I’m still amazed at how many websites I come across that have serious usability flaws. I often say that there is only one thing worse than having no website at all – and that is having a “bad” website.
So if you have a website (or are thinking of getting one) make sure you that your visitors stay and look around by following these 5 key principles.
1. Make sure people can read your text easily!! Don’t go crazy with different styles of text and a range of colours. First and foremost make sure that there is good contrast between the text and the background and use an easy to read font style and size. For most websites a dark coloured font on a white or pale background is the way to go. Your website is not there to win artistic awards – it is designed to engage your visitors.
2. Make it immediately clear to your visitors that they are on the correct website. Make sure your name (or brand or organisation) clearly stands out. Repeat it in the header and footer of all web pages.
3. Don’t hit your visitors with masses of text at the beginning – make your Home page a signpost to more detailed content, and provide images or buttons as links to other, more detailed content.
4. Make sure your navigation system is clear and logical. As well as providing a full menu system, provide plenty of other ways to allow your visitors to move between content, such as buttons, images or text links.
5. Make sure your website works equally well for visitors using mobile devices such as phones and tablet computers. Google provide a free checking tool that allows you to check how “mobile-friendly” your website is rated. Remember, more and more people are now using mobile devices to surf the web.
There are obviously many more things that go into making a website “user-friendly” but if you make sure that your website has the above basics covered at the very least, then you are off to a great start.
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