Functional Layout: 4 Tips to Ensure Your Website is User-Friendly

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No matter what type of website you have in mind, the response from your users plays a critical role in your success. Visitors that have a positive experience are more likely to purchase, make referrals, or do whatever you need from them. Unhappy visitors may never come back. There are a few tips to create user-friendly sites that will aid your visitors to engage with your site.

Improve Speed

If visitors are forced to wait for more than a few seconds as your content loads, they’ll begin to feel frustrated. Internet users are impatient as a rule. There are still people using dial-up or low-bandwidth Wi-Fi networks. The faster your site performs, the better it will please visitors. Reasons for speed issues may include memory-intensive graphics like video and animations, excessive or bad code on the page, or even a slow web hosting network.

Plan for Availability

If a visitor can’t even access your website you are losing revenue. At some point, they’ll stop trying. You need a web host with a reliable network and good tech support to minimize downtime. Be aware that there are now over 1 billion smartphone users in the world accessing the internet. Ensure that your site utilizes a mobile-responsive platform, which means it’s programmatically able to adjust to whatever device is accessing it.

Make Navigation Easy

Try to give your website design a crisp, professional, uncluttered look. Provide clear and consistent text menus to the top or side of every page. Menu options should be grouped in a logical order, with no more than two or three subcategories. If you use buttons for links, be sure they’re labeled and not distracting. Odd, hard-to-read fonts should be avoided, as well as excessive use of pop-ups. Add search features to help users locate the content they’re interested in.

Provide Information

You want to understand what your visitors are looking for and provide it to them as succinctly as possible. Describing your offer should not take up long paragraphs of text. Information to back up your claims or explain terms should also be concise, logical, and not spread over multiple pages. If users want additional information, you could provide access to a knowledge base or FAQ page. Provide a simple, easy-to-read forms for user interaction. Graphic aids like mapping—such as those that Wheaton World Wide Moving has on their site, for example—are always better than trying to give directions.

When designing a site, your priority should be giving the user what they need as efficiently as possible. End with a CTA (call to action) so they aren’t left wondering what to do next.

The guest post was written by Hannah Whittenly. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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