5 essential tips for a user-friendly website

Creating a website that is user-friendly will have different goals depending on the purpose of the site, but no matter what type of site you create, there are some basic elements that must be considered.

Layout should be designed so viewers don’t have to search to find what they came for

There are so many ways to surf the web today that finding a layout that will work with all of them can be difficult. A site that looks great on the desktop may render horribly on an iPad or mobile phone. Ideally, you should be using coding that will make sure your site fits all screens, or at least as close as possible.

Users are going to get annoyed and leave if they have to search too hard to find what they came for or if they find themselves having to scroll a long way in any direction. Make sure the most important content on the page is right there at the top, above the fold, without any scrolling.

Organization needs to be easy, intuitive and logical

Your site will not be user-friendly if your content is scattered around the site without a logical connection to the rest. When content is organized well, such as in categories on a blog or with drop-down menus on a static site, that makes it easy for the viewer to find more information. With an ecommerce website, products need to be easy to find, as well.

Navigation should be easy and intuitive. Always make it easy for the viewer to get back to the key pages on your site such as the home page or in the case of an ecommerce site, the checkout page. The more clicks it takes to get to where they want to be, the more likelihood of them giving up and leaving.

Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to a user-friendly website

The more jazzed up your website is, the slower it will load. This not only can lower your place in search engine rankings, but will turn off today’s impatient web surfer. To keep your site design simple and fast, don’t use flash animation or big graphics unless you have a specific reason for using them. When you do use graphic design elements, keep the files as small as you can so they’ll load faster.

Stick to colors that are easy on the eyes and use readable fonts

Getting too creative in this department may strike you as cute, but if your viewers have difficulty deciphering the text or get a headache from the bright yellow text on black background, they’ll leave. And they won’t be back.

Give them what they want and give it to them right away

Know your market is the mantra drilled into anyone involved with business and it’s something you need to keep in mind when building a website. Who are you targeting with your website? What is that target market looking for? A user-friendly website will provide what they’re looking for immediately upon their arrival on your website.