Although the behind-the-scenes development of a website can be a complicated and convoluted process, the final product has to be a website that is incredibly simple to use. If a site isn’t straight forward to navigate for the average user, they will quickly lose interest or become frustrated to the point where they will leave in a very short amount of time.
If site usability is even slightly complicated, the chances of a customer coming back to use it more than once drops dramatically. Now, usability is a relatively broad term, encompassing simplicity, consistency, familiarity and accessibility. So, what can be done to make sure your sites navigation is simple?
1. Familiar Navigation
Although it can be tempting to want to change up the boundaries of website design and come up with something new and fresh, it is wise to remember that a lot of websites follow a similar navigation set up for a very good reason. Users have become accustomed to a certain way of navigating websites; this way, they can enter a website for the first time and know exactly how to find what they need without any help.
The saying goes, ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’, and that definitely applies to designing the navigation for your site. By using a familiar layout, your users will be made to feel comfortable immediately, making them more likely to stick around and see a purchase through until the end.
2. Images and Placement
Images area great way to advertise yourself, your products and your services, but it is important to strike the balance between the number of images, the amount of text and the amount of white space on your site. People tend to respond better to images than to bulks of text, but they begin to respond badly to those images when there are too many.
Images are much more exciting than text but you should always use them sparingly in order to break up your text. Make sure your images are relevant to the information on each page as users will quickly suss out if you are simply trying to bombard them with colourful images in order to distract their attention.
If separate pages on your site look and feel too different from each other, it gives the impression to the user that they have been directed to another site. This isn’t just an annoyance for them, it can also feel as though there is something untoward happening with the site: have they just been lulled in by an attractive front page only to be redirected to a site that may be trying to rip them off? You need to avoid this by making sure your sites layout is consistent across every page.
Here at Visionsharp, we have been providing web development in Manchester for years, so we know a thing or two about making sure a sites usability is as it should be. If you have any questions about your own site’s usability, feel free to get in touch with us.