Today, having a website is no longer an option for businesses it’s a requirement. Many businesses rely on drag and drop website builders or purchase a template. These sites can be difficult to customize for your unique business, creating a less-than-ideal user interface. Having a business website is an important first step, but once people can find you online, you need a user-friendly site they’ll want to explore. “User-friendly” means, when clients find your website, they will be able to easily access all the information they need from any device. Whether you’re starting from scratch with a brand new website or you’re considering refreshing an existing site, user-friendly design is a must.
You never know who will be visiting your website and what devices they’ll be using to access information on the site. You can’t control user environment. The only thing you can control is whether or not your site is designed to be usable for any person from any device. Unfortunately, if customers find a website too difficult to interact with or navigate, they are much more likely to click away from the site, leaving you with a higher bounce rate. This can lead to lower position within search results. Not only does poor design mean loss of potential clients who found your site unusable, it may actually negatively impact your ability to be found in the first place.
Readability is the first thing you need to consider when designing a user-friendly website. On any screen, your potential clients should be able to read all headings and paragraph text. They should also be able to easily scan your page and determine what information is being provided, which includes using descriptive heading text, bullet lists, affective images, and other design elements that make it easy for any user to find necessary information.
When you build or rebuild your business’ website, you should make sure you’re using branding that is consistent with what potential clients will see on any office buildings, signs, business cards, and other materials. Your brand will identify you to potential clients, and at a single glance, tell users exactly who you are.
You may remember the early days of the internet when every website seemed to be created on a black background with multi-colored texts. This dated design style was flawed for a number of reasons not the least of which was poor readability. Today, most websites use muted tones and avoid unnecessarily bright or distracting colors. Instead, good design should include a color palate that enhances text readability and is cohesive with your brand.
Have you ever driven around a city that had poorly planned development? If you have, what you probably noticed was that navigating the unplanned streets was confusing. Streets dead ended or dropped off and picked back up across town. Numbering on streets and buildings wasn’t in sequential order. It was easy to get turned around. If you don’t design the navigation of your website, it can quickly start to be just as confusing as poorly planned city streets. Taking the time to create a plan for your site’s navigation ensures users can find what they’re looking for easily.
You’ve likely heard about responsive web design, and this is an essential part of creating a positive user experience on your website. A large percentage of searches now take place from smartphones, so your site needs to be just as usable from these smaller screens as it would be on the largest desktop monitor.
While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance standards for websites aren’t legally enforced in most states, offering a compliant website for users of all abilities will ensure a positive experience for any potential client. ADA compliance for digital environments includes offering accessibility aids like closed captioning for videos, alternative text descriptions for images, and creating websites that function with hands-free keyboards and other physical interactivity aids. In coming years, there will likely be regulations set for digital ADA compliance, but designing a compliant website now will put your business ahead of the game.
Drag and drop websites and templates can only take you so far. When you’re ready for a professional, custom designed website, it’s time to call iKonix Studios. Our skilled professionals offer user-friendly web designs that work flawlessly and make it easy for potential clients to navigate your website, so you can turn more clicks into conversions.