Tech Tips: What Makes for Good Dispensary Website UX?

Here at MediaJel, we devote a lot of our efforts to the question of how to design and build stunning, cutting-edge dispensary websites. Because while a clean, fast and functional website is a pleasure to browse, good design does much more than just look good: It drives sales and increases average order size. How does it work? Start with one of the most crucial aspects of website design: UX, also known as user experience.

Just like the careful steps we take to ensure our physical properties are appealing to all your clientele and function seamlessly, website UX is absolutely critical in crafting a virtual experience customers will want to return to again and again. According to a study by marketing maestros Hubspot:

  1. 93% of people have left a website because it didn’t display properly on their device.
  2. 90% of people have left a website because it was badly designed.
  3. 93% of people have left because a website didn’t load quickly enough.

So, we know UX is vital. But what makes it good? For that answer, let’s drill down a little further.

What Makes for Good Dispensary Website UX

What makes you trust a business—or, for that matter, a person—you’ve never met?

As you might expect, think tanks and foundations have devoted a great deal of time to the issue. One of our favorite formulations is the Nielsen Norman Group’s “Hierarchy of Trust,” a pyramid-shaped graphic that serves as a handy visual reminder of the cues we seek—consciously or not—when we’re assessing someone’s trustworthiness.

UX has a lot to say about this, and how your website might be conveying subtle messages about trust. Some of the signifiers UX designers look for in a website include:

  • Is the URL Trustworthy? Most website hosts and providers offer HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) websites, but some are still dallying with the insecure HTTP format. Look for a padlock icon to the left of a given site’s URL to be sure it’s an HTTPS site.
  • Seeing is Believing: Does your site use high-quality, non-generic, and correctly sized images? Even more than the copy on your website, images and graphics are an instant visual cue that connote trustworthiness and solidity. Make sure your website looks visually clean and professional.
  • Words Matter: Does your website copy fall into jargon or colloquialisms? Time to fix that. Especially in a formerly black-market industry, it’s absolutely critical to communicate in a clear, informative, welcoming, and neutral tone.
  • Brand-building: Establishing a brand relies on all the elements we just referenced. At its core, brand-building is about using these pieces to construct a consistent narrative about who you are, what you offer, and why you’re a trustworthy retailer. It requires that you know who you are as a business entity are and that all your outreach reflects this simple and overarching truth.

What Makes for Good Dispensary Website UX: Elements of Design

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With the crucial foundation of trust under our belts, let’s look at a few specific elements of design that have a direct bearing on UX (and profitability).

  • Simplicity Is Key: It’s helpful to remember what your website is there for: To convert visitors into customers. And for that to occur, it’s crucial above all that your website be as simple as possible without forsaking functionality. That means a minimum of visual (or sonic) distractions, and clear navigational aids to help direct visitors wherever they want to go from any single page on the website.

    Some additional concerns: Is there ample white space (also known as negative space)? Are there a distracting number of pop-ups? Does auto-playing audio or video distract them from their purpose (or, even worse, prompt them to immediately close the tab)?

  • Good Content Matters: Here at MediaJel, we spill a lot of ink on the topic of content marketing, and why it needs to be a crucial part of your overall marketing plan. The same goes for your permanent web copy. Poorly written content—or content designed for keyword stuffing—fails. We’re not talking about publishing novels here; even when your copy is short and sweet, it should be clear, functional, and compelling. End of story.

    On a related note, the use of formatting elements such as subheads, bullet points, short and easy-to-digest paragraphs is an important factor in determining overall UX quality. Remember: It’s not just what you say, but how it’s presented that makes a difference.

  • Deliver Relevance and Value: At the end of the day, your chief concern may be your bottom line. But that said, the connection with your audience is what will keep visitors returning to your website again and again, whether it’s to see the products you’ve carefully sourced or to read helpful and informative blog posts on how they can get the most out of them. Need a little help on that front? Start with this helpful guide.
  • Keep UX Front of Mind: As should be clear by now, UX is a holistic approach to website design. And if you host an ADA-compliant website, that’s good news! You’re already incorporating many of its core principles. These include simplicity, accessibility, and a clear system of Information Architecture that always allows visitors to navigate from every page.

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