Written by Christine Kane
Today, more than ever, it is imperative for businesses to have a website. Not only does a website help a business to be found on the Internet, but it also helps to market and sell products or services to both local and foreign customers. However, many owners feel disappointed when there is little goal conversion from their business websites. Thus, it is important to be sure the site is designed with the user in mind. Here are five ways to make your website user friendly:
1. Visually Appealing Designs
In order to have an attractive layout, choose a website layout that will look familiar to your target users. For instance, a two or three-column layout is quite common. Having a column on one side, either on the left or right, of each page makes the overall presentation look consistent and professional. A nice user interface is also key for providing a user-friendly website. Furthermore, ensure that your corporate identity is reflected in your color scheme whilst at the same time ensuring that the background color that you choose is in harmony with your font type. For specific guidelines about the use of fonts, please read the article “12 Typography Guidelines for Good Website Usability“. Otherwise, visitors will not be able to read your content and will move to another site.
2. Intuitive and Logical Navigation
Your website’s navigation must be intuitive. This means that it adheres to established conventions that make it look and behave like users expect it to. Do not invent your own navigation. Even if you explain how to use it, the majority of users will not be bothered to learn. A good navigation menu should be straightforward to use, with concise links. If there are too many links, a drop down menu or, better still, a mega menu is preferred. In this way, users will be easily able to navigate the site and find what they want.
3. Fast Loading Time
“Website Image Usability And SEO Best Practices“
4. Search Engine Facility
If you have significant inventory, it is essential to provide a search engine box at the upper right hand corner of each page. Users appreciate this as it can save them a lot of time. Moreover, users will naturally make use of a search engine within your website if they cannot locate what they are looking for, especially if they cannot figure it out how to locate it using the navigation system. One small tip here is that the search engine should be designed to display zero results if what is searched is not available. Otherwise, users will feel mislead and leave the site. For a detailed list of guidelines on implementing a usable search facility within your site, please read the article
“10 Usability Guidelines For Designing The Search Interface“
5. Contact Information
Providing contact information creates confidence and offers peace of mind to users since they know that there is a real company behind a business website. This will have a potential impact on your goal conversion, especially if you are selling products and/or services directly via your website. Thus, provide easy contact mechanisms such as contact forms and a customer service number conveniently shown in an easy to locate section in your website. When devising these contact mechanisms, please remember that some users would still opt for traditional, offline contact mechanisms. Thus, if possible, do provide a physical address and telephone numbers. In this way, potential customers who want to find more about your products or services can reach you at the click of a button or phone call.
All of these five tips mentioned in this article will help your business website become more user friendly. Not only will prospective customers feel welcome, but they will interact more, visit your website again and recommend it to their peers. As a result, the number of visitors to your website as well as your goal conversion is more likely to increase.
Want to learn more?
If you’re interested in the intersection between UX and UI Design, then consider to take the online course UI Design Patterns for Successful Software and alternatively Design Thinking: The Beginner’s Guide. If, on the other hand, you want to brush up on the basics of UX and Usability, you might take the online course on User Experience (or another design topic). Good luck on your learning journey!
(Lead image: Depositphotos)