Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of opening a website that takes so long to load? Then when it does finish loading, you see the most labyrinthine layout ever created by man, condensed in one website. Pretty sure that’s at least part of your top 10 worst experiences on the Internet.
What a lot of website owners these days do not realise is that most of the people surfing the Internet are smart users. It means even if they are not involved in digital marketing, they know some of the terms or jargon used in the industry. They know that a website that does not load properly after a few seconds is a design problem. Some of them even know how to use PageSpeed Insights to check if the website really is the problem and not their Internet connection.
If you own a small enterprise, your website is going to be your bread and butter. Your goal, then, is not to be the annoying website which takes a while to load. To make sure your website gets visits and your content gets its needed views, here are some design tips for a user-friendly design.
1) Your navigation should follow a flow
Basically, make sure your navigation is intuitive. Remember that users have a goal in mind when visiting a website, they already know the general layout a website should have. If it is too complicated, you will run the risk of getting high bounce rates.
The good news is that you do not have to learn how to code or hire a design team to make this happen. Usually, when you purchase a domain, your chosen registrar will offer a website builder feature. They will present templates which you can customise to your liking. These templates are usually SEO-friendly already, all you need to do is upload images and copy, change the colours, and more.
2) Include a search function
Some websites already require you to categorise and put tags on some of your content. Putting a search function allows them to just type their topic of interest so they can be automatically redirected to it. Ideally, it should be found at the top right portion of the page.
While we are all for avoiding redundancy, especially when it comes to website content, it has the following advantages:
- When used to persuade users to take action — for this reason, some websites include multiple CTA (usually one in the first fold, and another in the last fold of the page)
- Added convenience for users — think of this as enhancing user experience, especially if a user does not have the time to sift through your categories.
3) Link your logo to your homepage
This tip will double as a branding best practice, too. The first thing you need to do is make sure your branding is visible on all pages. The best practice is to put the logos at the top left corner of every page, just beside your navigation bar. This will help you in giving brand retention a boost, a step further into gaining top-of-mind.
Its second advantage is giving your users a shortcut to your homepage. Make sure that the logo is linked to your homepage so that they can easily go back to your neutral page after exploring your website.
4) Make sure your website is mobile adaptive
Most users access websites on their smartphones. It would be wise to design a website that automatically adapts to the mobile screen so you can tap the demographic that makes transactions through their phones. Again, you do not need to know how to code for this. The templates on your website builder will most likely be mobile adaptive as well since the designers constantly update it.
Lastly, make sure to run your website through PageSpeed Insights after launch so you know if there are still elements of your website that needs to be optimised.