Why is it important to have a User-Friendly Website?

Eight seconds. Eight seconds is all it takes for a potential customer to decide if they like the look of your website, and as a result if they want to give you their business. It has become essential for your business to have an online presence, without which it is likely your business will suffer and potentially even fail.  It is essential that your website provides a positive experience for your customers through a sophisticated, user-friendly platform in order to be successful and relevant.

A user-friendly website design ensures that your customers’ experience is easy and effortless. An effective site consists of several elements such as readability, navigation, mobile optimisation, good design and loading speed.  Why would your customers use your website if they can’t find what they’re looking for? All of these elements enable your customers to access the information they need quickly and efficiently without problems or delay. Remember to always ask yourself ‘would my customers understand what my business is saying or trying to say?”. So, what are the elements businesses sometimes forget about when they design their website?

Readability is a big one. Readability is synonymous with “scan-ability”, your customers should be able to ‘scan’ through the information and quickly locate the keyword they’re looking for. Keeping your website copy short and simple is a good way to ensure this – use bullet points, subheadings, spacing, an easy to read consistent font and short paragraphs – they want to buy what you’re selling, not read a novel.

This leads nicely into Navigation, your customers want to be able to reach where they want to go without a map. Make sure that your website is thoughtfully organised and categorised by relevance.

Another key element is Mobile Optimisation. These days everyone uses their phone for more than just calls and texts. According to Google more than 61% of mobile users are unlikely to return to a website if they had difficulties accessing it and 40% will visit a competitor site. Mobile Optimisation is no longer an exciting bonus feature, it’s now a requirement when designing a successful website and staying relevant to your customers.

Another aspect that gets forgotten about is Load Times. Did you know that businesses whose load time is more than 6 seconds negatively impacts on its Google search rankings? A faster load time equals happy customers. No one wants to wait what feels like an age for a website’s components to load.

Lastly, Design. Everyone has different tastes, however there are some key design tips to remember. Rule of thumb is to avoid dark backgrounds, (white and light grey are the recommended background colours), and to use other colours for components such as toolbars and buttons. As mentioned previously, an easy to read font in a strong colour is another must, avoid squint worthy texts in contrasting or pastel colours. A lilac swirling text on a white background doesn’t make for easy reading, nor does luminous green text on a black or red background. It can sound boring but there are plenty of ways to make your website unique and visually appealing, such as header and product imagery.

Providing your customers with a bad user experience can cripple your business. 57% of users will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site, especially when they’ve been able to use your competitor’s website without a glitch. A key thing to remember is that your website is a representation of your business, so you should give it the attention it deserves.

Want to know about website design? Join us for our last Grow your Business in the Digital World workshop and get the extra knowledge you need to go from having an average website to a great sales tool for your business.