12 User-Friendly Web Design Tips That Will Engage and Convert Your Target Audience
Why You Need User-Friendly Web Design Tips!
Have you ever searched for and landed on a website and had no idea what to do there? No, we don’t mean that Google presented you with the wrong search results. We are talking about a website that is not user-friendly! In 2019 have a website that meets your user expectations is absolutely critical. Yet many websites completely fail at usability. And this is the reason we decided to provide you with some much-needed user-friendly web design tips!
In 2019 web design is changing and evolving faster than ever. With new web design and development trends emerging almost daily, landing on a blah website is just plain disappointing. And if your business website makes it hard for visitors to find what they’re looking for, is filled with broken links, or takes too long to load, you will never rise above the digital noise and get noticed.
Studies have shown that given the choice, users prefer to interact with a well-designed user-friendly website than a website that provides an inadequate user experience. So why are so many websites and e-commerce stores basically crap? Because many website owners, and even web designers, fail to follow user-friendly web design guidelines. Hopefully our user-friendly web design tips will help you avoid that fate. Let’s start with a few basics:
What is User-Friendly?
User-friendly basically means that something meets the expectations of the end user. That can be a website, a mobile app, an ATM machine, or the self-service checkout at your grocery store. In each case the user has certain expectations and requirements. These can be pretty specific, but generally include ease of use, clarity or simplicity, convenience, and speed.
In other words, the user wants to complete his or her task with the least amount of effort in the shortest amount of time.
What is User-Friendly Web Design?
Before the phrase “user-friendly” was created, website designers and users didn’t really have a term for describing well-made websites. Websites either worked, or they didn’t. Basically, that meant that a good website generated leads, and a bad website didn’t. Yes, that may be overly simplistic, but back in the 1990s when we started building websites things were a bit simpler than today.
User-friendly web design is basically the process of creating a website that meets the expectations of your online target audience. This will keep them on your website and encourage them to return. And if you provide a really great user experience, they may even tell their friends, but we will get to that later.
In 2019 it’s no longer simply a suggestion that you invest in user-friendly web design. It has become an absolute requirement if you want to achieve your business objectives. To help you achieve this critical business objective we compiled a list of proven user-friendly web design tips for building an intuitive and user-friendly website.
Designing with the Target User in Mind
Before we get to the user-friendly web design tips there is one super important thing we need to point out! And that is that you need to design with your target user in mind. Many business owners build the website they want, or the website they think they need. Unfortunately, many times they completely miss the mark. Why is that, you ask? The answer is simple; many website or business owners never actually use their own website!
When building out your site map your goal should be to keep it as intuitive and simple as possible. Name each page appropriately and make sure that the sub navigation relates to its main navigation option. If you have a larger site map, you may want to create a utility navigation, a smaller navigation bar found in the top right of some websites, to avoid overcrowding on the main navigation bar.
Here are some recommended tips for designing a user-friendly website for your business:
User-Friendly Web Design Tips
1 – Determine Your Target User
This should be pretty self-evident, but surprisingly it isn’t! Many websites contain features or functionality that is well beyond the need of their target audience. Therefore, the first step in designing a user-friendly website is to determine who your target audience is, and what their needs and expectations are.
2 – Reduce Your Page Load Speed
In 2019 websites need to be fast, period! According to a recent study by Google you will loose website visitors if your site does not load in 3 seconds or less. While this may sound extreme it is a proven fact. As we like to point out; the attention span of the average human is less than that of the average goldfish! So, unless you are targeting goldfish you better get fast!
3 – Use Mobile-First Navigation
In 2019 most of your website visitors will use a mobile device at least once while visiting your site. And they need to be able to navigate through your site or e-commerce store easily. Therefore, you need a mobile-first navigation menu that is easy to find and use on any device.
4 – Make Your Logo Stand Out
The next of our user-friendly web design tips focuses on your logo. It should be easy to find at the top of every page on your site. It does not necessarily need to be in the left corner; in 2019 many sites use logos that are centered or on the right. But do make sure it is a clickable link to your home page. This also enables you to remove the “Home” link from your menu if you are running out of space.
5 – Keep It Simple
One of the biggest obstacles to user-friendly web design is an overly complex site structure and navigation architecture. Therefore, our user-friendly web design tips remind you to focus on keeping things as simple as possible. Instead of complex page names and multi-level navigation name each page appropriately and clearly, and make sure all pages on your site or not more than three clicks away.
6 – Include Clear and Simple Call-to-Actions
If you want your website or e-commerce store to support your business goals your website visitors will need to take action. This may be clear to you, but not necessarily your target audience. So why not make that easy for them? User-friendly web design means including a clear and simple call-to-action (CTA) on every page.
