Creating a perfect product can be complicated when approaching user-friendly website creation for the first time. Sure, you might deem it futuristic and unique, but does it make your visitors stay? It takes a user about 50 milliseconds to judge your website. So, if it’s not user-friendly website, they won’t miraculously give it a second chance.
Let’s learn how to make the experience convenient and straightforward yet, interesting enough for the visitors to stay.
Transform Your Navigation Into Intuitive
Your website visitors will leave the website if they deem it hard to navigate. Intuitive navigation will let them be quick and efficient while browsing your website. Here are the main elements of user navigation.
What’s the first thing the user does when accessing a website? They look for a navigation bar. Depending on their goal, they’ll use it to look through the pages. Thanks to the navigation bar, they’ll reach the part they’re most interested in. Then, if they get lost, they’ll use it to get to the first step – the landing page. Your navigation bar will be the most important part of intuitive navigation. What parts of the website do you find valuable? Add them to the navigation bar.
On the other hand, be careful about making it too long or complicated. Remember: it should always be in the same place on every page and have the same amount of categories. You can experiment with the positions, wording, and tabs when you have enough visitors. Later, run a poll for the visitors to add or remove tabs. After all, garnering your users’ opinions is the easiest path to improvement.
Users will be jumping from webpage to webpage at first. Thus, they need to know where exactly they’re situated. Breadcrumbs are a perfect solution to that issue. In some cases, they’ll show the website guest the whole path they’ve followed. In others, they’ll accumulate based on the guest’s unique page history.
Developers have been recommending each other to use breadcrumbs since the ’90s. There’s only one reason you wouldn’t use breadcrumbs – if your website is up to two categories deep. Otherwise, don’t neglect this pathway.
There’s nothing more straightforward than a search bar. If there’s a guest on your website, it means they’re looking for something specific. Why not give them a tool to find what they’re looking for? Place it at the top right or center of every page, and include a search box and a search button.
Think About Mobile Users
The responsive design includes a lot of specifics. One of them is mobile- or content-first design. As you might’ve guessed already, it’s responsible for your website’s layout when accessed through a mobile browser. Almost 80% of internet users own a smartphone and prefer using the internet through the phone. Some of them will have to deal with your website outside their PCs, whether bored at work or on the go.
Of course, your product won’t look the same on the PC and the mobile. That’s normal. At the same time, most users won’t spend time trying to understand a buggy mobile version. They won’t zoom in on the navigation bar, either. To make the best mobile version, you have to:
- Create a priority list for your website depending on your service type. For a drive-in cinema, upcoming movies and tickets will be a priority. For repair service, that’ll be a price list.
- Add all essential navigation options that we discussed before. That’s a navigation bar, a search bar, breadcrumbs, and more.
- Consider the page’s size and possibilities. Plan everything according to your priority list.
If you’re still unsure how to make the most efficient mobile version, look at the most popular websites on the net. You can also use specific services to create a mobile version to become an example. Sure, you’ll have to pay for it. But if you’re a newbie freelance web designer, don’t ignore your resources.
In addition to your main source of income, use side hustles like JumpTask to pay those costs. Completing a paid survey or testing a game will take under an hour. In exchange, you will earn JumpToken, providing you with an array of opportunities and experiences.
Improve The Speed
Internet users will access your website through desktop, mobile, Wi-Fi, and cellular networks. All of them would prefer to experience it at high speed. Unfortunately, that’s not true for every web designer’s new website. They end up witnessing many users leaving when the webpage doesn’t load in just three seconds.
Different things can impact the loading speed of your product. These include website plugins, images, video content, coding, and more. Thankfully, freelancers can use various tools to help them check the loading speed. What if it’s too slow? First and foremost, compress and optimize your visual content. Then move on to caching your pages and eliminating unnecessary plugins.
Make It Accessible
User-friendly websites can’t exist without general accessibility. According to CDC, 25% of adults live with a disability just in the U.S. That’s 1 out of 6 people worldwide. Disabilities that impact interacting with the internet include:
Some services will help you make your website more accessible. Additionally, you can hire an expert to manage your web pages. If you have more free time on your hands, check your website for accessibility yourself.
That said, almost every aspect of the website you create can be a massive barrier for users with disabilities. Pictures are a great example. While they add a lot to your content, blind users won’t be able to decipher it. Alt text will describe the image to the user, so make it as complete and detailed as possible. For video elements, use the same approach as the alt text for images. Describe the images, main events, background change, gestures, and facial expressions.
The same goes for the general layout of your website. Let your users pick the text size so they can easily read the content. This feature shouldn’t break the page layout. Moreover, consider choosing high-contrasting colors. Users with vision impairments like retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataract can’t see a big difference between similar text and background colors.
People with visual impairments can’t see multimedia elements, but hard-of-hearing users won’t be able to hear audio on your website. In case you’re using videos or music to increase engagement, take your time to write an audio description. Subtitles are an essential part of today’s media. Make it precise and short, though. Hours of description will only lower your engagement.
In conclusion, many important components make websites user-friendly. They include accessibility for people with disabilities, intuitive navigation, speed, responsive design, and more. As a newbie freelance web designer, you might feel discouraged at first. But if you use all your resources, your website will be close to perfection in no time.