How to make your website user-friendly
What is a user-friendly website? It is the one that warmly welcomes your guests in, offer them comfortable slippers and a cup of tea, and shows them around. Everything on a user-friendly site is easy to find, conveniently positioned, highlighted in the necessary places, properly structured, and clearly explained. Good usability helps you raise customer satisfaction skyhigh, and, of course, it confidently leads your users to conversion. This sounds very attractive, so let’s now outline a few useful tips for making your website user-friendly.
Tips that will help you make your website user-friendly
Provide convenient site navigation
First of all, your users should able to easily navigate throughout your website, understand its hierarchy, and find the desired pages. This is achieved by the following elements.
Simple and well-structured menus
Menus are your primary navigation tools, so you should think carefully how to give them a clear and logical structure. The categories and subcategories should be simple, not cluttered, and named in a concise, understandable way.
Too many menu layers should be avoided, unless you have a complex online store that really needs them. For all other sites, a few clicks should be enough to reach the desired level. And, of course, menus should be well-positioned — the classic place is in the top right corner of the site.
The choice of convenient and space-saving menu types is great — drop-down, fly-out, accordion, off-canvas, push menus, circular menus, and many more. Choose the ones that best reflect your category structure and the overall website’s look and feel. In the hands of expert designers, they will be user-friendly and attractive.
You can give your users additional convenience in finding their way through your site via breadcrumbs. These are clickable strings of page names that represent either the path the user has walked or the site’s hierarchy.
Especially on complex websites, breadcrumbs are very helpful in showing the user where they now are and where they can quickly move to, without having to check the whole menu with its categories and subcategories.
User-friendly search bar
Websites with a search bar have an additional bonus in user-friendliness. This is especially true if your search feature supports things like suggesting related content, allowing user’s typos and alternate spellings, highlighting search words in results, providing exact search by various parameters (faceted search), showing the most relevant search results on top, and much more. It is possible, for example, with Apache Solr for Drupal websites, our team has plenty of experience with.
Easy-to-find important pages
Links to important pages should be placed prominently so the user does not have to look for them. This includes your contact information with multiple options to reach you, your “About” page, your shipping and delivery details if it is an e-commerce site, and other pages depending on your site and business peculiarities.
Take care of your website’s mobile-friendliness
These two types of “friendliness” — user-friendliness and mobile-friendliness — always go hand in hand. The share of mobile phone website traffic has jumped from 0.7% in 2009 to 52.2% in 2018, so it’s an absolute must to make sure your site displays well on mobile devices. Let your users enjoy well-positioned web pages with minimum scrolling or zooming!
The most modern trend in providing the right display on mobile devices is responsive web design. It lets designers define so-called breakpoints, or control points for user screen resolutions, at which the page will change its display. The page elements will shrink or grow, change their position or even totally hide in order to perfectly fit any device screen.
Make your content easy to read or skim
To make your website user-friendly, you need to take care of the content readability. And don’t forget that many people will not read all your texts from A to Z, but just skim through it, and they should be able to quickly grasp your message.
Your helpful assistants here will be readable fonts, color contrasts, highlights in the necessary places, clear headings and subheadings, bulleted or numbered lists, division into paragraphs with no long chunks of text, good balance between texts and images, layouts with handy columns, and more.
Speed your website up
A user-friendly website cannot be slow, so let yours gain maximum speed. There are many ways to achieve this — image optimization, CSS and JS aggregation to minimize requests to the server, the ultimate use of caching techniques, image lazy loading, web font optimization, implementing AMP standard, getting rid of the unnecessary CMS modules or plugins, and much more.
The perfect solution is to have a comprehensive website performance audit that will find your site’s weak points and fix them.
Include clear and prominent call-to-action buttons
Your site visitors should not need to think about their next steps — you should lead them by means of UX design elements. Invite them to add a product to a cart, order your services, subscribe to your newsletter, drop you a line, and so on, with clearly formulated calls-to-action on noticeable buttons, placed where they are logically expected, and highlighted with colors and contrast.
Simplify and optimize the form filling
A user-friendly website will not make its friends, i.e. users, struggle through long forms for registration, ordering, and so on.
Form fields should be reduced to a minimum. Progress indication bars are a good idea to show users how more they need to fill. Address finding tools could be of great help in forms.
Errors in form filling should be indicated clearly. Make sure you don’t make your visitors finish the form, get an error, and type everything all over again. A good practice is to place error notifications inline with each field, not at the top of the form. Instant validation, green and red colors, floating hints, placeholders, and other things can greatly simplify user’s work.
Provide social media links
Another characteristic of a user-friendly website is the good connection with the company’s social media accounts. Handy social media icons encourage your readers to share your content, to like your page, or to join your community. For example, there are plenty of helpful social media integration modules in Drupal 8.
Fix any bugs and broken links
There is nothing worse for a website’s user-friendliness than bugs and broken links. Your website deserves a good testing, especially for catching possible bugs in its critical functionality. Broken links, which happen due to a number of reasons, need to be found via special tools. And then a thorough clean-up awaits, so that your audience has seamless experiences.
Make your website user-friendly now!
You could entrust all these issues to an expert web development team. Our developers and UX designers are ready to make your website perfectly user-friendly. Contact our digital agency — and let your satisfied users become your grateful customers!