Best Practices To Make Your Website User-friendly
Your website is your main communication tool with your customers and potential buyers, so you want to make sure you maximize the time they spend there. Whether you’re selling a product, a service, or advertising space, the better your website, the more you will be able to monetize it. You don’t need to be an expert to make your website look professional, but you do need to put in a little time.
If you are starting from scratch or just thought it was time for a facelift, keep reading for some principles and tips to get the most out of your website.
Important Principles & Tips
- Keep your tagline simple and straightforward. Don’t try to be too clever here!
- Make sure your website is “usable.” This means that you put stuff where people expect it, label categories and links clearly, and use drilldowns and menu categories to make navigation easier.
Put your most important content in the places people will naturally be looking. This is called the design triangle: People will look first at the upper left corner, then the lower left, and then the upper right. That means you should put your least important material in the lower right, because it will get the least attention. This is demonstrated in the picture below the “X”s mark spots viewers are drawn to.
Chunking is a term used to describe how buttons should be grouped on a page. On any given menu or submenu, buttons should be in groups no smaller than five and no more than seven. This is because the average person can retain between five and seven things in their head at any given time. It also makes your site more categorized and therefore more usable.
Make sure you are spacing effectively. If buttons are close together, people will assume they are related; if they’re separated, they will assume they are not.
- Use color and size to indicate the hierarchy of importance. A title should be large, a subtitle smaller, and the body’s font should be smallest.
- Don’t forget to leave plenty of white space on the page. A clean website won’t overwhelm customers the way a busy website has the potential to do. The website below does a good job of this.
- Look at other websites for ideas, and don’t limit yourself to websites with content that is similar to yours. Some of the best ideas can come from seeing something on a website completely different from yours.
Many websites use reviews to convince potential customers of their product’s quality. This can work, but only if done well.
How To Effectively Use Reviews and Testimonials
Make sure that your testimonials are conversationally written so that they sound like they are coming from a person, not a corporate robot.
Don’t limit your testimonials and reviews all to one page on your site. Sprinkle them around so that the viewer doesn’t have to go looking for them.
Using big, noticeable, oversized quotation marks makes the testimonials more effective. Don’t ask why, they just do.
When attributing quotes, don’t forget to list the speaker’s:
First Name, Last Name
These are just a few basic ways to get your website to look better, work harder, and be a more zealous advocate for your business. When you’re done, don’t underestimate the tried and true method of asking friends for their opinions!
Jake Downs is a freelance writer who contributes writing to Cushing, a printing company in Chicago that specializes in digital printing Chicago. He has been interested in both modern and traditional printing processes since studying English Literature and Journalism in college.