Your website is the face of your company, your major online presence, and one of your biggest marketing tools.
As such, it’s important that users have a positive experience with your site.
A good experience will reflect well on you. A negative experience will have the opposite effect.
Here are seven design elements that you can implement in your website to make it user-friendly.
1. Follow the hierarchy of information
To make a site user-friendly, there needs to be a clear line of information on the page. One concept should lead clearly into the next, so that users can easily find the information that they want.
Having a clear hierarchy of information in your website is essential to helping users make the decision that you want them to make, and follow the “path” that will convert visitors into customers.
2. Provide bite-sized, relevant content that captures the essence of what you’re going to say
It’s been proven that users often only read 250-300 words or so when they get to a page. If your content is longer, you risk that users will move on without getting the point of your message. You only have 300 words to make your point, so make sure that those 300 words encapsulate your content.
3. Have a hook and a call to action for everything on your website
A hook (the piece that grabs your interest) and a call to action (like the “read more” links on news sites) tell users what you want them to do, and encourage further exploration into the site.
4. Have descriptive headings and lead-in paragraphs
Once you get to a content page, you need a heading that will describe the content the user is about to read, to both inform the user and help him or her decide whether to continue reading.
Having a lead-in paragraph that’s a difference size serves the same purpose; it allows the user to scan it and have an idea of what’s happening in the rest of the page.
5. Use contrast
The user-friendliness of a website has a lot to do with its visuals as well as its content.
To keep your website user-friendly, have a lot of contrast in your design elements, but keep it sophisticated. Contrast is particularly important for usability because you can’t always predict what the user’s default screen contrast will be.
6. Make it scalable
In today’s world of desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, you never know what size of screen someone will use to visit your website. Make sure your site can scale to the user’s screen, and provide content that’s easily readable on any device.
7. Use intuitive site navigation
One of the most frustrating things for users is struggling to figure out how to navigate a website. Having to search for a long time to find content is off-putting, and a good way to drive them away from your site.
Look at the amount of content you have, consider the structure of your website, and make the content readily available to the user without them needing to think about where to find it.
The user-friendliness of your site will determine how your brand is perceived online, and directly affect the success of your venture, whatever it may be.
By implementing the seven suggestions above, you will protect your image and set yourself and your website up for success.
By Sam Rooeintan, founder and creative director of Marstudio