The only way to run a successful website is if you create a user-friendly experience for your viewers. Even though almost 90% of the first impression is tied to visuals, functionality also plays a vital role. People who once leave a website will rarely come back to give it a second chance. Even though there are small chances for it to happen, you don’t want to leave it to luck. What you want to do is make your business website more user-friendly and impress your viewers. Luckily, here is a guide that will explain the most important steps of this process.
1. Fix the issues with your website
The number one task to do is to fix any loading errors or other issues with your website. Tracking issues and tackling them is not the easiest thing to do. However, it is an essential process that will substantially improve the functionality of your website.
The most common issues include:
- pages not loading;
- slow loading speed;
- website forms not functioning;
- broken links;
- security or login issues;
- out-of-date software;
In order to create a user-friendly experience, the entire website needs to function without any delays or errors.
2. Your website needs to be visually stunning
When we talk about the aesthetics of a website, you need to be very careful. Adding too many colors or elements will make the page seem crowded and hard to look at.
The first step is to think about defining your color theme. Colors have different meanings, so consult a web designer when it comes to this. The choice depends on the nature of your business, the age of your customers, and many other factors.
Next, what type of website are you running? Is that a blog, an eCommerce website, or a photo gallery? Are you running a forum, or selling subscription services?
The design of the website greatly depends on what your business is. For example, if you are setting up an eCommerce website, your central part should be the product catalog and the shopping cart. This is where the visitors will spend most of their time.
Finally, think about the contrast and the negative space. All of that improves visibility and readability.
3. Use images in a smart way
Even though images are visual elements, it is essential to talk about how to use them smartly. Besides just looking beautiful, images have a role in SEO as well. Even though the main goal is to create a user-friendly experience, that should not be at the expense of your SEO rating.
First of all, it is crucial to use relevant images. They need to relate to the content, or the website will not make any sense. Also, use original photos if possible. They add more to the personality of the website.
Secondly, carefully fill in all the attributes and captions. This is how images affect SEO.
Next, you want to add some diversity when it comes to the type and size of images. Besides using photos, you should also use illustrations and infographics. Crop all images to the correct size, and remember one thing: unless you are a photographer, the images are here to make the website look more visually appealing. They should not steal the focus from the main point of your website.
Finally, use icons when possible. The best uses are for social media platforms, contact forms, e-mail, etc. Icons really add to the visuals of your website.
4. You need a simple yet efficient navigation
You can look at website navigation as a freeway your customers use to navigate different sections. If there are a lot of “traffic jams”, they will lose patience and go somewhere else. Creating a complex structure and adding a bunch of different options will only make things more difficult to understand. Website navigation should be straightforward and easy to understand. Speak with your designer and ask for the simplest navigation possible.
Even though the navigation menu should look beautiful and exciting, you need to focus more on its functionality and purpose.
A few things to consider are:
- the position – you can place the navigation at the top of your page or in a sidebar;
- the number of pages – even though it looks nice to have a bunch of different pages on your website, do not dissect it and create multiple sections if you don’t have to;
- scroll-to-top button – all websites need a scroll-to-top option, especially if your home page is parallax;
- navigation visibility – if your website focuses on articles or photos, make the navigation invisible to add more screen space for your users. It should only appear when they want to go to a different page;
5. Optimize your website for multiple platforms
Your clients expect your website to be optimized for mobile phones. This is a standard now, and you must do this step. There is nothing more painful than when you try to navigate a website with your mobile phone, but it’s not optimized for that platform.
First of all, your visitors will struggle with finding what they need. Second, they will probably leave the website annoyed. And third, they will not take your business seriously. All websites must be optimized for mobile phones; there is no question about it.
6. Make your website accessible
Another requirement that has been gaining in popularity in the past few years is website accessibility. People with disabilities cannot use a website like everyone else. If you genuinely want to make your website user-friendly, it needs to be accessible. Some of the basic features include:
- keyboard navigation;
- audible or tactile output;
- software that highlights words and important sections of the website to help the users focus on it;
- screen magnification software;
- speech recognition or head pointers;
- captioned videos and transcribed audio;
- option to increase the font on mobile phones;
Adding all of these features may increase the cost of creating the website, but the final product will create a user-friendly experience for everyone.
Make your business website more user-friendly with these essential features
The future of websites lies precisely in the ability to deliver the content of value and create a memorable user experience. Make your business website more user-friendly, and you have a high chance of standing out in the crowd of millions of websites. The way to outsmart your competitors is to offer your clients an experience they will never forget.
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