Picture this: For weeks, you have been researching the right protein powder blend for you. You have found a company whose product fulfills all of your requirements and are excited to place your order. You place your desired items into your cart, click check out, enter your information to create an account and press enter. 404 Page Not Found. You sigh, reload the page and repeat the process, only to encounter the same result when you go to checkout. Frustrated and impatient, you find another site with a similar product and seamlessly purchase your item. In this scenario, the customer loses time and the original store loses a potential customer. The second website gains a client, simply because their website is more user-friendly than its competitor. A user-friendly website will always be more successful than one that is hard to navigate. Luckily, there are a few ways you can easily improve the your website’s usability.
Make Your Site Responsive
Responsive web design builds sites to provide an optimal viewing and interactive experience for its users. A responsive website is able to adapt to the size of a screen, whether it’s a smart phone, tablet, or a widescreen computer monitor. The site will adjust its layout based on the screen size to make it accessible and functional on any device. Smartphones and tablets now account for 60% of website traffic, so having a responsive website is crucial to attract and maintain website visitors.
Navigation helps users locate what they’re looking for on your website. Poor navigation can lead to confusion and frustration, causing visitors to move on to the next website. Think about how users will travel through your site and consider organizing your content in a way that is logical to the user. You have the power and control to design a path that users will likely follow if it’s created properly and presented clearly. Additionally, make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for by including a search feature.
Keep Loading Time Fast
Another thing that users find frustrating is a website that takes too long to load. Visitors are looking for information and they expect to find it quickly. You can improve your website’s loading time by limiting the amount of large videos and photos on your site. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid adding images to your website, but we recommend that you resize images so that they are more compatible for online use. Flash can also seriously slow down loading time if it isn’t implemented properly. Plus, many mobile devices don’t support Flash, so they won’t benefit from the Flash elements anyway.
When you have a clean and simple layout, users won’t feel distracted or overwhelmed by unnecessary links and images. As a result, you are able to emphasize the content that is most important to your business and guide users to applicable pages in a clear way. Also, a clean layout helps users find what they are looking for and the chances of them returning to your website greatly increase.
Clearly, a user-friendly website is a valuable resource to have. You can provide ample information about your products or services on your website; but if visitors can’t find the information they seek, they will likely move on to another website. Similarly, if they have a frustrating experience, they’re less likely to explore your site and more likely to take their business elsewhere.