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Best Practices For E-Commerce UI Web Design

When you envision shoppers moving through the e-commerce sites you construct, you basically anticipate them to follow this journey:

• Step 1: Enter on the homepage or a category page.

• Step 2: Use the navigational elements to orient themselves to the store and absolutely no in on the particular things they're looking for.

• Step 3: Review the descriptions and other significant purchase details for the products that pique their interest.


• Step 4: Customize the item specifications (if possible), and then include the products they wish to their cart.

• Step 5: Check out.

There are variances they might take along the way (like exploring associated items, browsing various classifications, and saving items to a wishlist for a rainy day). For the many part, this is the leading pathway you build out and it's the one that will be most heavily taken a trip.

That holding true, it's especially essential for designers to no in on the user interface elements that consumers experience along this journey. If there's any friction within the UI, you won't simply see a boost in unanticipated discrepancies from the course, however more bounces from the site, too.

So, that's what the following post is going to focus on: How to ensure that the UI along the purchaser's journey is appealing, instinctive, interesting, and friction-free.

Let's take a look at 3 parts of the UI that consumers will encounter from the point of entry to checkout. I'll be utilizing e-commerce websites built with Shopify to do this:

1. Produce A Multifaceted Navigation That Follows Shoppers Around #

There once was a time when e-commerce websites had mega menus that consumers had to arrange through to discover their preferred product categories, sub-categories and sub-sub-categories. While you may still face them nowadays, the better option is a navigation that adapts to the buyer's journey.


The first thing to do is to simplify the main menu so that it has just one level underneath the main classification headers. This is how United By Blue does it:

The item categories under "Shop" are all nicely organized below headers like "Womens" and "Mens".

The only exceptions are the classifications for "New Arrivals" and "Masks & Face Coverings" that are accompanied by images. It's the same reason that "Gifts" remains in a lighter blue font and "Sale" is in a red typeface in the primary menu. These are very timely and pertinent categories for United By Blue's consumers, so they should have to be highlighted (without being too disruptive).

Returning to the site, let's take a look at how the designer had the ability to keep the mobile website organized:

Instead of diminish down the desktop menu to one that consumers would need to pinch-and-zoom in on here, we see a menu that's adapted to the mobile screen.

It needs a couple of more clicks than the desktop website, however consumers shouldn't have a problem with that given that the menu doesn't go unfathomable (once again, this is why we can't use mega menus any longer).


If you're building an e-commerce site for a client with a complex stock (i.e. lots of products and layers of categories), the item results page is going to need its own navigation system.

To help consumers limit the number of products they see at a time, you can include these two aspects in the design of this page:

1. Filters to limit the outcomes by item specification.

2. Arranging to buy the items based on shoppers' top priorities.

I've highlighted them on this product results page on the Horne website:

While you could save your filters in a left sidebar, the horizontally-aligned style above the outcomes is a much better choice.

This space-saving design allows you to show more items simultaneously and is likewise a more mobile-friendly option:

Keep in mind that consistency in UI design is necessary to consumers, specifically as more of them take an omnichannel technique to shopping. By providing the filters/sorting choices consistently from device to gadget, you'll create a more foreseeable and comfy experience for them in the process.


As buyers move deeper into an e-commerce website, they still may need navigational support. There are two UI navigation components that will help them out.

The first is a breadcrumb path in the top-left corner of the item pages, similar to how tentree does:

This is best utilized on sites with classifications that have sub-categories upon sub-categories. The more and more consumers move away from the product results page and the benefit of the filters and sorting, the more vital breadcrumbs will be.

The search bar, on the other hand, is a navigation element that ought to constantly be offered, regardless of which point in the journey shoppers are at. This opts for shops of all sizes, too.

Now, a search bar will certainly assist consumers who are short on time, can't discover what they need or just want a faster way to an item they currently know exists. An AI-powered search bar that can actively forecast what the shopper is looking for is a smarter choice.

Here's how that deals with the Horne website:

Even if the shopper hasn't ended up inputting their search expression, this search bar begins providing ideas. Left wing are matching keywords and on the right are leading matching products. The supreme objective is to accelerate shoppers' search and cut down on any stress, pressure or disappointment they may otherwise be feeling.

2. Show The Most Pertinent Details At Once On Product Pages #

Vitaly Friedman recently shared this suggestion on LinkedIn:

He's best. The more time visitors need to invest digging around for pertinent details about an item, the higher the possibility they'll simply give up and try another shop.

Shipping alone is a big sticking point for numerous buyers and, unfortunately, a lot of e-commerce sites wait until checkout to let them know about shipping costs and delays.

Since of this, 63% of digital shoppers wind up abandoning their online carts since of shipping expenses custom web app development and 36% do so since of the length of time it takes to receive their orders.

Those aren't the only details digital shoppers want to know about ahead of time. They also would like to know about:

• The returns and refund policy,

• The regards to use and personal privacy policy,

• The payment options offered,

• Omnichannel purchase-and-pickup choices readily available,

• And so on.

How are you anticipated to fit this all in within the very first screenful?


This is what Vitaly was discussing. You do not have to squeeze every information about a product above the fold. The shop ought to be able to sell the product with only what's in that area.

