If you’ve ever visited a website that was difficult to navigate or took a long time to load, you probably exited it and went to a competitor’s website to find what you were looking for. This example explains the importance of user-friendly websites. A website that is user-friendly contributes to the success of your company and to the trustworthiness of your brand.
To make your website user-friendly, pay attention to:
A website that looks as if it was put together by a kindergartener will send users running straight into the arms of your competition.
Strong site navigation makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for and to know where to go next. A site that’s easily navigated contributes to a positive user experience and encourages visitors to explore your site. So, how exactly do you make your website easy to navigate?
Organize your navigation menu. Your navigation bar should not have too few or too many links or titles. If there are too few, consider creating more pages and moving some of what you have on your home page over to the newer pages. If you have too many elements in your navigation bar, consider using main headings and sub-headings to organize your site.
Put your navigation menu where users can find it. Don’t make visitors play hide and seek with your navigation bar. Put it at the top of the page or add it as a sidebar. Additionally, some websites have their navigation in the footer on each page. Another good practice is to make your hypertext stand out. Ensure your hyperlinks look different from the body copy so that users can distinguish them. Use a different color, bold it, or underline it, so that when users see it, they automatically know it’s a clickable link.
Lastly, make your navigation responsive on mobile devices. Most of your visitors will go to your site through their mobile devices. Make sure your menu is easily accessible and in the right place. If it’s too large to show clearly on mobile, consider using a hamburger menu. Website navigation is an important element of user experience. Making your site more navigable will encourage visitors to stay and explore and ultimately, increase your conversions.
Responsive web design is when a web layout is flexible enough to adjust the content of a page according to the size of a device’s screen. This is important because we’ve moved way past desktop computers and monitors. The majority of people view sites from their smartphones (at least 60% of users). A responsive design creates an enjoyable experience for the user and is essential for a website’s success. To implement a responsive design, you can make use of a fluid grid and design for touchscreens.
Use a fluid grid. At one point, most websites were built using pixels. This meant that their websites maintained perfect alignment and the website looked identical on all devices. It also meant that users visiting these sites from mobile devices experienced a desktop-resolution website on a smaller screen, leading to a poor user experience. A fluid grid sizes the elements of your site proportionally, to fit the size of the screen you’re using to view.
Take touchscreens into consideration. When designing your site, on desktop view, make sure the items on the navigation menu are large enough to be pressed. This is because some laptops have touchscreen functions. When looking at the mobile view, ensure buttons are large enough to be detected and easy to select.
If you want to know if your website is responsive, visit it from different devices, such as laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones. If the contents appear proportionate and you can navigate it easily, then you have a responsive website.
Ease of Use
Your website can have an extraordinary design, great content, and amazing features, but if you don’t make it easy to use, you can frustrate your visitors and send them away. To avoid a high bounce rate, there are a few things you can look at when working on the usability of your website.
One of them is readability. Website readability refers to how easily visitors can read and understand text on a web page. This is important because users want to find the information they’re looking for as quickly as possible, so you need to make this information easy to find. Readability will depend on your choice of fonts, colors, background, and context.
The next element is site search. Even if you have all your content properly laid out, there will still be some users who will want to search for what they need. Place your website’s search feature in a standard place, where visitors can find it quickly and use it easily.
The proper use of white space also contributes to ease of use. White space is the space between elements on your page. White space does not need to be white. It can be any color, texture, or background, as long as it helps focus users’ visual attention. It is used deliberately in websites to avoid clutter and make text easier to read. The correct use of white space in text can increase readability by up to 20%.
If you don’t leave enough space in between your content or elements, your website will look unstructured. The problem with this is that if you have a lot of information, even if it’s valuable, users may face information overload. This can lead to content that’s difficult to consume and consequently, frustrated readers.
However, adding white space in areas where your audience might tend to pause makes your website easier to read. Keep in mind that people want to get their answers as quickly as possible, so make the information scannable so users can get to where they want to go effortlessly. Part of the web development process includes factoring in every aspect of web design to ensure the final outcome makes users want to stay.
Calls to Action
A call to action (CTA) is a written directive that encourages visitors to take a desired action. These are text, buttons, or links to contact forms, buying options, subscriptions, or demos. The simplest Call to action is the “Buy now” button found on many E-commerce sites. A clear call to action is a valuable tool that can motivate your audience to seal the deal. However, for your CTAs to have the desired effect, they need to be well-crafted.
