5 Ways To Make Your Website More User-Friendly
Websites have become so much more than information on a page. Users expect a seamless experience in which they’re engaged, entertained and informed. A user-friendly website captures the user’s attention and has none of the usual niggles, like slow site speed or content that doesn’t look right on your device.
We’ve all experienced the usual website issues; the images don’t load, things aren’t easy to find, or the layout doesn’t make sense. And what do we do in this situation? We give up. If you don’t develop a user-friendly website, you’re losing potential customers before they’ve really gotten to know you.
To keep your users interested and let your content do the talking, we’ve put together our top tips for making your site more user-friendly.
1. Check Your Site Speed
First things first, make sure your users are getting to see your content in its full glory (within two seconds, ideally). Around 50% of users abandon a site that doesn’t load within three seconds, so this is the golden time to aim for on all your pages. This three-second window includes the time it takes to load the assets on the page, including images, scripts and style sheets.
If you’re not sure what your current site speed is, there are tools such as Google’s Page Speed Insights, Pingdom or Cloudflare. Whether you have a Shopify site, a WordPress site or any other CMS Platform, these sites will also give you tips on how you can improve your site speed. Two simple things you can do to start creating a more user-friendly website are checking your server’s speed and optimising any images to enable faster loading.
2. Make It Visually Appealing
No one likes landing on a page only to find row after row of text. Users expect a well-designed landing page with engaging visual elements such as images and videos. Images that show off your products or services, the people in your business or what you stand for can illustrate who you are as a business quicker than words ever could.
You can create a more user-friendly website by considering how you can utilise colour on your site to make it more visually appealing. A well-balanced colour scheme provides contrast between the visual elements and can give the impression of strong visual branding.
In a practical sense, the background colour needs to provide enough contrast to make the text easily readable. The text needs to be large enough to read and concise enough not to make users lose interest.
3. Improve Your Navigation
When a visitor lands on a website, they expect to find a navigation bar at the top of the page, with clear headlines to allow for easy navigation. Your navigation bar should provide brief headings and then can expand into a dropdown menu to house the rest of your content.
To encourage users to move from one page to another, you can include calls to action (CTAs) on your pages to encourage them to move on to another page or to take action. For example, site visitors who want to buy a product want to know how to take the next step. You can make the journey to conversion simple by using a strong CTA that’s easy to locate and optimised for conversion.
A clear navigation system is key to a smooth user journey and, therefore, a user-friendly website. You can also include links to your social media pages on your navigation bar to encourage users to discover your online community and engage with your brand across multiple channels.
4. Provide Useful Information
When someone lands on your page, they want to know what you’re all about and what you have to offer them as quickly as possible. So, when you’re doing your copywriting or creating a brief for a copywriter, don’t fluff it out with unnecessary extras. Instead, make sure you tell the user your unique selling point that makes you stand out from the competition.
By providing all the relevant information the user needs to make an informed decision, you ensure a user-friendly website experience in which they don’t get frustrated and call it quits.
Then, on more specific pages of your site, like your product or service pages, you can go into more detail about everything you have to offer. This way, all the information the user needs is accessible to them, but they can choose which information they want to see.
5. Optimise For Mobile
A recent study found that as many as 60% of all website traffic is on mobile devices. So, when you’re previewing your site on a desktop, remember to stop and consider how your site looks on mobile devices.
Optimising for mobile has become increasingly important, especially as unlimited data is becoming the standard, allowing users to browse the internet from wherever they are. By ensuring that you have a user-friendly website on mobile, you can avoid issues with the content being cut off the screen or failing to load correctly.
The mobile user also behaves differently, spending even less time on a page and expecting to get a feel for your site within a couple of scrolls. On a smaller screen, it’s important to be even more selective about the content that you show, making sure that it works with the dimension of the screen.
The key to improving your user experience is putting yourself in the shoes of the user. They often know nothing about your business and are ready to be wowed by unique content. The aesthetics of the site are what initially engages a user, but it’s the content and the layout that keeps them on the user journey.
Ultimately, a website is a platform for information. But, with such fierce competition for the user’s attention, you need to ensure you have a user-friendly website that will give you the best chance of winning their attention.