8 Ways To Improve User Experience Free UX Tools

A look at 8 areas you can improve your website's User Experience and increase conversion rates. Features FREE UX tools and FREE competitor comparison.

8 Ways To Improve User Experience Free UX Tools
Written by Paul Mortimer
Analytics, Digital marketing  |   3 minute read

Your website's User Experience is probably the most important thing you need to get right. It underpins the whole fabric of your website and therefore your online business.

8 ways to improve user experience 

There are an endless amount of websites competing for a limited number of customers.

And these are customers that won't even wait longer than a few seconds for a website to load before heading elsewhere. According to Akamai, 40% of users abandon a website if they have to wait just 3 seconds.

So, on that note, let's look at 8 ways to improve User Experience (UX) on your website with these free UX tools and tips.

1. Speed Up Load Times

As a start, you need to reduce the amount of content that needs to be loaded whenever a user heads to your page.

Simplify and streamline the layout of your page, reducing the number of elements. Reduce the file and pixel size of your images. Put key information above the fold.

Try using these tools to get started:

- Use Yslow to examine your site's speed and get tips on how to improve it.

- Try Google's PageSpeed Insights extension tool to analyse and optimise too.

- Quickly resize your images. This can be done in Photoshop as an action or by getting a free tool like this one.

- If you are offering high quality, large file sizes on your pages, try enabling compression of the page itself using Gzip

Google PageSpeed Screengrab

Google's PageSpeed

2. De-Clutter The Layout

Less is more. And now this refers to the UX in terms of emotional response, as opposed to load speeds and interaction time. Users are becoming more visually orientated all the time. Aesthetics are crucial.

A sloppy, untidy website subconsciously equates to a sloppy and untidy service.

Check out these sleek websites and use an annotating tool, such as the one built into Microsoft Edge, to make notes on what you like.

Have a look at the UX here, here and here and some poor ones here

Pact Coffee homepage

Seriously good UX by Coffee Pact

3. Catch Your 404s

Hunt out your broken links by using a checker like this one. Then, learn how to fix them via Google.

Lastly, the aim here is to improve the user's experience on your website so get creative with the 404 landing page.

Admit that you have gone wrong, make the user smile and avoid them getting annoyed, before offering them a way back home.

This will preserve their experience on your website and increase the likelihood of a conversion.

Get some creative 404 inspiration on Muzli.

man and woman on a bike as a good example of 404 ux

Photo via Muzli 

4. Check Mobile Friendliness

More people use Google via a mobile device than on a desktop. Fact.

You must have a mobile friendly site. If your host doesn't do this for you, check how compatible you are with this tester from mattkersley.com. Then read our blog post on making your site mobile friendly.

We also suggest checking how compatible your site is with different browsers that users may be running.

You may need to adjust your layout and content accordingly.

web responsive

Cross format examples

5. Proper Spaceplanning

Use this free Lorum Ipsum generator to help you plan your layout before you enter your copy.

Let your layout be the driver and it should lead to more effective content anyway, ending in a better user experience.

6. Be Precise With Colour

Using a simple extension, such as Colorpic, will allow you to be precise with colours.

As said, users are visually led. A consistent colour scheme is key for both branding and UX.

Don't go for a rough estimation.

This tool lets you get exact colour references from anywhere on screen, allowing you to crib from others or blend your own site to perfection.

Colourpic homepage
Features of ColorPic

7. Survey Your Users

There are all sorts of benefits to this and it ties in with the next point too.

You need to know what your users think of your website.

You might love it and be able to get straight to where you want to be, but you made it and know what it offers already. Gather a pool of ready participants and let them loose. Then set up a survey for them to complete afterwards at Survey Monkey.

Alternatively, use free trials or pay a small fee for the very excellent Five Second Test.

Survey Monkey homepage

8. Finally, Monitor Your User's Habits On Your Site

Knowledge is key and Google Analytics is an absolute must. It enables you to learn which pages people are using and which they aren't, when they are visiting and where they come from.

You can react accordingly and amend what isn't working as it is a signal the UX is letting you down.

You can even find out where on your page people are clicking via heat maps.

Are they even touching that side bar at all? Are they reaching links at the bottom of the page or are they not reading that far?

Then you can tweak things to sharpen up that UX, which should also speed up their time spent traversing your site.

As we've seen, speed is what users are most concerned about.

clickheat screenshot

Example of a heat map of user clicks

Another Ace Up Your Sleeve

Now that you have got your own house in order, stay ahead of your competitors with our FREE competitor comparison tool. Click on 'Compare Now' in the yellow box below to get the lowdown on your competitors.

The Digital 22 Competitor Comparison Tool