A website that meet their user’s needs get better results, including higher rankings in search engine results and increased conversion and retention rates. Therefore, one of the most important trends in web development is focusing on the viewer experience and making sites more user-friendly. Because viewers access the web from an increasingly wide variety of devices, websites need to accommodate a wider range of needs to enhance functionality and keep viewers on their sites. Here are four ways to make your site more responsive and user-friendly.
Keep content concise
A study by computer scientist Jakob Nielsen, a world-renowned expert in website usability, showed that most web users have very short attention spans. Rather than reading websites like novels, most users spend a few seconds skimming articles for relevant information. The average user looks for keywords and reads in a non-linear style and doesn’t read every word from top to bottom. Keeping your sentences short and articles concise will make your content easier to read and more welcoming to viewers by helping them find these keywords and information.
Use visuals strategically
Charts, videos and other graphics can communicate ideas, but too many can make pages difficult to scan and make relevant information difficult to find. Graphics can also make a site load slowly – whether they are looking for information or simply trying to preserve the batteries on their mobile devices, readers find slow-loading sites frustrating and will quickly click away. While graphics can capture readers’ attention or illustrate concepts, only use visuals that provide value, support information in the text and load quickly.
Use headings in long articles
Most internet users look at blocks of text in search of specific information. Breaking articles into multiple, short sections makes it easier for them to locate information, and adding a heading to each section can help them locate relevant topics and information quickly. When you create your content, use headings to organize your thoughts and to make sure that your ideas and information flow smoothly and logically. Headings also make text easily scannable and help readers find the information they want.
Content plays a significant role in making a website user-friendly when it’s easy to understand and to actually read. Ideally, web designers and content writers should work together to make content as legible as possible by utilizing the following formatting tools:
- Bulleted lists: Visitors are more likely to focus on bullet points and text in bold and italics. Use bullet points to break up long paragraphs and highlight relevant information with bold or italics.
- Color: Colorful text, dark background and bright colors can be painful to look at and make web pages hard to read, especially for those who use assistive devices. Dark text on a light background is the easiest to read, though you may need to adjust the text and background colors until you find the best contrast level.
- Spacing: Proper spacing between characters, lines and paragraphs provides the white space that makes a website more legible and easy to scan.
- Fonts: Artistic or creative fonts may be interesting, but they don’t always display well on different monitors or screens. Stick to standard, non-serif fonts to keep your text legible across a range of devices.
Making your site more user-friendly is more than just a buzzword or current design trend. How user-friendly it is can affect your search engine rankings as well as your bottom line. Simple changes such as making your content more concise, adding relevant headings and scaling down graphics can make your site more functional and encourage users to explore all your pages, while formatting changes can make your site more legible and easier to access from more devices. With these improvements, your site will function well and readers will be able to find what they are looking for. They’ll also be more likely to stay on your site and convert from reader to subscriber or customer.Print this article