Designing Websites for Users
There are many schools of thought about what makes up a good website. Often, top designers may have completely opposite ideas. We think that the most important thing to consider when building a website is the users. Here are some areas we look at to improve the user experience.
- Each page should be clear and concise, focused on one subject with no distractions.
- Someone with no knowledge of your business or website should be able to tell immediately what you offer.
- Use basic wording that is not open to interpretation to minimize complication of the user thought process. ]
- Calls to action should stand out from the rest of the page to offer clarity on what you want the user to do.
- Viewers tend not to read the entire page, rather then scan through it.
- Users are typically in a hurry and want to find the desired information quickly.
- They usually don't need or want to read everything, just the interesting bits.
- Viewers often pick the first reasonable option, rather then comparing all the options and choosing the best one.
- If they find something that works, they tend to stick with it.
- Utilize a clear visual hierarchy.
- Separate pages into clearly defined areas.
- Ensure it is obvious what can be clicked on.
- Reduce and remove visual distractions.
Removal of Unnecessary Words
- Most people are visual, drawn to images or videos.
- Reducing the amount of words makes useful content more visible.
- Removing words reduces the page size, so all content is available at a glance without scrolling.
- Eliminate the need for instruction text by making the action required more obvious.
- Remove redundant wording such as "Welcome to" and other small talk that doesn't add value.
- Cater to the "searchers" and the "browsers" by having clear categories and a prominent search box visible without scrolling.
- "Browsers" tend to navigate from top level categories through a hierarchy of subcategories until they find what they want.
- "Searchers" usually utilize the search box before anything else.
- Search boxes should be used instead of links to a search tool.
- Good navigation implicitly tells users where to go, eliminating the need for instructions.
- Well thought out navigation creates a good impression and actually reduces bounce rates.
- Make sure users have a clear way home such as a linked logo at the top of each page.
- Use breadcrumbs as a "you are here" indicator, that allows users to return to any of the previous categories.
Home Page Clutter
- Do not put every piece of information on the home page. Keep it very clear and concise, even on larger sites. As much as possible, keep the important content visible without scrolling and try to eliminate the rest.