One thing to keep in mind is to keep your CTAs as simple and straightforward as possible. Don’t require users to jump through too many hoops. And don’t confuse them. Make it clear what they are about to do by clicking on a button on your website. To help you get started we added a few suggestions to our user-friendly web design tips:
- Order Here
- Sign-Up Here
- Download Now
- Contact Us
- Request Estimate
- Make a Reservation
- Book Appointment
7 – Keep Your Content Simple and Scanable
If you want to provide a great user experience on your business website, blog, or e-commerce store keep it simple. This includes your website content. Nothing will turn off your target audience faster than dry, boring and overly long content. Avoid using technical or industry jargon and keep your text content short and concise.
Use proper formatting to allow your audience to skim over your content to identify sections that interest them as quickly as possible. Our user-friendly web design tips include using proper text formatting, headers and sub-headings, and the odd list or three. This will break up your text into manageable chunks and make it easier for visitors to consume.
8 – Implement Site Search
Our user-friendly web design tips would not be complete without mentioning site search. Your website may seem well-organized to you. But it may be different for your website visitors, especially the first time. Especially large or complex sites may be confusing at first. Therefore users expect site search functionality in 2019, or they will simply look for it elsewhere.
9 – Strive for Visual Balance
As we just mentioned, in 2019 your website visitors are less into reading, and more likely to quickly scan your content. This is especially true for mobile consumers. Your target audience will expect text content, graphics and infographics, images including video, and even color or gradient backgrounds to keep them engaged and interested.
User-friendly web design means that you don’t go overboard with just one or two of the above. Our user-friendly web design tips recommend that you aim for an overall balance of all of the above. Once again, be sure to focus on the needs and expectations of your target audience. Older, less tech-savvy users will prefer more text. A younger audience will expect more visuals.
10 – Add a Chatbot
You may not always be available to help your website visitors, but you still want to appear responsive and helpful. One way to achieve that goal is to add a chatbot to your site. Even when you are away from the office, or asleep at night, your chatbot will be ready and able to assist your target audience. Many chatbots can answer basic questions or direct visitors to the appropriate content. If not they can collect email addresses so you can follow up at a later time.
11 – Make Your Content Shareable
You may have heard that social media is dead in 2019. And while it has become harder to maintain adequate levels of social engagement you should not overlook the benefits of sharable content. We recommend you use a variety of ways to encourage your audience to share your content on their social media profiles. At a minimum you should have social sharing buttons on each page. Specific pages, such as portfolio items or blog posts, should include reminders or requests to share them.
12 – Optimize Your Site for Search
The last of our user-friendly web design tips is to make your site search engine friendly. This will not only help your search rankings, which in turn will lead to more website visitors. Optimizing your site for search means you will be found by people looking for your exact service or product. If you make that a positive experience for them your target audience will have little reason to go elsewhere.
If you want to provide the best possible user experience in 2019 make sure your website is optimized for voice search and accessible for visitors who may be vision impaired. The latter includes people who may suffer from color blindness, so avoid color combinations that are hard to differentiate.
Building Website Tailored to Your Audience
We created our user-friendly web design tips with the average business owner and marketer in mind. We hope these tips and strategies will help you focus on your target audience and build a more effective online presence for your business. To achieve the best results, implement as many of our user-friendly web design tips as possible.
Think of it as building a website or e-commerce store that is tailor-made for your specific audience. Look at it this way; if you are a gourmet restaurant your target audience will have totally different expectations than the target audience for an airline company or an IT service provider. If you build the wrong type of user experience your website will not be a comfortable fit for your intended audience. And just like an ill-fitting suit is soon discarded your website will not engage and convert many users.
Please test the usability and functionality of your site before it goes live. A tailor requires several fittings before your new suit is ready. Likewise, you may need to go through a discovery phase to determine your exact fit as well. We know you may be eager to try our tips, but a misaligned site is hardly user-friendly, and it won’t help you achieve your business objectives, either. Therefore, make sure you test your site’s functionality and usability with your target or focus group before you launch it!
Now You Are Ready for User-Friendly Web Design!
Congratulations, you are now ready to implement our user-friendly web design tips. No, we don’t mean you have to do it yourself. But by thinking about these web design tips you are now better able to focus on the needs and requirements of your target audience and take your website to the next stage. Look for a web design professional in your city, or simply reach out to us and we will be happy to help you!
Did You Follow Our User-Friendly Web Design Tips?
Did you recently undertake a web design or web development project? If so, did you incorporate any of our user-friendly web design tips? Did that help you achieve your business objectives? Or did you have problems with our tips and strategies? Please feel free to let us know so our audience can benefit as well and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post with your audience!
Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!
Espresso Digital Blog