When it comes to designing a website, one of the chief drivers of your project should always be a great user experience.
In a world with over one billion websites in existence, competition is stiff.
Making your websites a pleasure to use must be top priority.
It isn’t hard to do if you keep coming back to the same question – “how can this website be a great experience for the user?”
These principles will help to guide you in making your websites a cut above the rest.
Keep it simple to use
In the planning phase of your web design, consider the purpose of the website and its ultimate goal. Is it to get people to spend, to sign up or to request a quote? Draw the flow of the website, and anticipate where people will click. Ensure a path of least resistance – at every point it should be easy for the user to do what you want them to do.
Top tips for a simple UX
- Items at the top subconsciously imply importance, so put your chief menu items there
- Consistency in colour, flow and content will lend well to intuitive navigation
- Make your Call to Action (CTA) buttons all the same colour
- Links should always be the only text in blue (or whatever highlight colour you’re using)
- Give graphic indicators when scrolling or clicking is needed, but isn’t obvious
- For mobile, design buttons for fat fingers and ensure they are single touch
Ultimately, don’t make the user work to reach the goal. This isn’t MazeQuest – their business is the prize, so help them get there as soon as possible.
Keep it easy on the eyes
Does your website look beautiful? If not, why not? The longer a user spends on your pages, the more the chances are that they will reach the goal.
Top tips for a handsome website
- Balance content and imagery. When users land on a website, they are looking for visual cues that they are in the right place. The best way to do this is through quality images that are relevant to the content, and keeping text to a minimum. No-one wants to land in a desert of words – it’s too much work! Plan the content of the website well, so that every word on the site is worth the space it takes up.
- Balance colours. Blue text on a red background? Nope! Yellow CTAs on a purple image? Nope! It may “stand out”, but for all the wrong reasons. It will hurt the eyes and make the user want to look away
- Design with the colour-blind in mind. Convert all your design to grey scale before you finalise to ensure that everything is readable
- Neutral backgrounds (like greys and blues) work best on image-heavy sites, like e-commerce sites
- Plan how you will structure your pages, and plot content and images. This will help you adjust the overall design of the pages so that they are consistent and nice to look at
Keep it quick
Once a user clicks on your website, you have three seconds to win them over before they click away. Don’t waste this on loading time.
Top tips for squashing loading time
- Compress images so that they don’t eat up all your space. A cool tool is tinypng.com
- Only use images that perform a function
- Use a cache plugin to force browser and server caching to speed up loading times
- Text should always load before images so that the user gets the info they need without having to wait for the rest of the website to load
- Buttons should indicate within 0.1 seconds that they have been successfully clicked/tapped
Creating awesome websites takes careful planning and a good deal of savvy. If you need help with this, we’d be more than happy to get involved!