If you’re wondering how to create good web-design for your users, you’ll need to focus on more than just how your website looks. Yes, the brands colours are important, but you need to know your website layout and content placement will work for everyone and make it a positive user experience.
Objective – Know your Goal
Each page of your website needs to have a clear purpose. If you don’t have a predefined goal, you won’t know what to prioritise.
Most visitors will glance over pages, scan some text, and then click on the first link that catches their interest (or vaguely resembles what they’re looking for). In fact, there are large parts of the page they won’t even look at. The goal that you want your users to see needs to be a focal point on the page so users are more likely to engage, rather than give up and leave the site.
Have your Target audience in mind
This is one of the most obvious ways to ensure your target audience are involved in an effective experience. Visitors come to your website with certain goals in mind, and knowing these goals can ensure a positive experience. Decide what to show your audience first, and know what their intentions are when visiting your site. If your website is focused on your niche, then it needs to be found easily by the audience. This will help you prioritise your content to focus on your users.
Navigation – Guide the Way
Ideally, a visitor should be able to arrive on your site and not have to look around too much to know where they should click next. Users will instinctively search for fixed points or anchors, which guide them through the content of the page. This is known as the F-pattern, as a consumer quickly scans a page to find the information they’re looking for.
How to improve user navigation:
- Search Bars allow users to quickly find and filter through your website.
- BreadCrumbs help users see the path they have taken through the website.
- Remember the ‘Three-Click rule’ – Users should be able to find what they’re looking for in just 3 clicks.
- Use Visual Hierarchy to draw attention to parts of your website which are more important than others (CTAs, Forms)
Accessibility – Create for All
In order to provide a truly great user experience, your site needs to be compatible with the different devices (and operating systems, and browsers) that your visitors are using. You don’t want them to visit a website that isn’t rendered properly, because they will immediately click away (and add to your Analytics bounce rate!).
You also need to make sure your site follows the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines under the Equality and Discrimination Act, 2010. Your website must follow a certain structure, regarding content, colours and navigation to ensure all users can easily navigate through the site. If you do not comply with these regulations, you risk discriminating against users and your website could even be taken offline.
Consistency – Keep your Style
The overall appearance and feel of your site should be consistent across all of your pages. Media styles, colour schemes, typefaces, and even the way that your write sentences are all areas where being consistent can have a positive impact on usability and experience. You don’t need to have the same exact layout on every page like it’s been copied and pasted, but keeping key aspects similar helps the aesthetic of your company shine through each page.
Now it’s your turn
Take a look at your website from a consumer’s point of view, and see if there are any changes you could make to improve your users’ experience. You can even take a look at competitor sites to gain inspiration.
If you have any questions about the User Experience on your website, please don’t hesitate to drop us an email at email@example.com, or call us on 0200 121 2013 and talk to us directly.