Today practically anyone can easily create their very own website, but creating a website that appeals to netizens is a much more daunting task.
One way of making a site more appealing is to make it more user-friendly. Here we’ll take a look at five ways that a web design agency can make a website extra user-friendly.
1. Mobile-Friendly and Responsive Design
3.8 billion people are using smartphones today. This translates to slightly less than 50% of the world’s entire population! This means that any web designer worth their salt must make a site mobile-friendly.
One way to make a website mobile-friendly is to make it more responsive. This means that a website’s layout and appearance change based on which device it is accessed through.
Google also explicitly recommends using responsive design for SEO.
Content blocking ads and pop-ups are particularly annoying when displayed on small smartphone screens. Users can have trouble finding the tiny close buttons ads to view the site data and this may result in them leaving the website altogether.
The web designer should either disable ads for mobile devices entirely or ensure that the ad only appears once a user has finished scrolling through the webpage.
2. Modern Touch-Friendly Design
Another way to make a website more user-friendly is to make it compatible with touch screen technology.
As more users are shifting from desktop computers to smartphones and tablets, touch screen technology provides sites with another way to interact with their users.
One way that web designers can incorporate touch-friendly designs is by using big buttons. To be usable by the average adult index finger the minimum dimensions of the button should be 30 px height and 50 px width.
The hover feature doesn’t work on a touch device so you should remove any hover elements from your website’s design.
Instead, data that was revealed by hovering the mouse over it now should be seeable by tapping the screen. Hyperlinks within the text should be differentiated and of at least 20px in height or 12pt font size.
3. Easy Accessibility
Navigation within the website needs to be intuitive. This means that navigation should be in a format and style that is familiar to users and works like users expect it to. The navigation menu should be designed simply with few links.
If you need to have lots of links in your menu then you can use a mega menu or a drop-down menu to prevent information overload for the user.
Colour contrasts between the background and the text should be set to ensure an easy reading experience for the user.
If you use more white space between your text and borders, this will make the user’s website experience less strenuous.
4. Fast loading (Speed Optimized)
Most netizens are impatient and they won’t wait for a website to load as there are so many alternative sites available on the net.
A large percentage of users (85%) aren’t using broadband internet connections. To be comfortably accessible to these users sites need to test the time taken for the website to load.
GTmetrix is one tool that web designers can use to test a site’s loading time. Google has another tool called PageSpeed Insights that allows designers to assess the speed at which a webpage loads.
5. Browser Compatibility
Netizens use a range of browsers to surf the net including Firefox, Opera, and Chrome. The problem is that each browser is designed differently which means that your site may work perfectly on one browser but not on the other.
To avoid alienating users of a particular browser measures should be taken to ensure the site has cross-browser compatibility.
Web designers should set a ‘doctype’ for their HTML files as this identifies which HTML version is being used by the site for the browser.
Otherwise, the browser attempts to decode which HTML version is being used and can sometimes be wrong, leading to your site not displaying correctly.
Using CSS Reset rules can also help in increasing compatibility. Finally, cross-browser compatible frameworks and libraries like Bootstrap and Foundation should also improve browser compatibility.