What does your website design say about you?
Quick! Open a new tab and click over to your homepage or blog right now.
Now squint and start assessing the design. Don’t worry about the content, just the layout. Now, ask yourself:
- Does it look like a professional design? Or like an amateur cranked it out overnight on one of those “free” website creators?
- Is the content divided into small, easily digestible nuggets?
- Here's the tough one. Imagine that you're a stranger. Would you trust this website with your business?
I know it isn’t easy to look at your site objectively. To some, their website is their baby. They have invested countless hours, blood, sweat, tears, hopes, and dreams into lovingly crafting it.
The hard truth is, to most web users it may look and feel like a jumbled mess. I know it’s hard to hear, but somebody had to say it.
Like most people you probably assume that most of your website visitors will carefully read over all of your painstakingly crafted copy. Today’s web users are too busy to closely examine what your webpage actually says.
Imagine trying to find your favourite novel in the Library of Congress while blindfolded (good luck!) That’s what it’s like for most web users trying to find what they want on the internet. (Ok, maybe it’s not that extreme, but you get the idea.)
Are you ready for a better website? Follow our 3 D's of design to make your content a bit more user-friendly.
1. Do you really expect me to read all of this?
Break up your text. A solid block of text is daunting and tedious to read. Presenting the information in smaller bite-sized nuggets makes it easier to absorb, and more importantly, scannable.
Take a quick look at these images. Which one would you rather read?
The answer is obviously Example B. The shorter sections and bold text provide a visual path which leads the user to all of the important bits.
Web users will spend roughly 3-5 seconds scanning your page before moving on to the next one.
Your visitors didn't come to your page to read a novel (unless you publish stories on your website. In that case, keep on keeping on!)
The easier your content is to scan, the more likely your readers will find what they are looking for. With any luck, they may even read the entire article. Actually taking the time to read through an entire post or article is one of the highest internet compliments possible.
2. Don't make me think.
Web users already have plenty on their mind. "Did I load the dishwasher? I hope to get this project wrapped up before the deadline. Oh look a new notification subject: '5 foods you should never eat!' I guess I could spare 5 minutes to check this out. Now, what was I looking for again?"
As you can see, it doesn't take much to derail that train of thought.
Web users are distracted. Don't make it hard for them to find what they are looking for.
Keep it simple! Remember we are in the age of the smartphone. Most people are now accessing the web through a mobile device. This means that they have a severely limited viewing window, potentially unreliable internet connectivity, and are navigating and typing with their thumbs.
Make all of your content mobile friendly!
Don't over tax your site users by making them hunt for what they are looking for. Make it so simple to find relevant content that you can do it blindfolded. It can never be too simple. Have you ever clicked away from a website because it was too easy to find what you wanted?
3. Don't assume anything.
It may be nearing the end of 2015 and practically everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, but it doesn't mean you should assume all web users can actually use the web. The visual nature of the internet puts visually impaired users at a huge disadvantage.
These users aren't going to let a little thing like visual impairment keep them from enjoying the web. With the help of special accessibility apps known as screen readers, they can enjoy the internet. Does your website support a screen reader? (I wasn't joking about making your content so easy find that you should be able to find it blindfolded.)
Don't assume anything. Many of today's web users are visually impaired and reading a screen is not as easy as reading braille.
When was the last time you updated your website?
Need help giving your website a much needed facelift?
The web design team at CyberSpyder Web Services has over 15 years of experience. We are eager to help you overcome your challenges and meet your business goals.