If your pages aren’t designed with UX in mind, it’s going to hurt your e-commerce business on multiple levels. Not only will users turn away from your site towards another that’s easier and more intuitive to use, but Google doesn’t look so fondly upon poor UX, and that will show up in your ranking.

Still, many e-commerce businesses don’t have a solid grasp on everything that UX encompasses. While 75% say credibility is connected to site aesthetics, it isn’t all about photos and illustrations. It’s the combination of overall look, layout, and usability of a site that either adds to the UX or seriously detracts from it.

For e-commerce businesses, UX design is a necessity. Your entire business depends on your ability to provide each user with a positive experience. This means understanding the needs, wants, values and trust factors of each person that lands on your site. Even in a tight niche market, this can be difficult to accomplish, so we rely on certain universal UX design elements that appeal to every customer, no matter who they are or what brought them to you.

Here are five of the universal UX design elements that you should be optimizing on your e-commerce site today.

Responsive Design

Responsive Design

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As an e-commerce business, the responsibility of meeting your customers where they are is entirely on your shoulders. This is a weighty task considering you have no idea which customers are coming to you from desktops, smartphones, or tablets. You might have an idea of where most of your traffic is coming from, but those aren’t the only customers that matter.

The important thing to remember about universal UX is that it isn’t just about mobile optimization, although mobile UX is extremely important, with 85% of people thinking that a mobile site should be just as good, if not better than a desktop site. Still, you want to provide an amazing UX to everyone.

Responsive design is the answer to this problem.

Responsive design uses a combination of a fluid grid and flexible images that automatically adjust themselves according to the screen size of the device being used. Responsive design saves e-commerce businesses the time and expense of designing a site variation for each device.

Visual Hierarchy

Visual Hierarchy

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Each person that lands on your page is there for a reason. Why make it difficult for them to find the most important information on your site? Visual hierarchy is a design concept that prioritizes elements and content to accomplish your goals while making your site more intuitive to use.

Visual hierarchy can be achieved through strategic placement and being aware of natural page scanning patterns. The most important element should stand out first. For example, if you have multiple calls to action on a page, which is the most important? Make sure that is the one that’s highlighted in bold, contrasting colors and can be found visually with ease.

Visual hierarchy takes the guesswork out of your e-commerce page for the customer, and this provides a positive UX every time.

Color and Contrast

Color and Contrast

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Color theory is an often-overlooked element of universal UX design. Colors are important as they also tie into visual hierarchy and should be chosen carefully. Smart e-commerce color concepts consider visual appeal and how well the colors contrast with each other. Each color on your page interacts with the others and will directly impact visual appeal and readability.

You want a color scheme that isn’t difficult to look at but also contrasts in a way that makes it easy to spot the essential elements on your page.

It’s also important to consider visual impairments and color blindness when choosing your site colors. Avoid colors that pose difficulties for people with various visual impairments including varying shades of a single color, especially reds and greens.

Accessibility

Your visitors are coming to you from different devices, some of which have limited capabilities. This alone is a solid reason for building accessibility into your web design, but it isn’t the most important. A portion of your market is going to have limitations in their physical ability to interact with your site. As the aging population of the world is growing and becoming more comfortable with technology, this is something that e-commerce businesses need to be more aware of.

Accessibility is key for universal UX design.

But, what does accessibility mean in terms of UX design? Well, it means paying attention to features like keyboard accessibility where elements of your page can be clicked on and navigated through without needing to use a traditional keyboard.

It’s also important to be looking at how accessible your content is for visually or hearing-impaired individuals. Closed captioning and alt text are vital for people who otherwise may have difficulty interacting with your content. 47% of people interact with at least 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales professional.

Think of the loss of revenue that comes when your content isn’t accessible to all audiences.

The Simplest Solution Is the Best Solution

Simplest Solution is the Best Solution

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If there’s one thing to remember for a great universal UX it’s that less is more. When contemplating solutions to your web design, stick with the simplest solution for the best outcome.

For example, if you’ve created what you feel is a great page, but don’t know what to do with all the extra white space, then just leave it. White space serves a purpose on web pages. It highlights design elements, provides a more fluid experience and makes sites easier to visually navigate. Resist the urge to overcrowd and overcomplicate your design.

Additionally, minimize choices. The less complicated you make the decision process for the user, the better. The best choice should be the simplest one, every time.

Is your e-commerce site designed with universal UX in mind? If not, we can help you build a stronger e-commerce business by connecting you with a community of the top digital marketing experts in your area. Contact a UX expert near you today to learn more.

Leilani Wertens Headshot
Content Manager at

Leilani is an established digital marketing professional, fine art and editorial photographer, and journalist. She has over 10 years of experience writing, editing, and publishing content for the web.