10 Steps to Creating an Engaging Digital Experience Build a better website with these 10 tips.

By Matt Orlic

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Shutterstock

In order to be effective, websites need to be multifunctional in design. They need to be built like a house: protecting against the elements, providing a comfortable living space with ample storage, meeting basic needs, etc. Your website should be designed to improve user acquisition, lift engagement and help you retain customers.

It's science and psychology combined with art. Your team should focus on several different elements to create an interactive experience that directly engages the target audience. Here are 10 steps to follow while refining the user's online experience.

1. Focus on user types, not buyer personas

Buyer personas are primarily designed to align marketing messages and ad copy. To create the ideal user experience, you don't need to know what "customer Lisa" specifically likes or what her pain points are. However, you do need to know the user types you're targeting and how they browse and shop, which devices they use, and how they find and use your products. Create your experience around those user type segments rather than buyer personas.

2. Create simple experiences

Customers should feel engaged immediately. Keep your interface clean and simple and embrace white space. This invites them to explore your site on their own rather than forcing them to find what they're looking for among cluttered designs with too many options vying for their attention.

3. Design like Fisher-Price

When you're refining the user experience, aim for something that feels like you're interacting with oversized Fisher-Price toys. This means creating large elements with simplified designs, clear copy that even a child could understand and actionable, concise directions (and calls-to-action).

This kind of experience works perfectly on any device, especially on mobile where larger elements make for easier navigation.

4. Design for limited real estate

Any time you're creating a user experience, you should ask yourself if this is how you'd want it to function on mobile. How would it look on a smartphone versus a tablet? If you're designing on a desktop, you have to carefully consider how it might translate in a mobile setting.

You can guarantee a better experience by designing for mobile users first, ensuring compatibility and a more engaging experience overall.

5. Don't trust your feelings

Never assume that your user experience has reached perfection simply because you personally think it looks great and it did well when you put it through its paces in a test environment. How you or your team views the experience might be wildly different from a customer who sees it for the first time.

Always test the experience with outsiders. There are a number of services that test your user experience with actual consumers. Their comments, responses and activity are recorded during the interaction with your site and/or app so you can review feedback and make necessary changes.

6. Mix up your content

People are engaged in a variety of ways, and some respond better to certain types of content than others. Through testing, you can find the right balance between deeply engaging video or animations, images and written content on your product pages and blogs.

Continue to refine, diversify and test your content with audiences to see how variations in your content change engagement levels. You may discover that static images are less effective, but animation and live video win with your target audience.

7. Make the copy sing

You'd be hard-pressed to develop an engaging user experience that didn't utilize copy in some way. Whether you use minimal copy or long-form content, you need to make sure it's compelling and hooks the user to stay engaged.

Every word should serve a purpose by moving prospects through the experience toward a conversion.

8. Integrate social

Make it easy for your audience to promote products, contribute content (like reviews and thoughts) and interact with other customers within your funnel. Amazon does this through Q&A segments as well as comment sections. Social proof goes a long way toward improving engagement and conversions with prospective customers.

9. Personalize the experience

Make customers feel valuable by directly asking them for feedback while they're on your site. Rather than slapping customers with an opt-in while they're trying to leave, consider creating an exit intent survey that asks them to answer a couple short questions on the experience. Use these customer insights to further improve the UX of your site.

10. Offer customization

Customization in any form is a large part of personalizing the user experience to make it more engaging for each customer. This could involve allowing a user to customize the visual experience of the site (such as layout options and dashboard elements within an online community) to customizing the products they purchase. It allows the user to own their part of the experience with your brand, which will encourage them to return to "their space" in the future.

Matt Orlic

Owner of Inspire Brands Group

Matt Orlic is the founder of Inspire Brands Group, which creates and develops brands worldwide by designing and manufacturing products in several industries, including consumer electronics, sports equipment, toys, sports apparel and more. His brands are distributed globally through mass retailers, and he also is engaged into licensing agreements with some of the worlds biggest brands, including Angry Birds, Liverpool FC, Manchester United and UMBRO.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

Bumble Is Laying Off Over 30% of Workforce as Gen Z Moves Away From Dating Apps

The company revealed its restructuring plans during a Q4 2023 earnings report.

Marketing

7 Ways to Create a Seamless Marketing Campaign Across All Platforms

Achieving cross-platform harmony requires strategic goal-setting, customized content optimization, and a mix of paid and organic efforts.

Business News

Amazon's $1 Billion Innovation Fund Is Looking to Invest in a Specific Kind of Startup

The company's Innovation Fund invests in startups that focus on robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and autonomy.

Starting a Business

How Can You Make Sure Your Business Will Survive Anything? Try These 3 Proven Strategies

No matter how uncertain the economy is, you can survive anything as long as you prepare. Here are a few strategies to consider.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Oprah Winfrey Announces She's Leaving WeightWatchers' Board, Company Stock Plummets

The news comes just months after Winfrey admitted to using weight loss medication to aid her health journey.