One of the hallmarks of a professionally designed website is its user-friendliness.
This community has grown accustomed to a set of web design norms over the past few years.
To leave a long-lasting impression on your audience, you need to create more than just a simple, functional website.
Therefore, this does not imply that ease of use is any less crucial than ever.
It still plays an important part, but in a different way, as the foundation of a fantastic user experience in modern web design.
Usability refers to a focus on the end user.
Users’ needs, expectations, and mental models are taken into account at every stage of the design and development processes. And to make things that are both practical and simple to use.
Here are five guidelines for making a website easy to use. You should think about them for your next endeavour.
1. Availability and Accessibility
In the event that visitors try to access your website but are unable to for any reason, your online presence is useless.
Each time your site goes down, you risk losing existing customers as well as drawing in new ones who will quickly become frustrated.
Several foundational aspects of access and availability are outlined below.
- Maintain a reliable server so that your site is always accessible to visitors. Put money into a reliable hosting service. Do yourself a favour and spend money on reliable hosting. Choose a reliable web host, as we never skimp on quality.
- Links that no longer work should be fixed immediately. In order to find all the broken links on your site, SEO tools like Ahrefs and Screaming Frog will crawl it automatically.
- Adaptability to mobile devices and connections of varying speeds is essential. Because of this shift, Google now prioritises indexing mobile versions of websites over desktop versions. Therefore, superior search engine rankings are directly related to the quality of your mobile site.
Amazon.com is a perfect example of an accessible website for several reasons.
First, the site’s desktop version works well on both tablets and regular computer monitors. The design is adaptive, changing accordingly as the viewport is shrunk. Mobile users can access a tailored version of the site that features a minimalistic design, streamlined navigation, and an obvious content hierarchy. This minimal mobile version works great, even on a sluggish mobile network.
Two, there is essentially never any downtime on Amazon.com. This is to be expected from a corporation of this size. Even so, Amazon has proven itself to be a trustworthy service platform thanks to its long track record of availability.
Lastly, Amazon is very concerned with making its services available to people with disabilities. They state on their site, “We are constantly looking for ways to improve the usability of the site for all customers, including those with disabilities.” They recommend their mobile site, which has a more streamlined layout and is accessible to people using screen readers, in particular.
We could say that simplicity and clarity are at the heart of user friendliness.
If your site’s visitors are distracted or confused, they will either have to spend more time than necessary looking for what they came for, or they will simply give up and leave. In either case, the user’s impression of your website’s ease of use will be negative, and they will likely not return.
Site-goers have predetermined aims when they visit your page. You should do whatever you can to hasten their progress toward these targets. If you’re able to pull that off, your guests are sure to be satisfied, and you’ll have set the stage for a great visit.
You can make your design easy to understand and operate if you:
- Keep it easy and concentrate on the essentials. Your visitors are more likely to comply with your requests if you don’t divert their attention.
- Consistency: Use terms and concepts that are already well-known to the target audience. It is acceptable to visit competing websites to gain ideas.
- Don’t try to be cute; be consistent. Provide a constant feel throughout your site to ease the minds of your visitors.
- To lead by example, walk your guests through their experience. Don’t assume that people will know how to navigate your site. Instead, lead them on a tour of your site and demonstrate its benefits.
- The most important part of any interaction is the feedback you receive. Provide some kind of feedback to users immediately after they take an action on your site.
- Solid data structure – Try to put yourself in the shoes of your site’s visitors to learn how they would like to see the information presented to them.
Apple gadgets are minimalistic and simple to use.
Their website mirrors the brand in its extreme simplicity and centrality to customer priorities.
Overall, it has a sophisticated and understated look. There is plenty of empty space, and the content that is present is organised and presented clearly. The store, various product categories, a link to the support page, and a search bar all make up the conventional top navigation menu, which also features the logo and home button. The site’s secondary links, such as the Privacy and Terms of Service policies, can be found in the traditional location: the footer.
Due to the lack of interruptions, achieving your objectives on the site is a breeze.
Selecting “Mac” from the main menu, for instance, brings up an image gallery showcasing all of the available Mac computers and accessories. In addition, there is a sub-navigation that displays all products that are suitable for this group. The website is as easy to use as any other Apple product thanks to its clean layout.
