5 UX Tips For Small Businesses

Here’s something we’ve all heard before: the customer comes first. Usually that statement is presented in the context of customer service, but it’s important to realize that great UX strategy is really another service your brand can provide to customers. 

It’s the main reason we conduct UX reviews. By applying scientific research, psychology and design principles, and studying current trends, we’re able to improve the experience customers have when interacting with your website.   

In this post we’ll outline 5 UX tips that can set your website apart from those of other small businesses. These tips will be focused on making sure there aren’t artificial barriers preventing customers from making a purchase or becoming loyal to your business.

1. Create an engaging experience

You only have one chance to make a good first impression. In most cases, a customer’s first impression of your brand will be when they visit your website. 

The homepage should give an introduction to your brand, highlight the product or service you offer, and above all, be engaging. 

In other words, the experience of a customer is just as – if not more – important than the information presented. If you bore them they won’t read on or come back for more. Be informative and entertaining at the same time.

2. Provide clear navigation

Think about the last time you were in a supermarket. You probably didn’t know where everything on your grocery list was, so you looked up at the signs hanging down from the ceiling. 

Every aisle was clearly labeled with the products found there. The same thought can be applied to your website – you need to clearly direct users to each page so they can find the information they’re looking for.

That means using direct labels and not marketing speak that could be confusing. It’s also important to have a hierarchy or information, so the most important pages will come first and not be buried at the end of the navigation bar. 

Directing users to multiple pages and providing a deeper experience can increase conversion rates.

3. Keep things short and simple

We understand you’re passionate about your business and have a lot to say about it, but it’s also important to not overwhelm customers. Giving them a taste of what you offer will keep users hungry and encourage them to engage with your brand further to find out more information.

Sticking to the essentials helps especially on your homepage. Use this simple rule: if something isn’t 100% necessary, don’t include it.

This rule is even more crucial now with the popularity of mobile devices. People are willing to scroll to read information, but there is a limit to how far they’re willing to go. 

The information you present can’t be endless. A great mobile experience can really set your brand apart because it’s not something a lot of small businesses consider and do well.

4. Make sure text is readable

This tip is more focused on design than content because a bad layout can distract from even the most important messages. One way to make sure the text on your website is readable is to keep it large – especially if you have an older target. 

The recommended paragraph text size for most audiences is 16 point font, but for an older audience you can go slightly larger – up to 20 point.

Also don’t go text heavy! Provide plenty of breathing room and keep in mind that people don’t read every single word. They scan for the important and most relevant information.

Remember how I talked about the importance of good mobile design? I want to reiterate that here because while scannable designs are important for desktop, they’re even more necessary for mobile users. 

A few easy ways to make sure your website is scannable are to utilize bullets, short headlines, and icons to separate thoughts and make information less dense from section to section.

5. Be obvious with your Call to Action (CTA)

It seems fitting to talk about CTAs last. This is where you need to make it clean what you want the user to do. What is your main objective? 

Directing customers to a specific page, or encouraging them to perform a certain action will help you accomplish your goals.

Good CTAs are clear and direct. They don’t use fluffy or confusing language. Be obvious. It’s also important to make sure calls to action stand out and look different than the rest of the page. 

We discussed how customers scan for information, so we want their eyes to catch the CTA.

About the author:

Janani B.

Janani has a Master's in Design Thinking and writes frequently about UX, design, psychology, and other topics.