Don’t frustrate your website visitors! These simple tips will help you build a user-friendly website and meet mobile user expectations.
Having a User-Friendly Website is Not an Option, It Is a Must!
I hold seminars to help business owners build better websites. Generally, I focus on creating a website that supports your business objectives, a challenge for most small business owners. Instead of going into the technical details, I want to explain why user-friendly business web design is key to growing your business.
Many small business owners fall into two main categories. A few spend a great deal of time, effort, and money on making their business website gorgeous, embracing the latest techniques, and making the thing pop visually. They treat it more like a creative project than a marketing tool.
Other small business owners just want to get something up as fast and cheap as possible. They spend little or no thought on user-friendly business web design, and that usually is very apparent. I am sure you know of a few business websites like that yourself.
Focus on Your Target Consumer
The main issue that both groups tend to forget is that ultimately it doesn’t matter how pretty or straightforward your business website is. If your website visitors can’t use it, if they can’t find the info they’re looking for, they will simply leave. When your target audience gets annoyed and frustrated while using your website, then it’s not a user-friendly site. So that is what you need to avoid!
Unless you are creating a website for artistic purposes or personal reasons rather than real business usability, user-friendliness and efficiency must be your top priorities. For that reason, here are some strategies to apply to your business web design. By following these tips to create a user-friendly business web design, you will end up with a website that is both easier and faster to use.
9 Tips for User-Friendly Business Web Design
Speed is Key
Google made page load speed a key ranking signal. And the search engine now ranks your mobile page speed as a separate, mobile ranking signal. If your page does not load within 2 seconds, then you’ve lost almost half your audience. And that is probably not the result you intend.
Make sure that your business website loads quickly. The first thing to do is to check your actual page load speed by using a tool like Google’s Page Speed Tool, GTMetrix, or Pingdom. Here are a few strategies for reducing your page load speed. You may need help from a professional web designer to help you with this part.
Use Visual Triggers
Eye-tracking software like Hotjar discovered that depending on the information on your page, users would generally scan it in either a ‘Z’ or an ‘F’ pattern. The former is valid for more visual pages and the latter for more text-rich pages. Viewers start at the top left and scan across the top, then either go straight down or go across and down.
They will lock onto the first thing that seems to fit what they’re looking for, and if it’s a link, generally click on it. What that means is that your most important information should be along the top. If you have text-rich pages, your text should be bullet-pointed and easily scanned. A very effective way to increase user engagement is to use bold visual elements to trigger reactions and responses.
Create Bite-Sized Content
Mobile consumers do not read website content. They scan content for the info they need or want to find. They will first explore pictures and other visual cues to see if these contain the information they need. Only after that will they go for text. The denser the text, the more hesitant they are about approaching it.
So if you want to provide your mobile users with a user-friendly business web design, be sure to break your content into bite-size chunks. Bonus points if you use lots of striking images, bold design elements, bright colors, and other similar design elements.
Keep Text Legible
One of the least user-friendly business web design aspects is illegible text! You know what I mean. I am talking about serif fonts, the fonts with the little curly bits sticking out above and below the line. What’s more, instructions written in more accessible fonts seem more understandable and less complicated to carry out.
Try to avoid tiny font sizes, or avoid fonts that are relatively small to start. I recommend starting with a 14pt font size and go from there. Having a legible font can make a big difference if you’re trying to get people to consume your content and follow your call to action. And make sure you have enough contrast between your text and page background!
Use Multiple Fonts
I just mentioned that your website visitors are more likely to skim and scan your content than read it. Your business website is not a book, so stop treating it like one. To aid the viewer, use different types of text in different places. One example is to use one font for your titles and headlines, and another for your body copy. Check out all the available options on Google Fonts.
If something is noteworthy, bold it, underline it or italicize it. That way, it will be much easier for the user to spot. Similarly, make sure to use bold headings that are easily understood, and bullet points wherever you can.
And use short paragraphs with spaces between them! On webpages, where space is virtually free, there is absolutely no reason to have big, dense blocks of text. I recommend you keep text blocks to around 4 or 5 lines. Anything longer may not get read.
Make Effective Use of Color
Color is one of the most effective ways to achieve a user-friendly business web design. So don’t limit yourself to just black and white unless that is your design preference. Instead, make use of color to mark different areas and get different points across. Of course, it helps actually to know how different colors will affect your audience. Otherwise, you could end up creating a big, colorful mess!
Make it Pop!
One key strategy for creating a user-friendly business web design is to “Go Bold, or Go Home!” The bolder and more visually exciting your web design elements are, the quicker it will catch eyes and draw attention. What this means is that this should also be what is most vital about your page.
If you’re selling something, for example, don’t make the ‘Free Shipping’ or “Spring Sale” statement the most prominent visual element; this approach is especially common in ads. Instead, your “Buy Now” or “Order Now” button should be the primary focus of your site. Adding a sense of urgency, such as the word “Now” or the phrase “Limited Time” can be very useful as well.
Keep it Simple
I frequently say that the average goldfish has a longer attention span than the average human! To get the most user-friendly business web design, you need to focus on the essentials first. Quickly grab your visitors’ attention, and then entice them to explore more.
Business owners and marketers frequently ignore this straightforward strategy. Many business websites cram far too many menu items into their top bar and too much text onto their screen. It’s much better to try to be a bit more minimalist. Place text content either further down, where they can scroll to it, or on other pages – provided they load up quickly, of course.
Don’t Hide Content
So-called peek-a-boo content is one of the most significant setbacks to user-friendly business web design. I mean, if visitors can’t even find your content what exactly are you expecting them to do? Call your business to ask for instructions? No, that is not a very likely scenario, is it?
If your site visitors have to dig through multiple layers to get to your information, they’ll get annoyed. And that means they probably abandon the effort altogether. So make sure your site architecture allows them to get anywhere they need to within one or two clicks.
Simple site architecture is not only beneficial for your human visitors. It makes it easier for Google and other search engines to scan your page and discover the content. Simplicity helps search engines to index your pages better and help searchers find your content more quickly. Higher search rankings and user satisfaction are what you are after, correct?
Making Your Business Website User-Friendly
If you want user-friendly business web design, you can’t skimp on user-friendliness for the simple reason that nobody else is. The Internet has become increasingly competitive. People have expectations, and if your website is not meeting these expectations, they will simply look elsewhere.
I am sure you are aware of this already. Simply look at pages that have dated, old content, such as many university and government pages. These pages look staid and decidedly not user-friendly. By extension, your business will come across as out-of-date as well.
By failing to incorporate user-friendly business web design, you give your visitors a low opinion of you and the information or product you’re trying to share with them. And that results in a much lower conversion rate. Don’t fall into a so easily avoidable trap. Take the time to meet your user-expectations by including these user-friendly business web design strategies.
Do You Need Help with User-Friendly Business Web Design?
Here at PixoLabo, we offer a full range of mobile-first business website consulting and design services, including mobile-first web design and development, e-commerce solutions, search engine optimization, brand strategy, and design, and business website hosting and maintenance.
Feel free to reach out to us and learn more about our mobile-first business web design services. Our team can determine what type of website will best support your business objectives and build a user-friendly website or e-commerce store for you.
Did You Build a User-Friendly Business Website?
Did you build your business website? If so, did you ensure it was user-friendly and met mobile user expectations? Do you have anything to add to our tips for user-friendly business web design? Please leave your comments below so our audience can benefit as well, and grab our feed, so you don’t miss our next post! And help other business owners get an excellent business website without having to go through the DIY business website design pains by sharing this post with them!
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