A website design needs to reflect you, your company, and your products or services that you provide. It needs to reflect your personality. And, even when you can check off all these things, it needs to do one more thing: it needs to appeal to your user community.
You may love your website design, but if it doesn’t appeal to the user community, it is a dud. A bad website design can be devastating: a lack of visitors, non-enthusiastic users, and lackluster sales.
When you start to think about a website design, think about the website design by placing yourself in your users shoes. These are the pieces and parts that will go a long way to a successfully developed website, a website that your user community will be positive about. Simply, these pieces make it easier for your visitor to use your site.
Easy To Navigate Interface – Users need to be able to move or navigate your site. Group similar content so that the user is not clicking back and forth from one page to another page. A simple and thoroughly thought through navigation bar layout is a must.
Whitespace Is Your Friend – Users do not like large paragraphs that run all the way down through a website design. Make paragraphs short and leave empty lines between paragraphs. Short paragraphs make your text appear as if it is easier to read. Isn’t this short paragraph easy on the eyes?
Easy To Understand – What is the purpose of your website? Make sure your website clearly and concisely conveys your message. You cannot assume that the user community understands your thoughts. Write short, solid paragraphs that have a point. Make sure this one purpose is easy to complete and ensure every element on a give page helps the user take that specific action.
Consistency Is King – Consistency matters. When choosing fonts, type sizes, and colors be consistent. Review the pages and make sure that the text is in the same font. Make sure headers are consistent across the pages. An inconsistent look and feel sticks out like a sore thumb!
Use Flash Sparingly – Remember when every website used to have a silly flash intro page that required you to click through before seeing the content? If your site still has a page like this you are certainly loosing customers, get rid of it now. Never use flash or any other frilly add-ons unless absolutely necessary. Most users prefer clean simple sites that load fast.
Don’t Make the User Wait – If you must load some sort of video or music, make sure you allow the user the capability to turn it off. Your webpages and site as a whole should load quickly. If it does not load quickly the user is bound to move on. To analyze the speed of your page, you might try the YSlow and Page Speed add-ons for Mozilla Firefox or Chrome.
Spend Time Looking at Existing Websites – While noted last, this is one of the things you will start with. Go out and look at other websites including competing webpages. Do the research upfront. What other websites do your users already like? Which websites do not appeal to your user base? Why? Take this information with you and use it as a base for inspiration in your next website design.
You just read seven ways to optimize your website design from a users point of view. Make sure these pieces are included in your next website design or revise your current website design now.