Sometimes, our vision is a bit blurred when it comes to the effectiveness of our own website. You try to look at it through a potential client’s eyes, but it’s hard to do. Is it appealing visually, and simple to navigate? Is the content compelling and valuable? Is a visitor likely to become a subscriber, or perhaps even a customer? It’s difficult not to be biased when it’s your own website, as hard as you may try.
A website that is not user friendly could be compared to inviting guests to your home for a party, then hiding before they arrive only to leave them wondering what the heck is going on. When someone arrives at your site, you want them to be able to easily discern what it is you do, and how it can help them.
Here are a few tips to help you know if visitors find your website “friendly,” or – heaven forbid – hostile!
- Easy-to-read text. Tiny text that is hardly readable without a magnifying glass is a BIG turn-off. Your text should contrast with your background so that it stands out, and be large enough to read without straining your eyes.
- Easy-to-scan text. Have you ever arrived at a website where there are a thousand words that run together and are in a single paragraph, no breaks, no bold print – nada? Talk about headache! Most people who browse the web are not readers; in fact, they quickly “scan” the pages they visit, so you want to use subheadings, bullet points, and bold text so that they can easily find the most essential information on your pages.
- Have a complex site? Add a search bar. Websites that are large and loaded with content can often be confusing for visitors. Place a navigation or search bar near the top of your site, so that searching is made quick and easy.
- Help visitors know where they have already been. Links that change color after being visited help your visitor navigate your website without going around and around in circles. If your links remain the same color after they have been clicked on, your visitor has a hard time knowing where he/she has already been – and it can be frustrating enough to run your visitor off to your competitor. Try adding breadcrumbs to your site (no, not the tasty treats, but the type of navigation) to further aid your visitors.
Think of how you react yourself when you visit a website that looks confusing, or is actually hard to navigate. Do you want that for your visitors? Of course not. Make your website as visitor “friendly” as possible, and they’ll be back for more. Think you’re doing well? Try creating a Fivesecondtest to see how users really feel about your website/design. Then, test and refine, test and refine…lather, rinse, repeat!
E.B.B. Interactive is a Honolulu web design agency. Are you looking to revamp your current website’s layout or look? Call 877-323-0661 to get a free consultation.