Top Tips for Building a User-friendly Website
October 13, 2017
We’ve all been there before: clicking on a website and feeling frustrated that we can’t easily find what we’re looking for! When it comes to your business site, being user friendly is absolutely non-negotiable if you want to keep people browsing and clicking, ensuring they keep coming back. Just put yourselves in the shoes of the users and ensure that their experience is as good as it possible can be. After all, the most successful websites are those where the customer is king. How to make your website as desirable as possible? Here’s some sound advice from Action Digital.
Make sure it’s mobile friendly
First and foremost, you’ve simply got to make sure you cater to the needs of mobile users. These days, a user-friendly site has got to be responsive. It has been several years since Google announced that we have passed the tipping point, with mobile searches taking over that of desktop. Consumers these days are increasingly picking up their smartphones and tablets for answers to their questions – in what Google calls micro-moments – and they really want a flawless experience when on the go. A responsive (mobile friendly) website will recognise what device the web visitor is using – be that desktop, smartphone or tablet – and will then accommodate their needs with a resize for optimal viewing.
Simple streamlined design
Design needs to be striking but simple, with impressive visuals that shout out for attention in the most uncomplicated way possible. All visuals need to be strategically thought out and not just placed there for the sake of it, with cluttered and complex designs a thing of the past. The key thing that you need to think about is ‘usability’; the more pleasant and user-centric the visitor experience, the more time they are likely to spend on your website. Visual hierarchy is also important, as the user should generally see your logo first, and then be guided though the most important points about your company or product, albeit there are exceptions to the rule. Remember to make links and buttons clearly visible and ensure that they are clickable. And it goes without saying that users like an attractive design; they don’t want a visual eyesore with anything neon, while creating a striking contrast with colours always works well (eg. black and white). Be consistent too, ensuring the web design reflects the same image and style throughout.
Concise content that’s easy to navigate
When visitors are browsing your site, they really don’t want to have to work hard to find all necessary info. You’ve got to be sure that all key contact information is clearly visible (with phone number, email address, business hours etc). And don’t go overboard with extremely lengthy repetitive content. It needs to be clear, concise, easy to read and something that will really grab the reader’s attention (forget long paragraphs and lengthy text unless absolutely necessary). Add large pictures between your text for maximum impact to bring the text to life. It’s also really important to make sure the navigation bar is super easy to use and easy to find, while social media icons need to grab attention. After all, if you’re active on social media, it’s the best way for website visitors to connect with you and become loyal followers in the future and find out about all your updates and news.
Good search functionality
One of the most important elements for a user-friendly website, is good search functionality. What you don’t want, is people landing on your page and then feeling frustrated that they can’t find what they are looking for. With an average human attention span of 8 seconds, you want to make sure that they find what they need in no time at all.
Target your audience
This last point might seem obvious, but the fact is that you’ve got to know who your audience is. If they are mostly young, arty and hip, you can be a lot more creative and even slightly quirky with your design. If you’re targeting an older crowd, or business oriented minds, then keep to a more sleek design. If you’ve been running your business for a while you should know who your customers are and who else you’d like to target, but if you’re just starting out, you may be feeling a little more lost. Conduct user surveys and make the most of Google analytics which gives you all sorts of insight into your audience and what their preferences are!