Great website usability drives everything about your visitors’ experience.
A user friendly website will improve interest in the content you’re offering, your business, and, ultimately, it will improve sales. If that’s not enough, search engine algorithms also use user experience metrics as part of their ranking results.
From the way they view your site to the way they interact with it, usability should be a driving force behind your website design and development. Here are 5 reasons why your website isn’t user friendly.
1. Your navigation isn’t intuitive.
Perhaps one of the easiest – and easiest to overlook – issues with great usability is a navigation structure or your website’s sitemap.
Whether you are using too many navigational items or confusing names for your pages, it’s critical that you plan your website structure in a way that will make sense for your visitors. Ecommerce websites, in particular, need to keep website organization in mind so that visitors feel comfortable navigating (and shopping).
Never incorporate more than 7 – 8 navigation items in each level of your website structure. That means no more than 7 – 8 pages for the main navigation, 7 – 8 pages at the most for any drop downs, and so on.
2. Your site isn’t responsive.
Responsive websites (and all their design elements) will stretch or shrink depending on what screen they are shown on. This is crucial for both your visitors and search engines, as non-responsive websites will drop in the rankings.
Work with a reputable agency to ensure your site will be responsive (or mobile friendly) or use a website content management system (CMS) that includes a responsive design.
3. Your site isn’t accessible.
Another important usability standard that you may be forgetting is accessibility. Accessibility guidelines, like the WCAG, were created so that websites can be used by people with disabilities.
There are many ways to improve the accessibility of your website for those with disabilities, including: alternative text for images, captions for video content, and simple web design, just to name a few.
Just like having a responsive website, following good accessibility rules will not only help create a better user experience for your visitors, it will also help your website rank better in the search engines.
4. You’re not making it easy for visitors to find what they want.
Similar to an intuitive navigation structure, it’s important that you also make content easy to find for visitors. Be sure that you don’t hide important pages or documents deep within your website where no one can find them.
Combat this by linking when it makes sense between your pages. Also, make important pages (like calls-to-action) big, bold buttons that would be hard to miss.
5. Your website is too complicated.
Think of your target audience first and foremost with both your design and content. Don’t overcomplicate design elements or content if that’s not the right fit for your audience.
Both design and content should be simple and easy to understand so that your visitors comprehend your site quickly and efficiently. Generally, users take less than 3 seconds to understand a website page. If you have too many buttons, images, or other elements on your page, that gives viewers far too much to comprehend in just a few seconds.
Creating a user friendly website isn’t difficult. Follow best practices and these 5 tips to ensure your site creates a fantastic user experience, that will inevitably build a better business.
And if you need help creating a digital marketing presence that represents your business and reaches your target market, contact us at OSC Web Design.