In this episode of the Unbottleneck Podcast, Steve Wiideman is joined by web design expert, Travis McAshan, to dive into creating a website where the user experience becomes the top priority, even above visual appearance. Don’t miss insights on how to find a reliable web designer.

About Our Guest: Travis McAshan

Travis McAshan is Founder and CEO of GLIDE, a values-driven digital creative agency, based in Austin, Texas. His work focuses on passionate startups, nonprofits, and difference makers. The mission at GLIDE is to create digital experiences that are beautiful, useful, and that produce lasting results. Travis is on the board for Entrepreneurs’ Organization giving back to his business community. He’s also built a full-on ninja course in his backyard!

Sponsored by Ryte

  • Creating a Delightful Digital Experience
  • Producing Lasting Results 
  • Understanding the User Experience (UX) 
  • Don’t Make the User Think Too Much
  • How to Find a Web Designer 

Creating a “Delightful Digital Experience” 

What does your website convey about who you are as a brand and a company?

Your website serves as a presentation of your business and what you offer. Therefore, you want to make a great first impression on every visitor. While it is great to have a beautiful website design, it is extremely important to make sure that your website functionalities create a pleasant and effective experience. 

According to McAshan, the two things that make a “delightful digital experience” are beauty and results

Website Beauty Goes Beyond Appearance 

The beauty of a website supersedes appearance alone. It encompasses simplicity, usability, brevity, clarity and humanity. When it comes to your website design, it’s wise to take a “less is more” approach. This will help you remove the clutter and magnify the important elements that remain. 

The results lie within the website’s usability. The truth is, most people don’t care about what your website looks like. They have a problem and they are hoping that your products or services will help them solve it. Therefore, if there are any roadblocks (i.e slow load time) hindering them from reaching a solution, it will negatively impact your results.

Producing Lasting Results 

As a business owner, you want to strongly represent your brand while accomplishing business objectives. In order to do this, you need to find a healthy medium that will produce results – the technical acumen to deliver on business objectives. 

Here are some important questions to ask yourself that will guide your website design strategy: 

  • Who are the people coming to my website? 
  • What are they looking for? 
  • How can we help them make it easier to find what they are looking for? 

What is User Experience (UX)? 

In simple terms, user experience (UX) is a combination of all the components that make up a “delightful digital journey” as previously mentioned. UX is the totality of the customer experience as they engage with your brand from beginning to end. 

Creating a pleasant experience is all about catering to consumer needs during every step of the buyer journey. Not addressing these needs with ease can negatively impact referral traffic and SEO if users are returning to the search results after visiting your website. 

Some examples of poor user experience include: 

  • Slow site speed 
  • Navigation pane has too many options 
  • Website is cluttered with unnecessary functions 
  • Lack of optimization for mobile devices

Websites that provide a great user experiences often have: 

  • Fast page speed 
  • Smooth navigation
  • Clear and simple language 
  • Call-to-action buttons that are easy to locate 

Pro-Tip: The best websites age with a minimalist design. Focus on the elements that matter and continue to build in functions based on user behavior that will further enhance UX. 

If They Have to Think, It’s a Fail 

UX is all about first impressions! 

When people visit your website, you have 5-10 seconds to explain who you are and what you do before they decide if they will stay on your page. 

Oftentimes, your homepage is not going to be the first page that people will land on, especially if much of your referral traffic comes from social media. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that all of your pages are optimized to assist people in their search. 

Not only should you focus on where they land, but you should focus on the next action that they should take in order to fulfill their goal. Your page should explicitly tell them what they should be doing next – they shouldn’t have to search for it. 

In a nutshell, if they have to think about what they have to do next, it’s a fail. 

Finding a Web Designer: How to Get Started

Before you hire a professional web designer, make sure you ask yourself the following questions: 

  1. Do I like their work / aesthetic? 
  1. Can I see myself in their portfolio? (if you’re in real estate, consider someone who has a portfolio of real estate sites)
  1. Are they within my price range? 

Once you answer these questions, a best practice is to narrow your search down to at least three viable options. 

Ask the right questions and get as much information as you can to gain a clear understanding of the designer’s expertise and professionalism. Once you feel comfortable, trust your gut and move forward with the appropriate option to get your website underway! 

Keep up with the best web design and digital marketing strategies. Follow Steve on LinkedIn!