As a user experience-focused agency, we believe that the usability of a website is vital to its success. Your users should be central to the design process – after all, they are the ones that will be interacting with your website. Even if you are not planning to redesign your website anytime soon, there’s still many fairly quick and easy ways to make your website more user friendly, and ultimately, more successful.
1. Make content scannable
People read websites differently to paper – they scan the page quickly in an F pattern looking for the information they’re trying to find. It’s a quick process, and they’ll go elsewhere after seconds if they don’t find what they need. Re-structuring your website content to make it scannable is an easy fix that can have a big impact on user experience.
Make your copy easier to scan by:
- Making sure the most important content is in the top right hand of the page.
- Using subheadings to break up the content.
- Highlighting key points in bold.
- Use bullet points rather than long, meandering sentences.
2. Remove frustrations
Little niggling frustrations like slow-loading pages and broken links may not matter too much on their own, but when added together they are enough to drive people away from your site. It doesn’t take long to quickly check and remove some of the main sources of frustrations for your visitors.
Page load speed
If your website is slow to load, you may not have any visitors. Nearly half (47%) of internet users expect pages to load in under two seconds and if your page doesn’t load within three seconds, over half (57%) will leave your website.
There are many tools, including this one from Google, which will quickly identify what’s causing your website to load slowly. Your images may also be affecting your page load speed, so make sure they are optimised for the web (for example, 72dpi resolution is often sufficient for online use).
As with loading speeds, there are free tools that will quickly identify any broken links on your website so you can fix them and remove a potential source of frustration.
3. Put your user needs first
Work on identifying the top tasks of users when they come to your website, and make sure these are prioritised and easy to find. Your top tasks will be dependent on your individual business and the needs of your users – but it could be as simple as making your phone number more obvious and easier to find. As an example, Manchester Council’s homepage is very clearly based around top tasks, in this case paying council tax and getting more information about bins.
Also remember that people might not come to your website via your homepage, so they will still need an easy way to complete their tasks from any location on your website.
Making a few tweaks to improve the ease of completing top tasks can have dramatic results: the Norwegian Cancer Society saw a 70% increase in donations and a 164% increase in members after re-prioritising their website to focus on user needs.