When considering website design, it’s easy to get caught up in aesthetic concerns. But if your website has a purpose beyond just looking pretty, it’s important to focus on more than appearances.
Here are five key ways to provide your website’s visitors with a great user experience, so that they’ll stick around instead of leaving in frustration.
The way your website looks is important, but most visitors are coming to your site to get something specific done—not check out how cool it looks.
To provide a good user experience, keep your design simple. Design elements that have no functional purpose just make it harder for visitors to do what they’re trying to do.
You can use simplicity to your benefit in a few different ways:
First, don’t use too many colors. The Handbook of Computer-Human Interaction suggests a maximum of five (plus or minus two) colors in your site’s design.
Second, make sure you use easily readable typefaces, and avoid using more than three typefaces in no more than three different sizes.
Third, only use graphics if they serve a specific function or help users do a specific action.
2. Visual Hierarchy
The idea of employing a visual hierarchy in your site design means organizing and arranging elements of your website to guide visitors to the most important elements first.
The trick is to lead visitors to complete the most important action on the page in a natural, enjoyable way. The position, color, and size of elements on the page all contribute to this strategy. One effective way to implement a visual hierarchy is to situate a call-to-action on the left side of the page (most people scan websites from left to right) and use a color that makes it pop out from the rest of the page.
3. Ease of Navigation
Intuitive navigation is an important part of making sure visitors can find what they’re looking for on your site. Visitors should be able to determine where they should click next almost immediately after arriving on your site. They should not have to think too hard to figure it out.
Keep your main navigation simple and near the top of the page so that it’s easy to find and understand. Include navigation elements in the footer of your site so that users don’t have to scroll back to the top. If you are using a ready-made theme, make sure it allows easy navigation across the site.
It can help to use breadcrumbs on pages other than your homepage. Breadcrumbs help visitors know how they got to their current page. A search box near the top of the page is also a great way to empower visitors to find what they’re looking for quickly.
Finally, make sure that the position of your main navigation element remains consistent across every page of your site.
Navigation isn’t the only aspect of your website where it’s important to be consistent—your site’s overall look and feel should be consistent across all pages.
That doesn’t mean every page has to look exactly the same. But any set of pages with the same purpose should have the same layout. And compatible color schemes, typefaces, and tone will also help keep the site consistent and provide a better user experience.
Since 2015, mobile browsing has been more common than desktop browsing, so it’s critical to ensure that your site is compatible with all devices in order to provide the best user experience to the widest audience.
At the very least, that means using responsive design so that your content is automatically shuffled around and resized to fit the dimensions of a visitor’s device. You may even need to go as far as specifically modifying the way site elements are presented. Doing so will make sure that nothing breaks down between platforms.
If you’re responsible for designing your own website—or someone else’s—keep these five principles in mind to help make sure your site serves visitors with the best possible user experience. Skilled graphics designers can also help make sure your site strikes the right balance between being both aesthetically pleasing and functional.
Latest posts by Aqib Nazir (see all)
- How to Grow Your Salon Business with Social Media Marketing - October 17, 2016
- 5 Important Tips to Improve Website User Experience - October 14, 2016
- Why and When You Will Need Commercial Auto Insurance - September 20, 2016