Website User Experience (WUX)

The term website user experience, or WUX, describes the user experience when browsing websites, and is therefore distinct from Mobile User Experience and User Experience. Website user experience focuses on the optimisation of a website to improve the user experience. This can be achieved by taking into account classic best practices.

Factors and vulnerabilities

There are various factors that influence the experience a User has when visiting a website. Whether or not a user is satisfied with their experience on the website is directly reflected in the Conversion Rate.

The most important factor influencing website user experience is speed. If an app or a website takes too long to load all content, potential visitors will bounce before the page is even fully visible. The loading time is responsible for a user’s first impression of a website, and is the first element a user comes into contact with when visiting a website.

There are thousands of components that make up the success of a website. These range from the quality of the images used, the Page Speed to the font size and the structure of the sitemap. The most common weaknesses of a website include:

  • its design,
  • the use of calls-to-action
  • its compatibility with other devices and channels,
  • the content.

In order to understand which factors exactly determine the website user experience and to what extent, a user experience web test can provide information[1]. Usually, weak points can be remedied with already proven means from classic SEO, quality assurance and performance optimisation.

Components of the website user experience

The factors and elements mentioned above, which determine the success of the user experience of a website, can be optimised in different ways. The 5 most important components of website optimisation in terms of user experience are:

1. classic Onpage SEO

2. website quality assurance

3. page speed

4. accessibility

5. compliance

WUX Optimisation with SEO

Relevant content that delivers what it promises in the meta description in search results will automatically improve the website user experience[2]. This is because the user will easily find the information they were looking for. For this purpose, the appropriate Keywords should be researched and integrated. Further SEO measures include, for example:

  • structuring the content into shorter paragraphs with relevant subheadings,
  • the use of bullet points, lists and tables,
  • optimised images and graphics that summarise or illustrate text content,
  • use questions that are answered at the same time,
  • Graphs and charts
  • avoid duplicate content
  • optimal use of redirects.

WUX optimisation through quality assurance

For an error-free website, performance is not the only decisive factor. Different factors have to be checked including broken links and errors in the source code[3]:

  • too large CSS and Java scripts,
  • redundant or unusable scripts,
  • incompatible fonts,
  • the correctness and completeness of the sitemap.

WUX Optimisation for better page speed

Page speed is the gateway to generating significant traffic on a website. There are various methods that can help improve the page speed of a website, such as optimising images or deactivating unnecessary JavaScripts. Other measures to optimise page speed include the following aspects[4]:

  • the use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) or a serverless architecture,
  • the reduction of plugins, especially those from third-party providers,
  • the implementation of website caching,
  • using compression to reduce file sizes in order to minimise HTTP requests,
  • the use of memory prefetching techniques such as DNS prefetching, link prefetching and pre-rendering.

WUX optimisation for accessibility

Accessibility is becoming more and more important[5]. This does not only mean that access to a website should be possible from all end devices (mobile and desktop) - in this case, it should be optimised to provide the users with a good experience, for example with content with font sizes large enough to read easily. Accessibility optimisation should therefore enable all users to access web content - without compromising the quality and quantity of a website.

Websites must be designed for voice control or Sprachsuche. Content that can be rendered in different ways - through read-aloud functions, for example, or in different languages, in simple language or in variable font size - also increases the accessibility of a website and thus its usability, chances of ranking highly and traffic rates.

To ensure that websites that are relevant to certain languages or countries can be understood by users and considered relevant by search engines, aspects of multilingualism must be taken into account. International domains therefore need to use hreflang.

The click depth also influences the accessibility of the website. A low click depth has a positive influence on the website user experience as users who have to click less to reach their destination experience a better WUX than those who have to click more.

WUX Optimisation in Compliance

With the introduction of the GDPR, user rights to privacy took on a new significance. When visiting a website, no cookies may be set until the user actively gives their consent. Additionally, users must be given the opportunity to decide for themselves which data may be tracked, and they must be informed about how their data is used and given the opportunity to delete their data. Here, too, optimisations can be made to improve the website user experience without risking non-compliance with certain ordinances and regulations. Three important factors in compliance optimisation in the context of website user experience are:

  • Time: this should reduce the time spent dealing with the GDPR.
  • Cost: the optimisation should reduce the costs related to the GDPR.
  • Complexity: the consent solution should be kept simple and understandable; this is also in the interest of every website administrator due to the lower maintenance costs.

Various approaches are available for this. For example, personal data can be separated on different systems. Personal information can be isolated in separate systems known as "Identity and Access Management" (IAM) systems. These systems manage users, their consents and access options. Alternatively, a Consent Lifecycle Management solution can be implemented that securely stores consent so that it can be reviewed and even revoked at any time. Usually, APIs are integrated in such solutions, which make it possible for other data processing systems to check consent externally. A third alternative leaves the data management or selection of the data to which they give their consent to be stored and processed up to the users themselves.

Another point that positively influences the website user experience in terms of website compliance is SSL encryption, in order to ensure a secure surfing experience for users and to transmit data in encrypted form.

Finally, it has a positive effect on the website user experience if prescribed website standards such as the Guidelines for Accessible Web Content of W3C are adhered to. These describe how websites must be made fully accessible and usable for users with disabilities.