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Widgets: What They Are & How They Can Improve Your Site’s UX

Northsail Knows the Value of Utilizing Powerful Tools

When you're creating a website, you want to make your UX as comfortable and reliable as possible for your users. This way, you can start establishing a strong relationship with visitors from the moment that they click onto your page.

Northsail knows a lot about building strong long-term relationships with customers. Our customers know they can trust us, because we have a track record of always delivering our projects on-time, on-spec, and on-budget.

However, if you're a business that's creating your website for the first time, or you're starting on a much-needed website overhaul, you might have heard the term 'widget' being thrown around a lot in regards to website design, but what actually are they?

We've got some tips on how you can improve your website by including widgets directly into your UX, but let's discuss the basics first.

What is a 'Widget'?

A widget is a part of the user interface built into your website, which offers a specific way for users to interact with your operating system (OS) through your website pages or within an application.

If you're thinking that this could mean quite a lot of different things, you're correct!

Depending on the type of widget that you're choosing to integrate into your website, it can offer either minor UX benefits for potential customers, or it can play a huge role in the user engagement each website page draws.

Widgets can be added to virtually any type of landing page, from blog posts to contact forms, and they can each offer unique value to your customer experience.

What are Some of the Different Types of Widgets?

As we mentioned, there are a wide range of different types of widgets. Some of these include:

These are just a few of the options available for you to use, but as you can see a widget can incorporate virtually any of the interactive elements your users need to guide their customer experience.

The Benefits of Including Widgets in Your Site Design

There are countless benefits that you'll notice once you start using custom widgets in your site designs.

All of these interactive elements help keep your UX feeling comfortable for users, which encourages them to continue exploring the content on your site and moving further down your sales funnel.

Some specialized widgets will even offer valuable user insights, which can help you continue to grow and evolve your website design strategy and marketing campaigns to create the most efficient, seamless experience possible.

SIDE NOTE: Be sure to check how your widgets function on different screen sizes. Forgetting to optimize for mobile users can cause a lot of problems, including impacting the functionality of a wide range of widgets.

5 Tips for How to Use Widgets Effectively:

1.) Be Mindful of Your Widget Settings

You might not realize this, but widget settings can cause massive issues for business owners if they aren't set up properly. And there are some relatively simple steps to ensure this doesn't happen.

Many widgets offer a range of customization options that you can utilize to help ensure the online businesses can utilize them effectively, regardless of their industry and site style.

However, if the settings on these customized widgets aren't arranged properly for users, it could actually break some of the functionality of your site. In turn, this has a huge negative impact on your user experience.

Remember, user experience has an impact on every part of online stores. Potential customers won't keep moving down your sales funnel, if navigating parts of your site is difficult or frustrating.

Checking your widget settings before you publish a page is a straightforward process, it's just important to ensure you don't forget to do this step.

2.) Don't Overlook Social Media Widgets

Does your business have a presence on social media platforms? In this digital age, almost all online stores have some sort of social media profiles that they use to promote their brand and increase brand awareness.

Social proof is one of the most valuable commodities in today's user experience. People want to know that you've already satisfied other customers ahead of them with an exceptional user experience, before they consider your brand above your competitors'.

Social media widgets help ensure that visitors to your site can quickly and easily find you on your chosen social networks, so they can start following your posts there.

This gives users the opportunity to ask you common questions directly (and publicly), and it can provide countless valuable insights into where your business is succeeding - as well as where you need to improve.

If you aren't actively using social media accounts to promote your business, this is your wake-up call. It's time to get active on social networks. Trust us, you won't regret it.

As soon as you're up and running, ensure you've got social media buttons on your site that users can utilize. It will help you build a following much faster than keeping these marketing campaigns separate from one another.

3.) Include Useful Educational Widgets

This is something that a lot of online businesses don't even think about when they're creating their site designs.

The fact is that a bit of extra visual information (as long as it fits with your brand and isn't distracting from the rest of your site) can really improve your UX.

Calendar widgets are one example that are easy to incorporate and display, while also not distracting from the rest of your page content. If you're running timed promotions, these are especially effective, since they help enforce the sense of urgency that you're trying to create by running a limited time offer.

Another example would be weather widgets, which display the local weather forecast on your page for users.

This might be especially effective for businesses that are selling outdoor equipment, gardening tools, camping gear, etc. Basically, anything that customers use outside.

These are just two examples, but there are other forms of image widgets like these, which can offer additional educational value for visitors while they explore your site.

4.) Use Widgets to Collect Valuable Customer Data

You didn't think we were going to get through this list without talking about collecting customer data, did you?

There are a number of custom widgets that you can use to help collect valuable customer data, such as contact form widgets, customer feedback forms, email address forms (to expand your email list), online surveys, and direct feedback tools, like website chat features.

In addition to extremely beneficial customer data, this also allows you to collect direct customer feedback in a number of different ways. While social media allows you to collect in-the-moment feedback from customers, these forms allow you to collect quick website feedback.

You can even build in an interactive feedback button onto the bottom of your landing pages, so that if a customer has something that they would like to share with you immediately, they can get in touch with a member of your team right away.

However you choose to collect it, personalized user data can tell you everything from the symptoms of user frustration to product reviews. And any information you can get directly from real users (especially feedback with context) helps you improve your digital marketing strategies for future campaigns.

5.) Hire an Agency to Help

Still not feeling like you're totally comfortable using widgets? Nervous that without a developer, you'll need a step-by-step guide to get your widgets up and running? Considering hiring a digital marketing agency to help.

These experts will have all the knowledge and experience needed on their team to ensure that you can get all the widgets you need set up and running quickly and efficiently.

In addition to helping with this, they can also help oversee your entire website marketing strategy to ensure your UX offers a seamless experience.

For e-commerce websites with high bounce rates, this type of oversight and assistance can make a world of difference.

They can help install a range of widgets into your site, offer suggestions to improve marketing strategies based on user insights, and even use Google Analytics to help you optimize your entire site to create the most engaging customer journey possible.

Let Northsail Help Make Your Next Website Project a Breeze

Easily Add Customizable Widgets Using Horizon

Worried that you won't be able to work with widgets, unless you hire an expensive agency or developer to oversee your project? Well, we have good news for you.

Northsail's newest service - Horizon - allows you to easily add custom widgets to your website, without the need for experience or a pricey developer.

Not only that, Horizon allows you to quickly and easily create high-performance landing pages, create customized customer data forms, and control all your website projects from a single, intuitive dashboard.

Best of all, you can try Horizon for yourself for free for 30 days. No obligation or credit card information required. All we ask is that you take a few minutes to tell us about your experience when your trial is completed.

It's really that easy to get started. Are you ready to take back control of your next website project and start using widgets to improve your insight about users?

Sign up for early access to Horizon!

We’ll send you important updates about the early access program and your free invite when we are ready.

Your contact information will only be used for the early access program, not for future sales and marketing.

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