Create a website that works for your users. How can you do this? You could start by looking at the following six areas:
1- Design For Your User’s Behaviour, Not Their Demographics
Having and designing a website that works for everyone is impossible. It’s not only hard to reach every demographic, but it’s also inefficient. A much better approach is to focus on your users’ behaviours – the way they search, read, navigate, and choose particular options.
For example, you might notice that the majority of users on your site are via mobile devices. As such, most of them are probably not looking to purchase anything. This can be beneficial information when you’re designing a new website or revising an existing one. There is no need to create a “retail experience” with lots of white space, easy-to-read text, and large buttons. Instead, use the extra whitespace to include more information about your services on the primary page.
2- Test Your Website Before Launch
This one seems obvious, but it’s incredible how many companies overlook this step. It doesn’t matter if you think everything is perfect – ask someone to try it out for you. Users do not know what they want or need to see or do on any given page until they start using it.
A classic example of this is the homepage for coffee company Starbucks. This page contained a large photo and description of every single drink on the menu at one time! It’s a fantastic idea, but in reality, few users could find what they were looking for.
3- Don’t Make Users Think
There aren’t many things more frustrating than figuring out something on your own that should be extremely simple. Many websites try to get by using less text, smaller icons, and fewer words. This is all fine if the site’s layout logically guides you through it – but most do not.
Minimalism in web design is trendy, but it’s often misused and misunderstood. When done right, simplicity can improve your site’s usability and reduce confusion for users.
4- Give Users A Sense Of Control
People are very attached to their phones, tablets, computers, smart fridges, etc. They expect them to work correctly at all times. This makes it extremely important for designers to build trust by being clear about what the user is seeing. Users should always know exactly how to get where they want to go and what actions can be taken at any time.
For example, if you see a message like “You are blocked from this site”, you will most likely never return even if it’s an error or intended for another user with your username. If you want to purchase something online, the buttons should say “Purchase Now” or “Add To Cart”– there should be no room for doubt.
5- Use Suitable Icons And Graphics
Images are great for illustrating concepts, but they’re useless if they aren’t helping your users do something faster or more efficiently. You wouldn’t post a picture of an alligator next to instructions for using a socket wrench, nor would you include an image of a camera when users need to upload files.
It’s essential to maintain the visual appeal and branding you want visitors to see. However, keep in mind that images should not be used as substitutes for the actual text. Graphics should still communicate the same message without slowing down the flow of your site.
6- Try To Meet “The Goldilocks Standard.”
“Not too much”, “not too little”, but “just right”. This is what you want visitors to say about your site. In the book “Don’t Make Me Think”, Steve Krug describes this as a time when you’re learning something new, and everything clicks with minimal effort.
This standard is not only necessary for making users feel satisfied – but it’s also what search engines are looking for in high-quality content. If your site is too basic or too complex, this can result in lower search rankings and less traffic.
Never underestimate the importance of making users feel welcome once they’re on your site. Your efforts to create a positive user experience will help retain visitors and allow you to build strong relationships that lead to business growth.