5 Tips to Improve Your Event Website’s UX
Event professionals are constantly looking for ways to create value within their digital presence. More recently this has been done by melding the live event and digital aspects into one cohesive message and brand image. We recently discussed this and referenced TEDx as an industry leader to follow. To properly position your event online, a focus on User Experience (UX) is a necessity. In the past, UX was merely considered a step in the website design process (usually during the design process, aka the end). But if you’re currently thinking of it as a rather simple step, you should consider reevaluating the process.
The experience of the user should start at the strategy level and filter into every aspect of the process. As consumer expectations increase, focus on the UX has taken center stage. And failure to comply with user standards can result in an experience that is lacking on a fundamental level. If users deem that first touch of the experience as cumbersome and “outdated”, they’ll quickly make an assumption that the event will follow suit. It’s important to understand that consumers want experiences to be simple, consistent, comprehensive and intuitive.
It’s unfortunate that in most cases events can be rather short lived. Therefore, event organizers and planners have a small window to make the significant impact online.There is so much relying on the first impression that your website brings the user, it’s only a matter of due diligence to do everything possible to ensure the impact is substantial. To help create an effective event website or improve your event website’s UX, consider the following tips:
Tip 1: Responsive Design
Responsive design is not a new or innovative feature in websites. However, responsive design is a necessity. Past responsive designs sensed the device as mobile, tablet or computer thus structuring and formatting the design to fit the device. There is so much potential with the amount of accessibility that users have; it's not an option in whether or not to account for the various platforms.
The touch-first responsive design has better device detection and can determine the capabilities of the device. It can sense exactly what device is being used and distinguishes the most common and easily accessible touch points of that device. This information is used to place clickable items better; call to actions and size tap targets are making it easier than ever for users on any device to have a positive experience. Anticipate that users will be registering for your event while in the back of a cab, checking the time and dates mid-meeting, or check in on the speaker line-ups while watching TV.
Tip 2: Make Micro-Interactions Possible
Micro-interactions are small interactions that visitors of your website do subconsciously. Each micro-interaction has a set purpose and reason for existing. They are what make up the moments that contribute to experiences from different features within an event’s website.
Micro-interactions are interactions such as ‘likes’, animated loading screens, answering polls, searching in a search box, navigating through a hamburger menu, pulling to refresh mobile apps, and other small actions that require minimal thought from the user but contribute to the overall website experience. Though there may not be a standard “list” of these interactions, they’re based on daily habits. Think of the mobile apps that you use on a daily basis and mimic those interactions.
Tip 3: Apply Intuitive Navigation
People come to an event website for answers and details about the event. No matter how attractive or interesting a website’s design appears, if the navigation process is difficult and answers are not found in a few clicks, then something is missing or executed improperly. In the past, people followed a “three click” rule meaning that if the necessary information could not be found in three clicks or less, the user would likely exit the website frustrated before finding the necessary information.
This “three click” rule has evolved. Previous to the popularity of mobile phones, people navigated the web with mouse clicks. However, this is no longer relevant because of mobile devices. Scrolling is the new clicking. The “infinite scroll” has emerged. Users scroll through the website content that is organized by level of importance. Take the concept of “three clicks” and apply it here. If users can’t find the information they’re looking for within three movements, they’ll likely abandon the search.
Tip 4: Quality Content Matters
It’s more than usability and appearances; the content can make or break all the work and time you’ve put into the previous tips. Short, sweet and to-the-point is a usual recommendation for event-related content.
Amplify the content and improve the website’s SEO by featuring in-depth speaker profiles and the subject matter of the sessions. Have a clear understanding that content is skimmed or scanned over and not read in detail. Only 16% of people actually read website content word-for-word so writing for the majority (the skimmers) of people using shorter words, sentences, and paragraphs is imperative.
Tip 5: User Experience to Personalized Experience (PX)
As we mentioned, UX is not a step in the design process, but rather an overarching strategy. So what’s the final step? (There’s always a final step) Allow me to introduce Personalized Experience – or PX. PX focuses on consumers’ demand for personalized experiences where they can create a custom experience meant just for them. Having more personalized experiences for visitors will provide a resonating message and tone to visitors.
Currently, many people are creating content thinking about what a user experiences. The shift now is focusing on an opportunity where the user can become an important part of the experience. Bear in mind, different demographics and types of customers interact with event websites in different ways. As this is an emerging concept, test how potential attendees react to your website and provide them opportunities to personalize the experience for themselves.
There’s no doubt that the digital landscape for the events industry is in the process of a major shift. Whether or not you’re implementing this into your event will only become evident over time. By implementing these tips into your event’s website, you can keep your event at the forefront of potential attendees’ minds. Ungerboeck Digital has a deep understanding of all things UX and PX, if you’re curious how your event website can be better optimized to match the digital landscape, let ‘em know!