7 ways to make your website wicked user-friendly

How to make a website user-friendlySome websites are just awful on the eyes; and sometimes that’s OK — if you’re trying to win the competition for Craziest Website in the World.

But it’s probably a wiser move to opt for clean design and maximum usability.

Attention spans are short these days; if you help folks quickly find what they need on your website, they’ll have more time for all those other things  you want them to do: buying your stuff, subscribing to your email newsletter, leaving a comment, sharing your content with their friends, etc.

So…

1. Use a readable font — Stylish is fine, but go with something standard and clear.

2. Choose colors that are easy on the eyes — Black text on a white background? Great! White text on a black background? Tiring. Bright blue text on a red background? Ouch.

3. Be concise — The copy on your website should be as digestible as possible. Always try to trim the fat.

4. Format your articles for easy scanning — If you do have sections of your site that require large amounts of copy (longer articles, in-depth press releases, extensive bios, etc.) then be sure to think about how your formatting structures and supports the text. Add headers, bolding, italics, and bullet-point/numbered lists to help guide the reader along.

Also, don’t be afraid to break up the text for emphasis or simply to add some space. An Internet paragraph doesn’t have to be five sentences long.

5. Put the most important info at the top — Again, some folks will be scanning; some folks will just read the intro. So put your main points (along with your important keywords) at the beginning. It’s ok to front-load your articles or web pages as long as the paragraphs that follow provide interesting details to support or enrich the info you’ve already shared.

6. Make sure hyperlinks are obvious — Your website isn’t supposed to be a treasure hunt. I want to know where to click. Don’t make me work for it by having hyperlinks be the same color as the rest of the text.

7. Use visuals — A picture is worth about a billion words online. So why write anything at all when you can embed a YouTube video, upload a photo, or refer to a graph or chart?

What about you? What do you think makes the difference between a user-friendly website and a frustrating one? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

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