Whether you already have a website or you’re going to be creating one for the first time, you need to think about website usability more than almost anything else. A poorly designed website that isn’t user-friendly can damage your brand, which means it’s causing more harm than good.
Read through this article to learn how to make sure your website is user-friendly, and get answers to questions, such as:
- Why is it important to ensure your website is user-friendly?
- How do you check your site to see if it’s user-friendly?
- How often should you evaluate your site’s usability?
- What should you do next?
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Why It’s Important To Ensure Your Website Is User-friendly
In the early days of the Internet, people were happy to be able to access a website and find information.
Today, however, users expect to have a positive experience every time they visit a page. If your website loads in a way that’s difficult or confusing to use, the visitors get upset and go to another page quickly.
This often means going to a competitor page, resulting in many lost customers. Taking the time to ensure your site is easily usable for everyone who comes to the page is well worth the effort.
How To Ensure Your Site Is User-friendly
- Optimize your site for mobile devices
- Know and follow WCAG standards
- Develop an interlinking strategy for your site
- Be consistent with you design style
- Create content that is easy to consume
- Follow smart ad standards
If you want to make sure that your website is user-friendly, look at several specific aspects of the page. The following topics should be looked at closely to ensure your site is designed well and is working properly so that users have a good overall experience.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile Devices
Just about everyone today carries a smartphone in their pocket at all times. This means that they can visit a website no matter where they happen to be. However, it also means that websites need to be made in such a way as to ensure the page looks good whether someone is loading the page on a desktop computer at home or a smartphone while on the go.
The easiest way to make sure your site looks good no matter what device is being used is to take advantage of responsive web designs. This is a type of design that’s able to detect the type of device that’s accessing it and load the page specifically for that type of screen.
The best website builder tools allow you to create a responsive web design quickly and easily and without having to do any actual coding yourself.
Know and Follow WCAG Standards
A set of standards known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG, were created to help web developers make sure that their sites can meet the needs of people with disabilities. An estimated 1.2 billion people in the world have some type of disability, so you want to do everything you can to meet their needs.
This could mean giving users the option to have the website read to them, making the site larger, or even removing flashing images. There are many things that you can do to make your website easier to use for those with disabilities.
One of the most important things that you can do to help create a positive user experience is to link to different pages on your own site in a way that’s helpful.
For example, if you’re mentioning a topic that you have previously written an entire blog post about in the past, make sure to link to it. Users should always be able to get to the different parts of your site that they find most useful at any given time.
In addition to helping create a friendly user experience, a good interlinking strategy is also great for SEO.
Be Consistent With Your Design Style
Consistency is key when it comes to web design. You want to make sure that every page on your site follows the same basic layout and has the same types of menus. If you create a unique page design for each section of your site, it causes a lot of confusion to your visitors. Website builder tools and content management systems like WordPress do much to help ensure you have a standard look and feel across your entire website.
Create Content That Is Easy to Consume
One of the most important parts of your site is going to be the content that you publish. Whether it’s written text, images, videos, or some other type of content, you need to make sure that it’s easy for visitors to consume. When creating content, make sure to consider the following things:
- Legible font: Make sure the font you use on your website is easy to read. Having it large enough to see and positioned in such a way as to avoid any type of confusion is very helpful.
- Spelling and grammar: While you don’t necessarily have to have absolute perfection on your site, you do want to make sure that your content reads smoothly. Following standard spelling and grammar guidelines helps to ensure your visitors can easily read what’s there.
- Proper contrast: You don’t want to have the background of your site contrast poorly with the color of the text on your page. Whether you follow a simple white background with black text or some other combination, make sure that it’s easy to read.
Follow Smart Ad Standards
If you want to make money with your website by running ads, you need to be very careful to ensure that they aren’t negatively impacting the user experience. To start with, make sure that you aren’t putting too many ads on a given page.
You want your site’s content to be the main focus of the page, and the ads are there in case the user needs the product or service. While ads are always a bit of an annoyance to visitors, there are ways that you can run digital advertising campaigns without causing problems.
How Often Should You Check Your Site’s Usability?
Websites aren’t intended to be published once and never updated. Technology changes, but so do the trends of what users like to see when they log on to a website. A site that was considered user-friendly 10 years ago would look bad if accessed today.
In general, you should review the layout of your site about once per year to make sure you’re following all the latest standards and that everything is working and looking properly.
What Should You Do Next?
Now that you have some basic ideas about how to make sure your website is user-friendly, it’s time to put them into action. Whether you’re looking to update your existing site or you want to create a new site from scratch, make sure you do everything you can to ensure it looks great and is easy to use.
For most people, that means using some type of website builder tools to get the results they need.