How an Expert Agency Designs a User-Friendly Website
May 5, 2023 | 7 MINUTES TO READ
Summary: How user-friendly your website is can set you apart from the competition. Learn what usability means and how an agency designs great sites.
Have you ever thought about what your users do on your company’s website? Usability and user experience are major focus areas for web design in Toronto, and for good reason. A website that is easy to use will reach more people and convert a greater share of its audience than a website that is less intuitive. Today, we will discuss what makes a website usable and how an expert web design agency can make your website more user-friendly.
What Is Usability?
The term usability refers to how easy it is for someone to use the website or feature being described.
A usable website is easy to navigate for users of all skill levels. Someone who has never seen it before should be able to get exactly where they want to go without too much effort. Web design companies strive for usability in all of their design projects, but only the best website designers in Toronto achieve it.
How Do Users Think?
Many web designers assume that their users are carefully navigating each page, taking the time to read all of the information available on it before clicking on something and moving on to the next page.
This is generally not the case. Most users prefer to navigate pages with little conscious thought, skimming each page for relevant information in just a few seconds. If they see a clickable feature that might take them where they need to go, they will click it. If that click does not lead them somewhere useful, they will head back just as quickly.
A truly usable website accommodates this style of browsing. The tips described below will help you to bring your website in line with users’ expectations and provide a more engaging and successful user experience.
10 Principles of User-Friendly Web Design
1. Do Not Make Your Users Think
A good business website answers users’ questions without adding more to their mental workload. Your site should be easy to navigate and have a clear purpose for every page. If a user cannot immediately discern what the page is about and why it is useful to them, your agency will retool the content to make this clearer. You do not want users to decide that your website is not worth the effort it would take to decipher it.
2. Do Not Test Users’ Patience
New users want to see what your website has to offer, not spend precious time jumping through hoops. Your design should allow users to quickly get to the information or features they are looking for without requiring extra inputs like an email address.
If you need to prompt users to subscribe or make an account, make it as easy as possible for them to do so. For ecommerce website design in Toronto, this means setting up a guest checkout system that allows users to buy from your store without an account if they choose to. Reduce friction whenever you can to ensure that you do not lose users to frustration.
3. Build Your Website to Focus Attention
The human eye is built to focus on images and movement over plain text. If you want to draw attention to certain parts of your website, your agency will make those parts visually interesting to automatically capture the user’s focus. Guide the user through their experience with carefully placed graphics and colours that make navigation instinctual instead of laborious. This will make browsing your website feel as easy and instinctual as breathing.
4. Show Off Your Website’s Features
Most people who visit your website are there to use one or more of its features. Your agency will make it easy for these users to find that they are looking for by clearly listing all of your website’s features on your home page. No one should need more than a few clicks to find the information or functions they came for.
5. Write with Web Users in Mind
Most website users do not have the patience to read long blocks of text. To hold their attention, your design agency must adapt your website copy to accommodate scanning and casual browsing.
Keep your copy short and to the point, using clear phrases and direct language whenever possible. For example, instead of asking users to check out your ecommerce store, you could ask them to “browse now” or even “buy now.” Either phrase communicates the desired action more clearly.
It also helps to highlight key phrases and terms using bolded text or italics. This will help those words stand out at a glance, even if your user is barely paying attention.
6. Keep Your Design Simple
You might be tempted to add all sorts of bells and whistles to your website, but in most instances in web design, less is more. An expert agency will include only the features that make sense for your user base to avoid cluttering up your sitemap. You should be able to easily fit links to all of your site’s features right on the homepage.
7. Use White Space to Your Advantage
White space is not merely the absence of website content. Including strategic spots of white space gives your users the chance to slow down and absorb the information being presented.
Your agency will not add unnecessary lines, boxes, or other borders to your website content. Let the white space between elements serve as a natural divider instead. Doing this will make the page easier to scan and digest.
8. Structure Your Design for Optimal Visual Communication
A good design communicates almost everything it needs to through visual elements alone. Your agency will aim for an organized, streamlined design that is easy to figure out with minimal reading.
Emphasize your key points or features by giving them a prominent place in the page’s design. Do not include any unnecessary information or superfluous graphics. Your design should keep the number of different fonts and font sizes you use to a minimum to avoid overwhelming the user’s senses. Remember – if your design is not clear, it cannot serve its purpose in your marketing strategy.
9. Do Not Be Afraid to Be Conventional
Sometimes it is best not to reinvent the wheel. Conventional design standards have become so commonplace because of how effective they are. Over time, they have also become so familiar to users that many would struggle to navigate a website that did not use them.
Your agency should keep your website’s layout as close to standard conventions as possible without resorting to a generic template. If you do this right, your users should be able to find the information or features they are looking for even if they do not speak the language that the text is written in.
10. Test Early, Test Often
It is unlikely that your agency will create the best possible version of your website on their first attempt. As soon as they have a navigable version of your website ready, they will submit it for user testing. This will give them a chance to identify any problems with the website’s text or layout before these issues can impact your website’s performance or tarnish your brand.
You will probably need multiple rounds of testing to finalize your website design. Be sure to conduct as many tests as it takes to get the results you want. Over the course of many iterations, your site will gradually improve and grow into the standout online hub your company deserves.
Get an Expertly Designed Website from Our Award-Winning Web Design Agency
If you think your website’s usability could be improved, WSI Comandix is the right agency for the job. We are one of the leading agencies for web design in Mississauga, and we have a slew of customer testimonials and industry accolades to prove it. Whether you need a new website or a simply a website redesign, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our web design services and let us create a user-friendly website that will drive both traffic and conversions.
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