At some point, we’ve all had the frustration of visiting a website or blog that doesn’t intuitively allow us to find important, pertinent information. In many cases this becomes such a hassle that you will probably navigate away and never come back. Making your website user-friendly is absolutely crucial if you want to attract new customers and keep your existing customers happy and coming back time and time again.
A successful website includes a combination of good design, content, navigation and functionality. Here are a few tips to make your website more user-friendly so you can increase traffic and turn your website into a sales generator.
Make your website readable
The content on your website may be the deciding factor in convincing users to engage and become repeat visitors. User-friendly websites deliver high quality content that is fresh, easy to read and engages with the target audience.
Here are a few tips on making your website readable:
Make fonts easy to read – Although elaborate fonts may look great, they are not always easy to read. Choose fonts that are simple, recognizable and large. Having too many fonts can also make a page harder to scan. Consider contrast ratio to make sure your text stands out from the background behind it..
Making your content easy to scan – The average user scans through content rather than reading it all. Try breaking up long blocks of text by keeping paragraphs short and to the point, maybe two or three sentences. Adding photography or infographics between paragraphs and explanations can help for visual learners.
Use white space – The strategic use of whitespace can make the page much easier to read and scan. Content needs some room to breathe so users can focus on the essentials when scanning a page. Use of headings, sub-headings and bullets can help break up the text to make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for, along with other key information.
Make your website easy to navigate
Effective navigation is clear, concise and simple. Try limiting the number of menu items to keep it simple and easy to understand. Make it easy to find useful information. Here are a few tips on making your website easy to navigate:
Make your menu easy to find – Navigational items should be placed at the top or left hand side of the page and above the fold regardless of what device it is being displayed on. Do not use plain hamburger icons or other obscure icons that your designer happens to like. Menu icons should be accompanied with the text “Menu” to make navigation obvious to all users.
Use a site map that makes sense to your users – Too many choices in the menu can confuse your users. Put only main categories and use drop downs for sub categories to make information easy to find. Avoid using abbreviations or acronyms unless it’s completely necessary. Try using common words to help users easily find information.
Make your website functional
A beautifully designed website needs to be functional for its users. Ultimately, usability and utility will determine the success or failure of your website. Here are a few tips on making sure your website is functional:
Make your site responsive –Today, many users are now browsing and buying online from mobile devices. In order for your website to be user-friendly, it must be mobile friendly.
Eliminate broken links – Broken links are incredibly frustrating for website visitors. They are confusing and unprofessional. Your website should be checked regularly and any broken link needs to be removed immediately.
Include a search bar – Adding good search functionality to your website is the best way to help users find the information they’re looking for. Not only can it help your users, but it also helps you understand what your users are interested in viewing.