Leading visitors to your website is easy with SEO(Search Engine Optimization). It’s making them stay that takes the effort. A seamless user-experience of navigating the website helps with that. No amount of beautiful images or enlightened content can hold the visitor if they have to “think” while going through your website. Simply put, a user shouldn’t have to wonder where the information relevant to him/her is.
We share our basic tricks of designing a highly intuitive website which takes every visitor effortlessly to the information they require:
1. Website Navigation:
The first thing that may result in a website bounce is shoddy navigation. The placement of content and links should be calculated and organized. A good website establishes a design flow early on which helps the visitor gauge where and how they will find the information they need. For example, the indizine website carries contact information and CTA s on a large panel in an accent color (mustard yellow). This is repeated on all pages and sets the trend from the Home Page onwards.
Here’s how you can ensure hitch-free navigation to create a user-friendly website:
Clear the clutter: Don’t overwhelm your webpages, especially the Home Page. Keep the layout clean and simple. Too many links on the screen will simply confuse the visitor.
Navigation: The Navigation panel should be clearly visible. It usually goes on the top or left side of the website. Plan the information tree of the website before placing navigation links. This helps you shortlist the main links that go on the Home page and less important links that go on the Landing Pages. It is important to look at the whole exercise from the user’s perspective too to create the most user-friendly information architecture.
Familiar Link Text: Be very direct with the titles that go on clickable links and CTAs. The user shouldn’t have to second-guess what they are clicking on. It’s best not to use acronyms, slang words or abbreviations that might confound them.
Search Bar: A search bar on the website helps if you have a lot of pages and links. This way the user can quickly spot the link they need by simply searching for the keywords.
Error Handling: Remove broken links from your website but always prepare for the eventuality. Create a punny or meaningful error page with an apology and redirect link to a relevant page.
The placement of the content is just as important as the navigation. The current trend is to post minimalistic content unless the product/service you provide demands more content. Here how’s you can hit the content sweet spot and create a user-friendly website:
Content Scan: Visitors tend to speed-read the content looking for what they need. As website designers, we must make the content easy to scan. We recommend dividing up related content into sections with subheadings. Paragraphs lend gravitas to your words when you are trying to connect to the visitors. But bullet points are useful when you want to list benefits, services, USPs etc.
Keep the content engaging. In the age of limited screen space, each line must add value to the points you want to convey. It’s best to use images wherever they make more sense than written content.
Color Palette: Good content is as useful as windows on a submarine if they aren’t clearly readable. While choosing your color palette ensure that the content will stand out against the website background. Likewise, a readable and professional font lends credibility to your content.
Visitor loyalty is fiercely motivated by the ability to access and clearly view the website on their device: smartphone or PC. The most important design constraints here are:
Mobile Friendliness: People conduct their web searches on smartphones more often than desktops/laptops now. Making a website mobile-friendly also makes it user-friendly. The content placement and images should be scaled properly to fit the smartphone screens. We would avoid large chunks of data because we wouldn’t want the visitors’ eyes to glaze over while reading it on smartphones.
Think of the user’s journey on the website as a ride with your first date. Wouldn’t you like the ride to be smooth? A user-friendly website will do everything to avoid the bumps and make that ride memorable.