23 Characteristics of a User-Friendly Website (Ultimate Guide)

Your website is oftentimes one of the first interactions customers have with your company. The impression you leave can be a make or break moment between gaining a customer and losing them. That means the way you design your website is critical to sales.

When it comes to designing a website, simplicity is going to be your best friend. Website users should be able to find what they are looking for easily and within a short time. If the users are unable to find what they need quickly on your site, just as fast as they arrived there, they’re gone. There are so many options nowadays, for every product or service he or she might be looking for. Maybe another website gives exactly what the user wants easier and quicker.

Without further ado, let’s look at 23 ways to Build your website with the user in mind, and tips to make your website user friendly!

1)  Easy to understand navigation

Rather than having a large site map, keep the main headings nice, clean and easy to read. If your site is complex by nature and has a lot of categories, having a smaller navigation menu in the top right corner may work to your advantage.

2)  Fast loading websites

Having a fast loading website is essential, no one wants to waste time waiting for images and text to appear on the screen. Infact, Google’s study shows that 53% of websites visits were abandoned if the page required more than 3 seconds to load. That means that by having a slow loading site, you are losing more than half of your potential customers.

3)  Search functionality

Having the ability to head to the top bar and search for what you need on the website is extremely helpful for users. This is especially applicable for ecommerce websites. Search functionalities will cut down the time a user depends frustrated and sifting through pages of buying options and categories.

4)  Easy to understand action button

What’s an action button? Action buttons are what the user can click to take the further step on your website. Be it an “add to cart” button, a “download now” button, or as simple as a “contact us” button can improve the functionality and user interaction within your site. Having a user wonder what the end result can be is confusing and will hurt you much more in the long run.

5)  Easy to read content

When there is any written content on your website it needs to be easy to read for the customer. Regardless if it is a blog site, or an ecommerce site, the descriptions, text, and media should all be very easy to follow. Increasing readability also means that there must be media on the page. A video, picture, or diagram breaks up the heavy wording.

6)  Mobile compatibility

It is no longer enough to just offer a website on desktop. With the amount of internet surfing that happens on mobile phones, the user experience needs to reflect on all platforms. Having a separate structure for mobile is the best way to go about this reformation.

7)  Browser Compatibility

Make sure that you provide a consistent experience for users on all browsing sites. For example, the experience on Firefox should be the same as it is on Google or Safari. Neglecting one browser will no doubt hurt your company profits. Not only will compatibility help you sell, but it will give a uniform professional appearance.

8)  Colour scheme

Picking colours on your site is absolutely essential! Colours change enhance or hinder readability, and having something with too little colour can give your page a boring look. For example having dark writing on a dark background is going to decrease readability. In a similar way having no colour at all will change the way users view not only your website but your brand too. Using contrasting colours will be a great way to spice up your site and attract consumer attention. Ensure your colours work with your brand and don’t decrease readability throughout your site.

9)  Colour scheme

Having your site accessible to all sorts of users is a big factor online. While many users are fully capable of navigating a regular website, there are many who are unable to do so. Elderly, blind and those who have trouble reading small writing. The 508 accessibility guidelines outline other website guides for those who have accessibility problems.

10)  Listen to Feedback

Accept and take into consideration any feedback on your website design and layout. Customers and people who are not a part of your company may have quite a bit of useful tips to creating the best website you can. Be open to the idea that your site is not yet at its best and can always use improvements to increase user accessibility and improve consumer experience.

11)  Act Quickly on Feedback

Act fast and in an efficient way when it comes to addressing feedback. Try to respond to all website feedback within 24 hours. Responding to, and addressing the feedback quickly shows that you care about what consumers have to say and are open to the fact that you are maybe not perfect.

12)  Improve contact information

Making the contact page more appealing and professional does a lot for any business. Making sure that you have appropriate information is key. Accurate information goes hand in hand with the delivery of this information. Providing a variety of ways for users to get in touch is just another stepping stone to creating the best user experience on your site.

13)  Fix errors appropriately

Fixing any errors on your site is more than fixing errors with regards to text. Errors in the code can hinder user experience greatly. As soon as you see an error the best thing to do is fix it immediately; you come off as more professional and on the ball than if you were to fix even the smallest error at your convenience.

14)  Plan Your Information

Planning out information before you post it is a key to structuring a great site. Have a plan for which content you will post and when. This can create an organized scheme to your site and have it flow at a much better rate. It will also be much easier for your readers to follow.

15)  Valid Markup and Clean Code

Adhering to website standards is the best way to maintain code and a professional image. Adhering to guidelines also can ensure fast load times another factor that enhances the user experience. Yet another bonus of following the guidelines is that it will ensure users have the same experience on many browsers

16)  Usable forms

Number 15 tip to ensure a positive UX is to have usable forms on your site. If you collect consumer information, whether it be email alone or a full form of information, ensuring those forms are usable is essential. Having a seamless interaction with the customer will provide them with a positive image of your company.

17)  Be better at what you do online than competitors

While you may have many competitors online, make your site stand out. Do what you do better than the competition. If you offer online services, make it easier, make it more visually pleasing, make it more interactive. All those things are things that can give you a leg up on the competition, as well as improve your website.

18)  Font Choice

Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing a font. Choosing the wrong font can be a huge mistake costing you more money than you would like. For example if you want to seem professional, don’t pick comic sans; instead, try arial. Know the difference between serif and sans serif: serif is easier to read on paper but sans serif is much easier to read on a website.

19)  Adaptive Website

Be able to adapt to changing online environments. Having a great website isn’t a one time thing, it’s a constant upkeep process.

20)  Making your logo easy to find

Make sure the logo is easily identifiable and findable on all of your webpages. Having your logo visible means that consumers will regcognize your brand more easily. It in turn means that they will know who they had a good experience with (implying and assume they had a good experience with your site).

21)  Offer an option for help

Have a chat tab on your screens to help them whenever they need it. This chat tab is easy to have an AI element behind it, alternatively you can have a real person behind the chat bubble there to help them navigate the site.

22)  Don’t let the Beauty Outshine the Purpose

While it is always nice to have a great appearance the most important characteristic of the website is the ease of navigation. When surveyed 76% of people said that they are most concerned when it comes to easily navigating and finding what they want on your website. Only 1/10 people said that beauty was the biggest factor, 9% said features, and 5% said something else. Just something to think of when you are prioritizing different aspects of your site.

23)  Offer Tips Built into Your Site.e

When it comes to navigating confusing sections, or filling out forms, provide tips from past experiences. If people generally have a problem finding something on your site or filling out certain parts of a form, have tips right on the screen to increase the efficiency of your site.
In conclusion, be open to making changes to your business website. There are many different attributes that can work against you when building a website. Refer back to this guide for any quick tips. If you think you need a little extra help with your site, 23e2 Digital Marketing is more than happy to help. Give us a call and watch your website traffic increase!