A recent study by Makovsky found that web users are willing to overlook the trustworthiness of a website if the user experience (UX) is high quality.

While the research was focussed around US healthcare patients, we'd expect to see similar results if we were to quiz travellers. After all, the usability of website is a key factor in whether a visitor sticks around, regardless of industry.

If a website is cluttered and difficult to navigate, visitors will give up trying to find what they're looking for pretty quickly. However, if you make finding your content and services easy for your visitors, there's a greater chance you will see them become paying customers. So let's look at the ways you can improve your user experience:

1. Go minimalistic

Design trends come and go. But some trends will never disappear – one being minimalism. There's an old adage that less is more, and that couldn't be more true when it comes to website design. It's one of the reasons that flat design, which revolves around removing unnecessary 3D elements, has taken the world by storm in the last few years. Designers are now working from a new iteration, Flat Design 2.0, which keeps the minimalism but adds a bit more depth into the design. Web users love it because they won't have to squint at their screen to make sense of the page.

2. Ensure your site's mobile-friendly

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We bang on about it time and time again, but people are just as likely to view your website from their mobiles as they are from a desktop PC – maybe even more likely now. Therefore, building your website with a responsive design is a must, otherwise you risk upsetting both your customers and Google, who will look at your site unfavourably as it sets about reorganising its search rankings.

3. Make your site quicker

Nearly half (47%) of consumers believe that a website should load in two seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that hasn't loaded within three seconds. Meanwhile, 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with web site performance say they won't return to the site to buy again, according to the same study by Akamai and Forrester Research. Ouch.

The onus is on you, then, to ensure your website is up to speed by whatever means necessary: compressing pictures, using a content delivery network, cleaning up your database.

4. Keep things short and sweet

As nice as it is to think that your visitors will want to spend their day trawling your website to see what it has to offer, they don't and they won't. What they really want to do is quickly find what they're looking for and move on to the next thing on their to-do list. So, if you want people to opt in to receive more information and such like, don't make the sign-up form unnecessarily long. Just some basic details will do for the time being. By keeping things short and sweet, people won't be able to get bored or confused. And with that, thanks for reading!

If you'd like a travel website with a great user experience to improve your customer journey, visit Digital Trip to get started.