Start with a strong command verb. Because the character limit is small on a CTA, you need to be clear and concise. Let the audience know exactly what they’ll get when they click your link. A few examples of powerful CTAs are:
Sign up here!
Join our newsletter!
Provoke an emotional response. Make your audience eager to click your ad by eliciting an emotional response. If your CTA is enthusiastic, it can appeal to your audience. Examples of enthusiastic CTAs are:
Purchase your dream home today!
Start your weight loss journey now!
Become a better you!
Confidence starts here!
Give a good value proposition. Let your audience know what benefits they will get out of clicking the CTA. For example,
Sign up today and get x% off!
Download for free!
Start your free trial!
Get your free quote!
These are just a few ways to create simple, but effective CTAs.
53% of website visitors will leave if a web page takes more than 3 seconds to load. Bounce rates increase with page loading speed, and high bounce rates can hurt your rankings, which in turn, can negatively affect your future conversion rates.
It’s not unreasonable for users to expect a fast-loading website. Many visitors are pressed for time and want to get the information they need quickly. To encourage your visitors to stay, your website needs to work properly and load quickly. If your website is loading slowly, there may be many reasons why this is happening, but many of them are a quick fix.
Taking the necessary steps to increase your site’s speed is an important part of delivering a good user experience. Having a website that is simple, yet effective can reduce your load time and give visitors a more pleasant experience. You can do this by increasing your bandwidth to support more visitors, reducing the number of ads on your site, optimizing images, enabling a CDN, removing animated content, and reducing the amount of HTTP requests made.
Your website performance will depend greatly on your site layout. Remember that users form an opinion about your site in 0.5 seconds. For this reason, your site layout should be optimized to improve performance and reduce bounce rates.
One thing you can do to improve your site layout is to simplify. Too many options or using industry jargon can frustrate viewers. Only add items on your menu that are necessary, and stick to common terms. For example, don’t call your blog “musings.” Use words and phrases that people will recognize right away.
Choose the right color scheme. Different colors evoke different emotions. Use only 3 or 4 colors in your palette to elicit the right emotion for your business. Red prompts action, orange can create a sense of urgency, green implies balance, and blue gives a sense of calm. Use colors to communicate your message and say what you stand for.
Finally, make your content scannable. If your web pages require a lot of text, use headlines and font styles appropriately to make it easier on the eyes. Take a look at how ACE Virtual Events breaks up its services into sections that make it easy to find what you’re looking for in the picture below.
Designing a simple but elegant website can build trust and increase conversions.
Making your website accessible is the socially responsible thing to do. There are certain impairments that may affect a user’s ability to interact with a website, including visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive impairments. However, by improving your site’s accessibility for people differently abled, you are ultimately improving the site for all users. How exactly can you go about improving your site’s accessibility?
You can make use of captions. If you include audio or video files, provide captions for these. These will help those with auditory limitations. It’s also useful for people who are in public spaces without headphones.
Add alt text to images. Alt text can be read aloud by screen readers used by visually impaired users. This is also displayed if an image fails to load, helping users understand the content of your page. Additionally, it’s a very valuable SEO tool that can boost rankings if keywords are included.
Simplifying your forms also helps improve accessibility. Make sure forms are clearly labeled and don’t ask for too much information. Set up your forms in a way that the tab key can be used to move to the next field. Lastly, structure your content using headings and subheadings, so that screen readers can scan the content.
A website that is user-friendly gives visitors a pleasant experience and allows them to interact with your page easily. This encourages them to spend more time on your site, and may ultimately lead to conversions. By improving the quality of your site, your SEO ratings will also be boosted, which in turn increases the quality and quantity of website traffic.
To make your website user-friendly, make sure your site is easily navigated and has a responsive layout. Include elements such as site search and adequate white space to make your content easier to read and scan. Use clear Calls to action that appeal to your audience. Optimize your site to load quickly and simplify your site layout to improve performance. Finally, use captions and alt text to make your site more accessible to all. These are just a few ways to design your site with users in mind.
Do you want to get started on your own user-friendly site? We create fantastically fun websites that just work. Our sites are built with users in mind, and we make the process fast, fun, and easy. If you’d like to know how we can help, send us a message. We would love to work with you.