When designing a website, you need to have the users in mind at every step of the process. Think about the people that will be using the site and how they will be using it. A user-friendly design is one which allows users to find what they are looking for quickly and with the least amount of effort.
Here are some tips which will help you make your site more user-friendly.
1. Arrange your content according to priority
You can use content relationships, size and prominence to prioritize the content on your pages.
- Content relationships – Content which is related should be placed in a specific area of your page. In addition, it should be presented in a common visual style
- Prominence – Content which is very vital or popular should appear as high as possible on your page. This will enable visitors to see it without having to scroll down
- Size – Use large font sizes for headlines which are very important. This will enable you to capture the attention of readers
2. Make clickable links stand out
For your site to be user-friendly, it needs to have links which are obvious.
- Text links – The default color of a hyperlink is usually blue underlined text. Avoid the mistake of having text links in any other color since blue is what most of your visitors will identify with
- Image links – Make sure your image buttons are designed with depth so as to give the impression of being pushed. Remember to include alt text which will give visitors an idea of the links’ function. You could also consider having the traditional blue outline around your images
- Visited link color – Your visited links need to appear in a different color. This will help visitors remember what pages they have already visited
3. Use traditional conventions
It is always advisable to stick to traditional conventions. For instance, when it comes to web design, it has been a traditional convention to have the navigation bar on the left side or top of the page. This makes navigation intuitive for web users who are used to this arrangement. However, if you decide to position your navigation bar elsewhere on the page, you’ll only end up confusing your visitors.
4. Minimize page noise
You need to cut down on elements which make your pages too demanding on visitors’ minds. Here are some of the things which you need to pay attention to:
- Number of font colors, sizes and typefaces – Cut down on the number of font colors, sizes and typefaces appearing on your page. This will make it easier for visitors to process the information
- Number of words – Use the least amount of words in your text. Web users are usually a very impatient lot and don’t have the time to read lengthy posts
- Number of text link styles – Using too many link styles will only confuse your visitors. It would be advisable to stick to one or two link styles
- Background colors – It would be advisable to use consistent background colors in all your pages. Make sure the colors used clearly define content areas
- Background wall paper – Avoid having background wallpaper images on your pages. However if you have to, make sure the images are very subtle so as not to distract visitors