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When you’re in the process of putting together your business website, you’re going to receive a lot of advice on what to do and not to do. One such advice that has become very common these days is the idea that your site needs to be user-friendly for it to effectively achieve its purpose.
While this may seem to be like some basic advice which you can pretty much ignore the fact is that you definitely want your site to be user-friendly. Or, what’s the point of having a website if it’s not going to be able to be used by those your business is looking to target?
What Really Is Website User-Friendliness?
When website designers talk about user friendliness or user experience (UX) they are basically referring to the art of making your website simple and easy to use. The idea is to make the presentation of information in a clear and concise way. The arrangement of content and important items on the site should be free from any form of ambiguity. To achieve this you need to understand your customer’s online behavior. Without this insight building user-friendly websites can be daunting.
In these days when more and more people are using the internet for their shopping and other activities having a user-friendly website is not just something to be desired but a necessity. Applying the concepts of usability into your website design will significantly improve how easily visitors move through your website. This will in turn increase the amount of visitors who stay on your site, improve your conversions, and ultimately grow your business profits.
It’s tempting to think this is something that good website design will largely take care of for itself – and that might well be the case. However, you’d be surprised how many poorly designed sites there are that miss this vital component. It’s important therefore that you perform a check on your website to make sure you’ve got your grips on all of the following factors necessary for a user-friendly website.
What Makes a Website User Friendly?
1. Text Should Be Easy To Read
The easiest way of ticking this box is by choosing a dark text on a light background. It doesn’t have to be jet black on pure white; in fact, a cream background is thought to be easier to read off than perfect lily white. However, something within this general area will suffice.
Don’t use a dark background and light text anywhere on your site. It’s difficult to read for anyone, never mind those who might have vision impairments. It can also make a site look out of date, as this was a design “feature” many of the early websites used.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time worrying about the size of the text. Make sure it’s readable to your eyes, but aside from that, this is something most users will do for themselves by adjusting the screen size.
2. The Process Should Be Intuitive
If you’re guiding people towards a purchase of goods or services, then you don’t want to have them guessing at any step along the way. Keep contact details at the top of the site, along with a brief flowchart of what they should do to place an order or make a purchase online.
If this is a particular concern for you, then use sites like Fiverr and ask someone to complete a task on your site. They can then tell you what the experience was like with new eyes, rather than you trying to judge based off how you know the process works.
3. Keep the Basics Front and Center
It’s great if you want to talk about a new innovation on your business site – you should be doing that. Nevertheless, there are some sites where the “news” and other marginally irrelevant pieces of information dominate the landing page.
The most important thing for you to do is direct someone to using your site to make a purchase. That means the essentials for this should be easy to access from anywhere on the site. Place links to the about, contact, and ordering pages on every single page – this is easy to do using permanent headers, footers, or sidebars.
You don’t ever want to have someone lost in your site, wanting to make an order, and not sure where to click next!
All in all website usability or user-friendliness is about simplicity and ease of use. The above are just some suggestions on what you can do right now to improve the user experience on your business website. While there are many other things to consider start with these and you will see improvements.