Long gone are the times when the webpage equaled a piece of text with some kind of information on it. The Internet-driven society of the early third millennium expects from any digital product (and websites are no exception) entertainment, quality data delivery, and comfortable user experience (UX). For the owners of online businesses, the UX their site provides is mission-critical since it is what ultimately conditions the success of their venture. And if you want to know how to make a user-friendly website, there is no secret: make its design your priority.
Many novices in the e-commerce realm have an illusion that the straightforward and transparent description of the product given on the webpage is enough to attract visitors and make them stay longer on it, make a purchase, or perform an action they want them to. It is only partially true. While the content is important indeed, it takes more than useful and engaging information to increase conversions and boost sales. From the users’ perspective, what makes a website good is the smooth user flow and convenient arrangement of elements, which is achieved via the workmanlike design of the site. Why is the website design of paramount significance for UX?
Now you can see how crucial the site design is for the satisfying UX visitors have while visiting it. What are the summands of a high-quality design?
What makes a website great to visit and use? Seasoned specialists in UX/UI design single out two vital ingredients that ensure its success.
Sometimes, visual design is totally associated with UI design, but in fact, the former is a broader notion. It embraces both UI design and graphic design as two aspects that shape the appearance of a website. The major goal it is called to achieve is the aesthetics of the site elements accomplished through colors, shapes, lines, fonts, textures, and negative space.
Yet, the visual design goes beyond making the site appealing to look at. It is also meant to rivet the user's attention to your brand by relating ideas to customers in an engaging and clear way. Thus, one may say that visual design is also honed towards messaging and communication.
As the name hints, this characteristic is related to the ease with which a person can solve their problem by leveraging your site. Usability is the core of UX design that experts in the field attempt to reach as their chief objective.
Usability as a concept is defined by five qualities.
A logical question arises: which component (visual design or usability) should you prioritize while tackling the design of your website? As recent research argues, the site's visual appeal matters to users more since attractive websites tend to get better feedback even if they underperform in terms of usability. How come?
This is all about the first impression and confirmation bias. Site visitors like to get confirmation of the positive initial impression the site made on them. That is why they tend to rely on their emotions and disregard usability issues when the visual attractiveness of the site pleases them at first sight, instilling trust and security.
Of course, you can't totally neglect usability because when you compromise it, people will eventually realize the low efficiency of your site and stop visiting it (especially when there are adequate alternatives). Yet, the visual side of the site is what you should focus on in your design efforts.
There are four main considerations you should bear in mind while working on the website design.
These are key life hacks for the creation of an attractive visual appearance for the website. What are other factors that can make a website user-friendly?
As a company with numerous successful projects under our belt, we at UXBee know what the components of the high-end UX of a website are.
Ultimately, what defines the success of your site is user engagement. That is why, while designing your webpage, you shouldn't get distracted by what you want or find most convenient. Focus on what the site visitors need and look for.
All of them expect accessibility and functionality for a website. But such general guidelines can be significantly modified when it goes about a specific user audience. Are your site visitors IT mavens, B2B professionals, or ordinary people shopping for apparel? Your profound awareness of the target audience and its preferences can shape the design of the site to a great extent.
To discover user tastes and priorities, you can leverage some analytics or just ask customers directly what they dislike about your site or what improvements they would like to introduce. Such feedback will allow you to have a fresh eye on your page and discover its shortcomings that remain hidden from you.
Modern people are digitally savvy and have solid experience in using various websites with the design principles they conventionally follow. If you don't live up to the expectations they have about the location of the principal elements, the UX will suffer greatly, and they will never visit your site again. That is why forget about reinventing the wheel and adopt conventional design templates that are customary for a specific industry (say, traveling, e-commerce, banking, or medicine).
Simple and intuitive navigation is the bedrock of a user-friendly site. People don't want to roam across it back and forth to find the information, service, or product they need. They must be able to do it in three clicks at most, or they will flee your site. The logical website structure with clearly visible and properly located menus containing broad headings and numerous subtopics will lead your customers to the place they are searching for in no time. A more advanced approach will be to find out the most-viewed pages and highlight them in the main navigation panel.
In the fast-paced world of the 21st century, one thing is certain: people hate to waste their time waiting. The same is true about Internet users who are sure to turn to another page if yours takes forever to load.
Therefore, ensuring the high speed of loading (not only texts but video and audio content as well) is a must-have for a user-friendly site. By employing Google Page Speed Insights, you will be able not only to trace the speed indices but also troubleshoot them and get tips on making improvements in this performance aspect. As a rule, revving up the server’s speed and optimizing images eliminate the lion’s share of speed issues.
In a world where the number of portable device owners is quickly approaching the global population, it is an unforgivable oversight to ignore the mobile experience of users. To meet them halfway, you should aim for a responsive design of the website that would work well on desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. There are four basic guidelines on how it can be done.
A viable alternative to responsive site design is creating a mobile app in the same style and color scheme, but if you decide on this option, be ready to fork out a pretty penny.
The overarching goal of your website is to turn a one-time visitor into a lead and then convert them into a customer. A visible CTA button located where it is most likely to be seen will prompt them what to do next (buy, register, subscribe, etc.). The color of it should contrast with the general color scheme of the website to add to the button’s visibility.
If you want your brand to stand out among its competitors, the user-friendly design of your site is a must-have. The pieces of advice given in the article will help you to improve your existing site or develop a new one that would please your target audience immensely.
However, relying on the DIY approach in such a vital matter isn’t a wise strategy to take. It is much better to hire skillful professionals. We at UXBee can tackle this job and turn your solution (be it a website or a mobile app) into a convenient virtual venue where people will enjoy every moment of their interaction with it.
The article offers advice on how to hire a UX designer and explores skills (both hard and soft) a competent UX designer must have to deliver a high-end product.