Should We Focus on Aesthetics or UX When Designing an Ecommerce Website?


  • Author Emily Smith
  • Published September 24, 2019
  • Word count 779

Naturally, ecommerce websites can be difficult to plan for and design. With the endless features, widgets, and systems that can be incorporated, and that’s without even mentioning the ever-growing list of products to be added and managed in the CMS.

With this in mind, maintaining a minimal and aesthetically pleasing look isn’t easy if you’re also having to provide a wealth of information and direction on the site to simplify the user journey.

More often than not, a user who has navigated to an ecommerce site will know what they’re looking for and what they’re willing to spend on it. Therefore, there isn’t as much pressure as a service site, who need to both sell who they are and why users should use their services.

Obviously, it’s important that there is brand consistency across the site. A simple design shouldn’t look too busy and it should create a strong first impression with users. Powerful and lasting user experience (UX) should remain the priority when designing an ecommerce website.

6 features to bear in mind when designing your ecommerce site:

  1. Search bar option.

As mentioned before, ecommerce websites often have an extensive volume of products on the site. With this being the case, incorporating a search bar at the top of the page can enhance usability massively. Being able to directly search for the product in mind is for sure more user-friendly than having to trail through the copious categories and products featured on the website.

  1. High-quality images.

The individual product pages are your best opportunity to make the product more appealing and really go for the kill. To improve your chances, upload high-quality images and select multiple images to display for each product. You should also provide close-ups and visual representations of how each product can be used. This way, you’re able to showcase the product at its best.

  1. Detailed product descriptions.

Following on from the above point, product descriptions also play a large part in selling the product to the user once they’ve reached the individual product page. Admittedly, typing up in-depth descriptions for every product on the website can be a chore but will ultimately make a big difference in the long run.

Rather than duplicating the same generic description for each product, go into detail about the unique advantages of each one and when it would be best used. This approach stands a much greater chances of persuading the user that they should purchase said product. Duplicate descriptions look robotic and rushed, failing to highlight to the user why this product is different from any other.

  1. Clear CTAs.

‘Call to Actions’ are the bread and butter of your website. Creating a specific user journey throughout the site and guiding users to where you’d ideally like them to end up. In the case of an ecommerce site, this would be to "Buy" a product from your website.

For this reason, highlighting CTAs with a brand colour is a good way to make them stand out from the other copy and text on your website. Or, you could opt to add a hover function, pointing out to users that this is an action they should carry out.

  1. A clear progression chart at the checkout stage.

Breadcrumbs are a brilliant function for a user to identify how they got to that page and easily revisit the previous page they were on.

In regard to the checkout page, these become even more handy as they provide a visual guide of where the user is up to in the checkout procedure and what they’ve got left to do. By clarifying this, the user is able to see how long the checkout process should take, allowing them to prepare for what’s next and save time. Furthermore, this helps prevent them from abandoning the cart and not completing the transaction.

  1. Offer easily accessible support.

By offering live chats and helplines, a customer is always able to ask for help when needed.

For example, if a user cannot find a product, would like to know more information about a product, or has a complaint about the site, being able to reach customer support at any time means these situations can always be resolved. In lieu of not having any support on the site, the user is left frustrated, in search of a different website, and vocally complaining about your company’s lack of help.

By making sure these 6 features are included, you should feel confident that your website offers an easy and simple user experience. Not only will users feel satisfied with their encounter, but also comfortable to revisit the site again.

This article was written by UK & European workwear suppliers, Alsico:

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