Creating a User-Friendly Website: Tips and Best Practices
When developing a website, the ultimate goal is to attract as many relevant visitors as possible. One key factor in achieving this is to create a user-friendly website that is easy for users to navigate and find the information they need. In this article, we’ll review some best practices for designing and developing a user-friendly website.
What is a User-Friendly Website?
A user-friendly website is one that is easy for users to understand and use. According to usability expert Jakob Nielsen, “Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. The word ‘usability’ also refers to methods for improving ease-of-use during the design process.” (Nielsen, 1994) In other words, a user-friendly website should be well-organized, with clear and concise information that is easy to access.
Creating a user-friendly website is not just the responsibility of the developers and designers; it’s important to consider the capabilities of the users as well. As user knowledge and expectations evolve, it’s important to continuously work to modernize and improve the user experience.
Steps to Create a User-Friendly Website
Think like a user Before you even start building your website, take the time to consider what users might expect to find on your site and how you can provide them with information and solutions. Think about what might cause a user to stop browsing your site, and consider the easiest ways for users to communicate with you through the website. As user experience designer Jan Jursa explains, “By putting yourself in your users’ shoes, you can more easily identify their needs and preferences, and design your product or service accordingly.” (Jursa, 2018)
Use a pencil ✏️
Start by sketching out the overall shape of your site, including all its pages, components, and elements. Keep in mind the user’s needs and whether the general layout will meet these needs. Make sure there are no repetitions of elements that perform the same function, and ensure that all elements include the information that users need. By taking the time to carefully plan the layout and structure of your site, you can help ensure that it is easy for users to navigate and find what they are looking for.
Consult before implementation 🧑💻
After you have a rough idea of the website’s layout, it’s important to get feedback from others. Involve people who are related to your business and those who are interested in your field, as well as those close to you. This can help you identify any potential issues or areas for improvement that you may not have thought of on your own. As usability expert Steve Krug advises, “Don’t make me think. Testing one user early in the project is better than testing 50 near the end.” (Krug, 2000) By testing your website with a small group of users early on, you can identify and fix any usability issues before the site is launched.
4 Tips for Developing a User-Friendly Website
1- Mobile compatibility is a must
More than 65% of internet users now access the web via their mobile phones, so it’s important to ensure that your website is compatible with these devices. According to a study by SimilarWeb, “In 2020, mobile devices generated 52.2% of global website traffic, up from 50.81% in the previous year.” (SimilarWeb, 2020) By making sure your website is mobile-friendly, you can ensure that it is accessible to the majority of your users.
2- Page loading speed is important
In addition to being mobile-friendly, it’s important to ensure that your website loads quickly. According to a study by Kissmetrics, “A 1-second delay in page load time yields:
- 11% fewer page views
- 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
- 7% loss in conversions” (Kissmetrics, 2013) On average, pages should load in less than 5 seconds; otherwise, users may become frustrated and leave the site. To improve page loading speed, you can optimize images, minimize the use of large files and scripts, and use a content delivery network (CDN).
3- Use clear and concise language
When writing content for your website, it’s important to use clear and concise language that is easy for users to understand. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may be confusing to users, and use headings and subheadings to help break up the text and make it easier to scan. Additionally, consider using bullet points or numbered lists to make important information easy to identify and remember.
4- Provide relevant and useful content
In addition to using clear and concise language, it’s important to make sure that the content on your website is relevant and useful to your users. Consider the needs and interests of your target audience, and provide information that is valuable and helpful to them. By offering high-quality content that meets the needs of your users, you can help to establish your website as a trusted and valuable resource.
In conclusion, creating a user-friendly website is essential for attracting and retaining visitors, and for providing a positive user experience. By following the steps outlined in this post, you can help ensure that your website is easy to use and meets the needs of your users.
If you want to learn more about usability and user experience (UX), consider subscribing to the Interaction Design Foundation (IXDF). IXDF is a non-profit organization that provides high-quality education in the field of UX design. With IXDF, you can access a wealth of resources, including online courses, articles, and webinars. Follow this link to learn more about their courses and get your free two months when you subscribe: Click here