline is key.- Why and How will this site benefit the user?
- To sell effectively, you have to sell solutions, not products. You also have to sell benefits, not features.
Clear action text wins over vagueness
Look at target keywords in Google analytics
Improve the placement and clarity of the call to action
Is it really obvious on each screen what you want the user to do?
Reduce the number of options on the homepage
‘Analysis Paralysis’ – multiple choices lead to confusion
Improve user flow
Help users find what they’re looking for
Design & implement your site to be accessed from anywhere
Mobile experience has to be part of any strategy to improve conversion or traffic. Users expect websites to work wherever they access them from.
Design for context
Improve understanding of where users are coming from, and what they’re looking for based on where they’re coming from. Researching Google analytics can help
Test with users
While google analytics is invaluable to know ‘what’ users are doing, that quantitative data does not answer ‘why’ users are doing what they are doing. Surveys & user testing can fill in the picture