There 's nothing more frustrating than landing on a website that's difficult to navigate. Everything should be intuitive, not overly complicated and cluttered. Visitors become frustrated, leaving the site with no likelihood of return. This is why creating a website that is user friendly is so important to your bottom line. Take some time to follow these 10 tips to improve website usability and your target market will stay on your site, providing you with an increase in your ROI.
Make sure your navigation is simple and easy to follow.
When building out your site map your goal should be to keep it as intuitive and simple as possible. Name each page appropriately and make sure that the sub navigation relates to its main navigation option. If you have a larger site map, create a utility navigation, a smaller navigation bar found in the top right of some websites, to avoid overcrowding on the main navigation bar.
Keep your logo at the top and to the left.
Placing your logo in the top left corner of your web page lets the visitor know whose site they are on and they will identify your name with the content they are seeing. The logo should also serve as a direct link to the homepage, allowing the visitor to return to it no matter where they are within the site.
Place your navigation at the top or left side of your website.
Visitors need to be able to see their options to navigate through your site. Place your main navigation along the top or left hand side of your site anchor it there if you can. Most importantly, make sure the navigation is above the fold no matter what device or monitor is used.
Add Search functionality to your website.
Hopefully you 've created buyer personas. Remember that some of these personas are probably more web savvy than others. ; In order to make it easy for all visitors to find the information they are looking for, add a search bar. Place the search bar and icon in the top right of your website for easy use.
Make sure that visitors always know where they are and where they need to go.
Highlight the navigation to indicate where the visitor is. You can also use cookie crumbs, linked headings you often see at the top of websites showing where a visitor is on the website and providing links to each individual page listed. Finally, you can guide visitors to specific pathways throughout your site. You can do this using Call-to-Action links instructing visitors what page they should view or what action they should take next e.g. "Click Here to Order ", "Download Now ", or "Contact Us ".
Use content that is simple, concise, and (relatively) jargon free.
Using terminology that helps establish yourself as an expert in your field is good; using so much jargon that you confuse the reader is terrible for your business. When writing content, it's great to use keywords in a way that makes your visitors feel comfortable with the topic at hand, building trust in your brand.
Use photos and images that enhance the text, not detract from it.
Choose the photos you use on your website carefully. Make sure that they are high quality and relate to the content of the page and try to avoid using generic stock photos that might be found on another site. Too many images or visual aspects can crowd the page and will distract visitors so they do not know where to go or what to look at next. Finally, be careful when it comes to using animation, multiple moving objects on a page will distract the reader.
Include contact information and make sure it is easy to find.
You want visitors to contact you, so make it easy for them to do so! Place your e-mail and/or phone number in the top right corner or in the footer so it can be seen on every page. Add a contact form to your website so that potential customers can fill out their name, e-mail addresses and other basic information.
Highlight, bold face, or underline keywords or links.
Bolding key words or phrases will help visitors read your web content as it draws their attention and tells them that what they are reading is important. Links should look different to grab the reader 's attention and open up in a new window when clicked on so the visitor is not taken away from your website.
Think about going mobile.
With over 114 million smart phone users in America alone, it 's impractical to think that your target market is not trying to access your site on their phone. Having a responsive web site that works on personal computers, tablets and mobile devices is essential for your end user.
There you have it, 10 tips that will help you build a website that is user friendly. Once you have implemented all of these tips DO NOT forget to TEST your website! A broken website will only hurt your credibility and aggravate the visitor. Test every link, button, page, and form before launching your site. If you do that, all of your hard work will pay off and you 'll see the results you are looking for.