From my experience creating a website that is easy to use is not all that difficult yet most people seem to get it wrong. To help you make a more user–friendly website, I here detail what I consider to be the most important elements. Note, there are some exceptions to the rule but this is a pretty good starting point.
Use a consistent layout
The main structure of the page—layout, menus, typography—should be the same on every page. Your visitor will know where they are then; it helps them not to get lost in your website.
Include a site map
Not only does a site map help your pages get indexed by the search engines more easily, a site map means that the user is never more than two clicks away from any page in your site. A site map, presented in a hierarchical manner, also helps people to visualise how your site is structured and how each page relates to the others.
Some sites require a lot of effect to find even a phone number or email address. Being approachable not only means making your postal address, phone and fax numbers and email address available on your website, it also means giving your potential customers the idea that it is a real person or organisation running the website, not some soulless corporation. Photos of yourself and your team work wonders online; and be sure to put lots of calls-to-action (text that incites the user to contact you) in and amongst the text on your website.
Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes
Second–guessing your visitors’ requirements in one of the hardest—but most critical—elements to a website. When you explain your requirements to your web designer don’t add functionality for the sake of it and be sure to add the features that benefit your potential customers, not you and your colleagues.
Keep it simple
People who surf the Internet are generally lacking in patience and if they can’t find what they want from a site in a short space of time they will go elsewhere. Keep the text on your site concise and if possible re–write it as headlines and bullet points rather than long paragraphs of text.
These five basic principals apply to nearly every website. If you’d like help making a website that your visitors will love using call me on 07843 483 078 or get a free quote online now.