You envision the ideal website. But does your view mesh with user expectations? If it doesn’t, it’s time for adjustments. Why? Because most visitors land on a homepage (or wherever they happen to wind up) with a set of preconceived notions about what a website should be. Sites that miss the mark are deemed ‘user-unfriendly’ or downright hostile, providing the perfect excuse to leave and never return. Rather than face this music, online marketers should bring their website in line with visitor preferences – in effect, convert an unfriendly website into a user-friendly one.
What should your initial focus be? Clue – it’s neither next nor images. It’s not even navigation. Your first order of business is to address security concerns. This means, provide full disclosure on policies related to cookies, privacy, and the like. With security a major concern to one and all, offering comforting reassurance is crucial.
Mobil friendliness is another major factor impacting user approval. Currently, a shade over 60% of website traffic streams in via smartphones and other portables. That, according to advanced mathematics, is more than half. Clearly, then, a satisfactory mobile experience is paramount.
Despite the abundance of design options currently available, resist the temptation to go all out. The better route is keeping navigation and design elements delightfully simple. Doing this encourages users to dive in and explore their surroundings for a good, long stretch. Remember, nothing screams unfriendly more than jumbled navigation.
Finally, make sure page-loading speeds are mind-boggling. Along with labyrinthine navigation, slow loads are a leading cause of user abandonment. Ideally, pages fully materialize in fewer than three seconds. According to research, 53% of mobile users will leave if this limit is exceeded. When load times are within this limit, however, you can expect bounce rates to plummet.
While the above strategies are all proven performance boosters, it’s best to leave nothing to chance. Test before you launch. You’ll be much happier and employable in the long run.
If you have questions or comments about creating a user-friendly website, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.