When interacting with any kind of content, most users want a human experience. In fact, 73% prefer human interaction when attempting to get advice or resolve any issues they encounter. For web designers and developers, this statistic has big implications.
Without a human touch on your website, you run the risk of alienating a large portion of your audience. And while real human interactions might be impossible to cultivate online at scale, there are methods you can employ to integrate a human connection into your website for the benefit of your users.
Doing so can help eliminate confusion and reduce your bounce rates, so explore what it means to build a human connection into your website.
The benefits of a human connection
Humanizing your web design processes from the beginning can make all the difference in creating a product that users will actually enjoy interacting with. This is because designing for human interaction leads to improvements in everything from how web crawlers understand your page to how successful your users ultimately are in engaging with your content.
Since getting a better Google rank is dependent on features like page loading times and the logical flow of your pages, human-centered development at the core of your design process leads to a host of benefits. Additionally, the power of human-centric language and features is a powerful trend in the modern digital world.
Best-selling author and professional marketer Mark Schaefer is one of many experts who increasingly recognize the power of human connections in a marketing environment in which brand loyalty is often a thing of the past. He argues that the most human brands will have the most success in the future of marketing. Since websites are an essential aspect of brand identity, this is vital to understand in site building.
And now, advancements in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and wireless connectivity on 5G networks have made humanized digital tech more possible and interactive than ever before. For example, web assistants like Siri or Alexa are capable of understanding natural and conversational phrasing because of their NLP capabilities. As a result, web searches themselves are changing.
Human connections, then, are possible to build within websites even if they have some layer of artifice. The point is, users should be able to feel like they are interacting with something that understands their needs, challenges, and ideas.
Let’s explore ways you can build such features into your website.
Tips for integrating human connection into your website
Integrating a human connection into your website doesn’t mean you have to avoid chatbots or remove helpful automated features. Instead, a human connection is best cultivated through a design that admits a brand’s humanity. While this may sound oxymoronic, all marketing and digital outreach is done at some level by real human beings.
To provide a human connection that reaches users where they are, responds to their needs, and innovates for scalability, you have to put the human touch at the forefront of your development approach.
Here are some strategies you can use to humanize your website effectively:
1. Design for where users are.
With the numbers showing that as much as 72% of web traffic may come from mobile devices within the next few years, developers have to design with a mobile-first approach. This includes accommodating all kinds of tablets, Chromebooks, and other useful, portable, and even wearable devices now connected to the internet.
Users need to be able to access your content wherever and however they want, so focus on engaging and adaptable designs that are tailored to the user’s needs. From there, it will be even easier to think from a user perspective.
2. Build for adaptability.
In a similar vein, your website design needs to be built to accommodate business scalability and the human interactions that you’ll need to make engaging content possible. This includes adding features that make it easy to host and link social media and video content, user-created content, and representative access features.
Chatbots can work great for giving newcomers to your site a very human-like experience for having their needs addressed. The more effective your chatbot is in terms of NLP, the more human you can make this experience. Then, if the customer is having trouble they should be able to be directed for its actual human assistance.
Social media platforms too should be built to adapt to the needs of the user and get them in contact with professionals should they need assistance.
3. Don’t look corporate.
Your site should be designed around the specific user functions you want to provide. What you don’t want to do is check a list of boxes that you think are necessary from a business platform.
Create narratives around what you want your users to be able to do and why they would go to your website to help them with any problems or wants they may have. From there, you can design a humanized platform that puts these real needs front and center.
For example, look to social media to observe the ways real people create content to engage organically with their communities.
4. Make content accessible.
Then, ensure your web content is accessible for the widest range of users possible. This means accommodating visual and auditory impairments as well as smoothing the functionality of your site for areas with more limited web accessibility.
Optimize your images, caption your videos, and ensure a hard-line ratio when it comes to text and background contrast. Make use of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the testing resources they provide to guarantee a more accessible site.
5. Ask how and why.
Finally, embrace the ways that humans now interact with search engines and their mobile devices in the real world. For example, the human touch paired with Google Navigation allows us to explore our neighborhoods and communities, find new restaurants and businesses, and even meet new people.
Without a website that can integrate the NLP, personal data, and location tracking tools we need for more convenient exploration while keeping our data safe, you will miss out on creating real human experiences. Ask how and why questions about your website and what users should be able to take from it. then, you can develop greater human connections all in the context of a website optimized for search engines.
Developing greater connections
By following these tips, you can design a website more focused on the real-world needs of your users to create vital human connections. As proven, this is what users want from their online experiences.
Put your users first and allow them to feel human. As a result, the connections you make both with real people and with web crawlers will boost your most important metrics.
Beau Peters is a creative professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he’s learned a slew of tricks of the trade that he enjoys sharing with others who have the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work. When he is not writing, he enjoys reading and trying new things.