Corporate reputation is too important to risk poor UX
By Chris Henson
The user experience (UX) of a corporate website can significantly influence audiences' perception of a company, yet many companies overlook this aspect of their website. Our latest research reveals that while 97% of the capital market consider the ease of a corporate site’s navigation important, only 7% of websites meet this expectation.
The purpose of a corporate website is to engage audiences in a conversation about why your company matters. Done well, a website can drive the business and brand and help build long-term relationships and trust with stakeholders. An intuitive user experience, including a logical site structure and navigation, responsive design and accessible content, plays a vital role in delivering an effective website. However, our latest annual Webranking research highlights that the corporate sites of Europe's largest publicly-listed companies are falling far short of audiences' UX expectations. Of the 900 websites ranked in our research this year:
- 63% are at least somewhat difficult to navigate
- 64% have too many items in the navigation
- 48% have an inconsistent navigation that makes it unclear where you are on the site
There's no value to your content if it can't be found, and poorly organised content can erode confidence in the organisation behind the website. Good UX needs to be the vehicle driving user journeys, and major website improvements are required for companies to offer a seamless digital experience.
Help your website audiences with these five tips
1. Don't just rely on search
Internal search engines can be fantastic tools for presenting visitors with relevant content. A good search engine will return relevant results and sift through different content types such as pages, documents and press releases. However, your website should not be overly reliant on internal search as an intuitive navigation is a far quicker way for visitors to orientate themselves and access information.
A clear site structure and page layout will help guide users to content and can be an effective way to communicate company priorities. Swedish pulp and paper manufacturer Holmen tackle this well. Their navigation items are recognisable and well-ordered under subheadings, the content is structured into robust blocks so it's easy to follow, and the breadcrumb trail and highlighted top navigation shows a visitor exactly where they are on the site. There's room for improvement as the site can feel quite simplistic and headings are sometimes overlaid on images which impacts accessibility, but it's a solid example of a consistent design.