The ability to learn is a crucial part of making something usable.
Your goal should be to create user interfaces that are so simple to use that neither reading instructions nor extensive experimentation is necessary. To create an intuitive design, it’s important to either tap into people’s existing knowledge or develop a system that requires little to no training.
Many web design principles have become commonplace by now. Using these ideas in a uniform fashion ensures that you provide the experience your visitors expect. By doing so, you speed up their progress toward their objectives. Because humans are pattern- and recognition-seeking creatures, we fare better in well-worn environments than in novel ones.
If your design incorporates novel ideas, be sure to maintain coherence and provide assistance to users as they become acclimated to the new material. When someone first uses your website or product, for instance, you can provide helpful information or instructions. If you want people to remember what you’ve taught them, keep it easy to understand and use visual aids.
Microsoft’s website was recently updated.
While the aesthetic is thoroughly up-to-date and cutting edge, the site’s structure is tried and true, in keeping with what we all know to be true about websites. To our left, at the top, is the logo for this establishment. The site’s search bar is located in the upper right corner, allowing us to look for virtually any term. The main sections of the site’s content are listed in the top navigation menu, which can be found below. If we click on one of the links, a submenu will appear with a complete listing of the articles in that section.
There is also a large visual header that cycles through four different images. The header is followed by the “content area,” which typically includes a vertical sub navigation menu where users can “discover” new sections and perhaps even select specific sections of the site to focus on. Afterwards, you’ll find a section dedicated to social media and a sizable footer area with links to Other Microsoft Sites and many more tertiary links.
The layout of the site is streamlined and intuitive. As a result of the layout’s familiarity, customers can quickly locate the products they seek.
Having a trustworthy website is essential.
People can find the information they need, but if they don’t trust you, it doesn’t matter. Site visitors may doubt your legitimacy, your standing in the industry, and the veracity of your content for a variety of reasons if they encounter any of these red flags on your website.
Let the public know you run a legitimate business staffed by real people. Make your “About Us” page easily accessible, and include all relevant contact information and, if at all possible, a physical address.
Your content, naturally, also plays a significant role in how reliable people think your site is. Make sure everything you write is accurate and truthful. Do not make careless errors like those in grammar or spelling. You shouldn’t downplay your level of experience. Put your expertise to good use and let the world know it. Visitors can be won over in a number of ways, including by displaying third-party endorsements, professional references, or the size of your social media following.
L’Oréal does a fantastic job of establishing trustworthiness on the web.
In addition to a polished appearance that befits the premium status of the brand, they also provide a wealth of informative content to back up their claims of superiority.
To give just one example, there is a dedicated section of content devoted to details about innovation and research. This demonstrates the company’s dedication to scientific inquiry and speaks to the calibre of its offerings. The commitment to social responsibility is also reflected in the presence of a Commitments section of content.
The brand also uses expert testimonials and photographs of celebrities like Julia Roberts to promote the quality and popularity of its products, in addition to the actual research. The fact that it is simple to get in touch with L’ORÉAL is also reassuring. The company can be reached in a number of ways, including social media, and it also has a physical location and phone number that can be easily located online.
In conclusion, relevance is an important factor in the usability of a website.
Simply having legible content on your website is not enough. Knowing your audience and why they visit your site is crucial.
Determine your target audience first. The second step is to engage in conversation with them to learn why they are on your site. Third, create user scenarios to show why people visit your site and what they’re looking for. You should always aim to improve the user experience with each design choice you make.
When it comes to prioritising content with the user in mind, Nike has excelled.
The company produces apparel and gear for numerous sports. You can shop for Men, Women, and Children, or you can shop for a specific sport when you visit their online store. Nike doesn’t just categorise its site visitors by age or gender; they also recognise them as athletes.
If you are in the market for new running shoes, you probably couldn’t care less if they also sell tennis shoes or shoes for use in the gym. It is possible to tailor your Nike shopping experience to meet a precise objective.
Usability means test, test, and test again
Excellent usability is not achieved instantly.
It calls for extensive testing and iterative user research.
For your website to have high usability, it must meet the needs of its intended audience in terms of accessibility, readability, credibility, learnability, and usefulness.