6 Tips to Make Your User-Friendly Website

By Madison Taylor
June 21, 2024

We’ve all experienced clicking on a website, scanning the homepage, navigating through menus, and perhaps scrolling up and down the page before deciding to leave. Often, we exit because the site is unappealing, lacks valuable content related to our search, or is simply confusing. There are many reasons for this, but it highlights how quickly we judge a website and how little time companies have to capture their visitors’ attention. This is why having a user-friendly website is crucial. Your website is the primary interface between your business and potential customers. A user-friendly site attracts visitors, encourages them to stay and explore, and increases the likelihood of conversion. Ultimately, a user-friendly website enhances user satisfaction, reduces bounce rates, and improves overall site performance.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Website Design

In addition to usability, regulatory guidelines must be considered. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) outlines areas where website owners must make information accessible, regardless of any disabilities or challenges users may have. Examples include adjusting page text size, zoom capabilities, and providing subtitles for audio content. Failure to comply with these guidelines can lead to expensive lawsuits or fines, as some attorneys specialize in finding non-compliant websites. 

ADA compliance in web design is not just about avoiding legal issues; it’s about inclusivity. Making your website accessible means ensuring everyone can navigate and interact with your site regardless of their abilities. This includes implementing features like screen reader compatibility, keyboard navigation, and alternative text for images. By prioritizing accessibility, you demonstrate a commitment to all users, which can enhance your brand reputation and expand your audience reach.

Essential Characteristics of a User-Friendly Website

Effective Navigation

Effective navigation is vital for a user-friendly website. Ensure your site structure allows visitors to quickly and efficiently find what they need. This includes having a clear and logical menu, a consistent layout, and easily accessible links to critical sections of your site. Drop-down menus, breadcrumb trails, and a search function can enhance navigation.

Mobile Compatibility

With most users accessing websites via smartphones or tablets, your site must be compatible with various screen sizes. Responsive design ensures that your website adapts to different devices, providing a seamless experience whether visitors use a desktop, tablet, or smartphone. Mobile compatibility also affects your site’s search engine ranking, as search engines like Google prioritize mobile-friendly sites.

Simple Forms

Use simple forms that are easy to understand and complete. While captchas are fine, they should be relatively easy and compatible with different devices. Streamlining form fields, providing clear instructions, and ensuring that forms are mobile-friendly can significantly enhance user experience. Auto-fill capabilities and progress indicators for longer forms can also help make forms more user-friendly.

Easily Spottable Content Architecture

Visitors come to your website to find information. Therefore, having a clear and easily spottable content architecture is essential. This involves logically organizing your content, using headings and subheadings, and ensuring critical information stands out. Well-structured content improves readability and helps with SEO, making your site more discoverable.

Clear Call-to-Action Information

User-friendly websites have clear call-to-action elements. Ensure visitors can easily identify what steps to take next, such as contacting you or purchasing. Effective call-to-actions are visually distinct, use compelling language, and are strategically placed throughout your site to guide users toward desired actions. Whether signing up for a newsletter, downloading a resource, or making a purchase, clear calls-to-action are crucial for conversions.

Fast Load Times

Fast load times are critical for user experience and SEO. If your site is slow, consider optimizing images, improving code, or upgrading your web host. Forty percent of users will leave a site that takes more than three seconds to load.

Slow load times can frustrate users and lead to higher bounce rates, negatively impacting your search engine rankings. Monitor your site’s performance regularly and make necessary adjustments to ensure fast and efficient load times.

6 Tips for Creating a User-Friendly Website

Here are some tips on how to build a user-friendly website:

1. Design With Your User In Mind

Focus on a design that prioritizes user needs over convenience for your team. This user-centric approach involves understanding your target audience’s preferences, behaviors, and pain points. Conducting user research and usability testing can provide valuable insights into how to structure and design your site to meet user expectations.

2. Use Accessible Language, Tone, and Design

Ensure your language, tone, and design are accessible to your target audience, possibly offering translations if needed. Clear, concise, and jargon-free language makes your content more understandable. Additionally, consider your audience’s cultural context and preferences to ensure your messaging resonates with them. 

3. Choose Color Carefully

Select color combinations that reflect your brand’s values and consider the psychological impact of colors. Colors can evoke emotions and influence behavior, so choosing a palette that aligns with your brand identity and appeals to your audience is important. Ensure that your color scheme provides sufficient contrast to enhance readability and accessibility.

4. Keep It Simple

Simple, easy-to-navigate pages can effectively communicate your message. Avoid clutter and unnecessary elements that can distract users. Focus on clean design, intuitive navigation, and clear content presentation. A minimalist approach can make your site more attractive and easier to use.

5. Use Information Chunking

Break up long paragraphs and walls of text with subheadings and short sections. This technique, known as information chunking, improves readability and helps users quickly scan and find relevant information. Use bullet points, numbered lists, and visual aids to make your content more engaging and digestible.

6. Improve Your Site Layout

Update your site layout regularly to incorporate new technologies and improve user experience. Evaluate your current design and identify areas for improvement based on user feedback and analytics. Modern, flexible layouts that adapt to different devices and user needs can enhance usability and keep your site relevant.

7. Keep Psychology in Mind

Understand basic psychological principles that affect user expectations, such as placing the navigation at the top and legal information in the footer. Familiar layouts and predictable design elements make your site easier to use. Consider visual hierarchy, cognitive load, and user behavior patterns when designing your site to create a more intuitive and enjoyable user experience.

Final Thoughts

Building a user-friendly website is an ongoing process that requires attention to detail, understanding of user needs, and adherence to best practices. By focusing on effective navigation, mobile compatibility, simple forms, clear content architecture, strong calls-to-action, and fast load times, you can create a site that attracts visitors and keeps them engaged and satisfied. Regularly updating your site, incorporating user feedback, and staying informed about the latest web design trends and technologies will ensure your site remains user-friendly and competitive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.