Bluebella, for example, has a space-saving design that doesn't jeopardize on readability:

With the image gallery relegated to the left side of the page, the rest can be committed to the item summary. Due to the fact that of the varying size of the header fonts in addition to the hierarchical structure of the page, it's simple to follow.

Based upon how this is created, you can tell that the most essential details are:

• Product name;

• Product cost;

• Product size selector;

• Add-to-bag and wishlist buttons;

• Delivery and returns info (which nicely appears on one line).


The rest of the item details have the ability to fit above the fold thanks to the accordions utilized to collapse and broaden them.

If there are other important details buyers may require to make up their minds-- like item reviews or a sizing guide-- construct links into the above-the-fold that move them to the appropriate areas lower on the page.

Quick Note: This design will not be possible on mobile for apparent reasons. So, the product images will get prominence while the 30-second pitch appears just listed below the fold.


Even if you're able to concisely deliver the item's description, additional sales and marketing aspects like pop-ups, chat widgets and more can become simply as bothersome as lengthy product pages.

So, make sure you have them saved out of the method as Partake does:

The red sign you see in the bottom left enables consumers to manage the ease of access features of the site. The "Rewards" button in the bottom-right is in fact a pop-up that's styled like a chat widget. When opened, it welcomes shoppers to join the commitment program.


Both of these widgets open only when clicked.

Allbirds is another one that includes extra elements, however keeps them out of the method:

In this case, it consists of a self-service chat widget in the bottom-right that has to be clicked in order to open. It likewise positions details about its current returns policy in a sticky bar at the top, freeing up the item pages to strictly focus on product details.

3. Make Product Variants As Easy To Select As Possible #

For some products, there is no choice that shoppers have to make aside from: "Do I wish to add this product to my cart or not?"

For other items, buyers have to specify item variants before they can add a product to their cart. When that's the case, you wish to make this process as pain-free as possible. There are a couple of things you can do to ensure this happens.

Let's say the store you create sells women's undergarments. Because case, you 'd need to use variations like color and size.

However you would not wish to simply develop a drop-down selector for each. Imagine how tedious that would get if you asked shoppers to click "Color" and they needed to sort through a lots or two alternatives. Also, if it's a standard drop-down selector, color examples may not appear in the list. Instead, the consumer would need to pick a color name and wait on the item image to update in order to see what it looks like.

This is why your variants ought to determine how you develop each.

Let's use this product page from Thinx as an example:

There are two variants available on this page:

• The color variant shows a row of color swatches. When clicked, the name of the color appears and the product photo changes appropriately.

• The size alternative lists sizes from extra-extra-small to extra-extra-extra-large.

Notification how Size includes a link to "size chart". That's because, unlike something like color which is pretty clear-cut, sizing can alter from shop to store in addition to region to area. This chart offers clear assistance on how to pick a size.

Now, Thinx uses a square button for each of its variants. You can switch it up, though, if you 'd like to create a distinction in between the options buyers have to make (and it's most likely the better style option, to be honest).

Kirrin Finch, for example, places its sizes inside empty boxes and its color swatches inside filled circles:

It's a little difference, however it should be enough to help buyers transition efficiently from decision to choice and not miss any of the required fields.

Now, let's say that the store you're building does not sell clothing. Rather, it sells something like beds, which undoubtedly will not include options like color or size. At least, not in the exact same method similar to clothing.

Unless you have well-known abbreviations, signs or numbers you can utilize to represent each version, you need to use another type of selector.

For instance, this is an item page on the Leesa website. I've opened the "Pick your size" selector so you can see how these alternatives are shown:

Why is this a drop-down list rather than boxes?

For beginners, the size names aren't the same length. So, box selectors would either be inconsistently sized or a few of them would have a lots of white area in them. It really wouldn't look great.

Likewise, Leesa carefully utilizes this little space to offer more details about each mattress size (i.e. the regular vs. sale price). So, not just is this the best style for this specific variant selector, but it's also a great method to be efficient with how you provide a great deal of info on the item page.


If you want to get rid of all friction from this part of the online shopping procedure, ensure you create a distinct style for out-of-stock variations.

Here's a better look at the Kirrin Finch example again:

There's no mistaking which alternatives are available and which are not).

Although some buyers might be frustrated when they understand the shirt color they like is just offered in a couple of sizes, envision how frustrated they 'd be if they didn't discover this until after they selected all their versions?

If the item selection is the last step they take previously clicking "add to haul", don't conceal this info from them. All you'll do is get their hopes up for a product they took the time to read about, take a look at, and fall in love with ... only to discover it's not readily available in a size "16" up until it's far too late.

Finishing up #

What is it they state? Great design is invisible?

That's what we need to keep in mind when creating these essential user interfaces for e-commerce sites. Naturally, your client's shop needs to be appealing and remarkable ... But the UI aspects that move consumers through the site ought to not provide stop briefly. Simplicity and ease of usage need to be your top priority when creating the main journey for your customer's consumers.

If you're interested in putting these UI style approaches to work for brand-new clients, think about signing up with the Shopify Partner Program as a shop designer. There you'll have the ability to earn repeating income by building new Shopify stores for clients or moving shops from other commerce platforms to Shopify.