Turn off: to cause a loss of interest; bore; to evoke a negative feeling — Merriam-Webster
Not exactly the feeling you were hoping to give your website visitors, is it?
We have all visited websites that make us quickly hit the back button or left us thinking “huh??” while we try to figure out what it is they sell. On the other end of the spectrum is the website where time slips away unnoticed as we scroll through compelling articles and pictures from one page to another enjoying the experience. While a website featuring what you do may not ever have a chance at going viral you would like visitors to enjoy the experience enough to learn about your services and not run away shaking their heads in frustration. With a little thought, you can create a good user experience that will showcase your brand.
Ways a Website Design Creates a Good User Experience
- Consistency – Your brand, colors, font and writing style should stay the same.
- Easy-to-use navigation – Don’t overwhelm visitors with too many menus or pages. Name your pages with easy to identify labels.
- Make it easy to scan your pages – Most readers will scan looking for relevant content. White space, bullets and short paragraphs are examples of scannable text.
- Take content seriously – Writing just to fill space is not a good idea. Create content that is thought out and relevant.
- Double check for errors – Broken links, improper spacing, typos, spelling and grammar are just a few.
- Limit the number of choices – The general rule is people can not focus on more than seven items at a time, so keep it to no more than 7 + 2 so they are not frustrated.
- Engage users – Make sure your content above the fold is worthy of them wanting to read more farther down the page.
- Label buttons according to what they do – Never bait and switch or use vague descriptions of what will happen when they click.
- Make things look like what they are – If it is not a link don’t make it look like one.
- Have a responsive website – This is not the same as a website that shrinks.
Good Experience: favorable; prosperous; agreeable; beneficial — Merriam-Webster
Sound more like what you were going for?
Website Design – Things You Don’t Want
- Don’t make users wait for content to load – Under 2 secs is recommended and great sites load under 1 sec.
- Don’t open internal links in new tabs – These are links that you find on a page that lead you to another page. Allow users to use the back button to return.
- Don’t use too many typefaces – This is like talking in multiple voices.
- Don’t use too many colors – This can be distracting, hurt to look at it and confusing.
- Don’t show automatic pop-ups too early – There is nothing worse than having a pop-up hit as soon as you land on the page. Why sign up when you are not even sure you are where you are supposed to be or want to be?
- Don’t let promotion steal the show – Covering your page with ads will drive users away, overwhelm them and make your website look spammy.
- Don’t play background music or autoplay videos with music – Give users a choice.
- Don’t sacrifice usability for the sake of beauty – If they can’t easily read it or see it how can they buy into it?
- Don’t use blinking text and ads – Or most animation.
- Don’t be barn blind – Have a second set of eyes look at it. They will see it from a different viewpoint and it really is not just about what you think.
Basically, think about the experience of the user. Can they easily find and read your information? Will you hide, distract or scare them into leaving? If they stay do you have what they would want to read? When we create your website we look at the total picture. We want to know who is your target market and what are you trying to get them to do? From there the flow is established, the content created and the design is implemented. If you are unsure contact us for a free website review and we can walk you through the steps needed to turn your website into a spokesperson for your business.