The Internet is competitive, and users today have many of options in terms of what websites they chose to visit. With thousands of websites per-industry just a click way, it’s important to make sure your website stands out in a positive way. One of the most effective ways to ensure that consumers choose your website over others is to make it user-friendly. William Bleimeister, President of Bleimeister Web Design, details 5 ways to make sure your website is user-friendly and stands out from the crowd.
An Appealing Homepage
First impressions are important. A poorly-designed or cluttered homepage could driver users away immediately. According to William Bleimeister, it is important to make your homepage inviting. One way to do this is to keep the design clean and easy to navigate. Position your company’s logo clearly at the top, and be sure to include a statement about your company’s mission. Remember, the homepage should get across what your company does clearly, but in a concise way.
A Quick Load Time
Speed is one of the most important factors in having a user-friendly website. According to William Bleimeister, it is important to make sure that your page loads quickly. Often, consumers will not wait more than a few seconds for your page to load. A slow load time will drive away visitors. To ensure that your website loads quickly, keep your image sizes small. Large images are one of the main reasons that pages load slowly. Keep content on the homepage to a minimum. Additional elements such as image and video files make pages load slower. Your homepage should only contain elements that help convey the mission of your company. Other information can be placed on other pages and linked out through the menu bar.
An Aesthetically Pleasing Design
Like your homepage, the visual aspect of your website provides a first impression for the user. William Bleimeister says having an aesthetically appealing website is one of the keys to being user-friendly. Your website should be polished and professional. Because the website represents your company, it is important that the visual aspect reflect the feel of your company, and speak to your company’s mission. Graphics and colors that are too loud or cluttered will serve as a distraction for the user. It is more likely that the consumer will continue reading through a website, or commit to website financially, if it appeals to them aesthetically.
Having a visually pleasing website is important, but it still needs to be usable. Consumers want to be able to navigate a website without a lot of fuss. The easiest way to accomplish this is by creating a simple, easy-to-use menu bar. The menu bar should go on the top of your page, where users will look to find it. It is also essential to link back to your homepage. In addition to a “home” button on the navigation bar, make your company’s logo link back to the homepage as well. It’s also essential that the navigation stay the same from one page to another.
Concise and Readily-Available Content
Keep your content concise. Users don’t want to be overwhelmed by too much information. Using bullet points, sub-categories and short paragraphs ensures that your reader won’t become overwhelmed by the content and will be able to digest it more easily. It’s also important to make sure the font and the font size used is readable. Simple fonts such as Arial and Times New Roman in sizes 14-16 ensure that any reader, regardless of age, will find your website accessible. It’s also important that your content is readily available. Consumers don’t want to spend a lot of time searching through your website for the information that they’re interested in. Creating a database search bar or archiving your articles to make them easier for users to find.
William Bleimeister offers tips on how to create successful websites for businesses. He has designed over 2,000 websites for small businesses, international companies and individuals.