When you have a business website, you need to make every effort to ensure that it is as user friendly as possible. This is largely down to the fact that people are so experienced on the internet these days that they need to have a great experience on your site to keep them there. Otherwise, there are plenty of other options that are just crying out for their screen time. Though this is a fairly wide topic, we are going to be looking at it as best we can in the following blog post.
Allow for User Testing
The more eyes that you have on your website, the more likely it is that you are going to be able to spot any potential sources of problems. Therefore, it is worth having a few people test your site as well as providing their feedback on the web design, ease of navigation and so on. It is also worth putting in place a few tests of your own. Ask users to find certain items on your site and time how long it takes them. If there are any delays, you need to identify the ways in which these can be put right.
Pay Attention to Your Website Loading Speed
The impatience of website users these days is a modern phenomenon that is grounded in the fact that internet speeds have become so darn quick. If your site is not loading within a few seconds, the chances that the user is going to wait around starts to drop drastically. You need to try and put your finger on what is going wrong if your site is not loading as quickly as you would like it to. It could be the case that you need to simply optimize your images. Alternatively, you may have too many complicated animations and videos on there that are taking up too much bandwidth.
Make Your Site Accessible
You need to make a special effort to create a website that is easy to use for everybody. This means keeping in mind that there are a lot of users out there who have various disabilities. A few of the things that you can do to deal with these accessibility problems include improving the contrast settings to make the text clearer, including the option for subtitles and audio descriptions on your videos, and making your website navigation clearer. As well as making your site easier to use for everybody, you are also demonstrating to the world that yours is a business that cares.
Create Intuitive Navigation
Changes have come thick and fast with regards to navigation development, so you need to make sure that your business is at the forefront of creating an intuitive navigation system that allows the user to get where they want to go. You also need to think about being minimalist with your navigation bar. Otherwise, you can end up overwhelming the user and having the opposite effect to the one that you were initially intending. Again, this is where user testing can come in handy to help you identify what people prefer and what works best.
Improve Your Contact Options
More and more, people expect a quick response with regards to getting in contact with a business. For this reason, it is certainly worth clearly displaying your information so that it is not difficult to find. You can also create some simple buttons that take the user straight through to your social media pages, your live chat, your email and so on. However, if you are going to create all of these contact options, you need to make sure that they are all properly staffed. There is nothing more frustrating than writing out a long message to a customer service team only to find that you end up receiving no response whatsoever from them.
Break Up Your Content
Unlike a printed form of literature, you should not find a whole load of content in a big inaccessible block on a website that is meant to be user-friendly. This can immediately be off-putting and is likely to result in the user looking elsewhere. While content is important for search engine optimization purposes, you should make it short and to the point. You should also make a special effort to break everything up with clear headlines. This way, users can scroll down to what they are looking for easily rather than having to read through reams of information that is not directly relevant to them.
Check for Dead Links
There is nothing more frustrating than clicking a link that you wanted to read, only to find that you are confronted with that dreaded 404 error page. With this firmly in mind, you need to check your site to ensure that there are no dead links that are causing an issue here. Not only can this negatively impact the overall user experience, but it can also cause a problem with regards to your search engine optimization. As you can imagine, Google and other similar services do not respond kindly to dead links.
Use White Space
While white space does not have any content on it, it serves the important function of ensuring that your users can see everything on the page easily. Without it, your website is going to be simply overloaded with content and this can cause a serious issue with regards to the usability of your site as a whole. Of course, you do not want to go too far the other way and have too much blank space.
Making your website more user friendly is a task that is always going to be worth undertaking. If you can find ways that you can improve the experience of the average site visitor, this is going to do your business no harm whatsoever and you are likely to see an uptake in your sales. Of course, this is an ongoing process as websites evolve over time so make sure that you always keep one eye on developments in this area.