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Creating a user-friendly website: An essential guide

Creating a user-friendly website isn’t difficult at all, as long as you remember that you’re building something that every visitor can use without any issues

website
Image: Unsplash

In this digital age, it’s a well-known fact that a business can’t succeed without a website. However, it’s not enough just to have an online presence, you also have to think about how that online presence is perceived by others.

As much as 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience, and this statistic shows how important it is to focus on your users. At the end of the day, you’re not building your website for yourself and your business, you’re building it for them.

If you want to know how to create a user-friendly website, keep reading.

Make them feel safe with your domain name

website

One of the first things you need to do when building a website is to register a domain name, and this isn’t a task that you should take lightly. Some people think a domain name doesn’t have anything to do with user experience, but that’s far from the truth.

The first thing your users will see even before they explore your website is the domain name. The online address you choose will form the first impression people have of you, and your first goal needs to be to prove that you’re trustworthy.

Keep the following things in mind when choosing your domain name:

  • Use the “.com” domain extension or another popular TLD, such as “.store” “.shop”, or “.blog”, depending on what kind of website you’re building.
  • Keep your name short, simple, and predictable. If you use any weird spelling, numbers, or hyphens, you could confuse people.
  • Choose a brandable domain name if you want to have an instantly recognizable name,
  • If you want to focus on discoverability, include one or two high-quality keywords in your domain name.
  • Make sure to choose a name that isn’t similar to one of your competitor’s websites and doesn’t infringe on any trademark laws.
  • Pick a trustworthy domain registrar so you don’t have any issues later.

Once you come up with a good and trustworthy name, all that’s left to do is register it. Even if you’re working with a tight budget, you can buy cheap domain names that will still fit all of the above-mentioned criteria.

Build simple and convenient navigation

8b website builder

One of the biggest factors your customers will use to determine whether or not they want to stay on your website is its navigation. If people think your website is too complicated to navigate through and find it inconvenient, they’ll rather leave it than try to find what they need.

So what exactly makes navigation great and user friendly? There are quite a few aspects:

  • Search bar. Some users want to navigate through different pages of your website while others want to find the information they need as soon as possible. That’s why it’s good to have an obvious and easily accessible search bar. You can implement it by using one of the best WordPress search plugins.
  • Well-designed navigation menu. Your navigation menu has to be well-designed and completely clutter-free. To achieve this, you can include accurate and short labels, as fewer tabs as possible, and well-defined categories and sections.
  • Meaningful categories. If you sell multiple products on your website, you should divide them into different categories and subcategories. You can also use labels to make sure that even customers who have a basic idea of what they’re looking for can navigate through your site.

Write readable content

writing table notepad

Image: Unsplash

You probably want to deliver a lot of useful and valuable information to your users. However, unless users are able to grasp that information quickly, you’ll lose their interest. This is because most people don’t read the content on a web page thoroughly, but they instead just scan through it.

To make sure your website visitors actually read the content you include on your website, you need to make it easy to digest and as appealing as possible. You can do that if you keep the following things in mind:

  • Write smaller paragraphs. If you have long paragraphs in your blog post or other types of content, most users will read it only halfway. The better solution would be to present your information in paragraphs that are only two or three lines long.
  • Use the right colors. The color of the text should always contrast the color of your page’s background. The best way to enhance readability is to choose a white or light background while using darker colors for the text. It’s best to use a plain background color so your users can focus on the content.
  • Think about formatting. If you write just a simple block of text, nobody will read it. To make your content enticing, you should use formatting. When you use elements such as headlines and bullet lists, you help your readers determine what they should focus on.
  • Don’t use too many different fonts. There’s no one right font you should use, but when you decide on one or two fonts you like, you should only stick with them. Using too many fonts on one page will seem disorganized to readers, so remember to always keep it simple.

Have a fast loading website

Website load time can have a significant influence on your user experience. The more your website visitors wait for a web page to load, the sooner their dissatisfaction will increase and so will your bounce rates.

The best way to minimize your website’s load time is to make it as lightweight as possible and implement some of the following tips:

  • Limit the number of third-party widgets. While widgets can be very useful and significantly improve your website, they can also slow it down. Don’t fill your website with every widget you can find, but only apply those that can help improve user experience.
  • Resize images. Images are very data-heavy, but they’re still a necessity for your website. Instead of removing images to improve load speed, you should simply just resize them.
  • Compress your code. Another effective way to improve your load time is to download zipping software and compress your codes together. When you do this, you’ll reduce the HTTP responses.

Optimize for mobile users

doogee n100 smartphone

Image: Ste Knight / KnowTechie

The future of the internet is very mobile-centric, as more and more people are using their smartphones to access the internet. Currently, 40% of online transactions are done using a mobile device and that number will probably increase as time goes by.

That is why if your website isn’t optimized for mobile users, it automatically isn’t user friendly for most of the people who want to visit your website. Even if your website does work on mobile devices but not as well as the desktop version of your website, you need to fix that as soon as possible.

Some industries have figured that out and now some websites are building for mobile devices first and desktops second. This isn’t necessary, but it’s good to find a way to ensure your desktop and mobile websites are both working smoothly.

Final thoughts

Creating a user-friendly website isn’t difficult at all, as long as you remember that you’re building something that every visitor can use without any issues. As long as you have great navigation, content that’s easy to read, and a fast-loading website that can work on any device, you’ll be good to go.

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