Want to build a user friendly website? Did you know users spend an average of 3 hours a day on mobile devices? The 2018 trend is shifting toward a mobile-first experience. Why is that important?

If your website isn’t designed for mobile devices, you’re losing over half your visitors. And it’s happening before potential visitors even reach your site. It’s happening when they receive their search engine results.

design a user friendly website in Toronto

That’s right, search engines like Google test whether your site is designed for a mobile-first experience. If it isn’t, their algorithm gives you a lower score. That translates to a lower page rank.

In other words, instead of landing on the first page of search engine results, you land on the tenth. Worse yet, if they do reach your site, they’re confronted with images too large and buttons too small for a mobile device. Read on to learn more user-friendly tips.

1) Responsiveness

When a website is responsive, it adjusts elements on the page to suit whichever device it’s viewed on. For instance, a responsive site may show a screen-filling hero image when viewed on a PC. That same site may substitute a different, smaller image when viewed on a smartphone.

Or it could avoid loading the image on mobile devices, altogether, to create a better user experience.

The structure of responsive sites often uses the same architecture. Elements are built in blocks. Those blocks sit side by side to fill the screen of larger devices. They’re stacked on top of one another when viewed on narrower screens.

Other elements also change from screen to screen. Buttons are larger on mobile devices. Dropdown menus and pullout menus are also common.

The site transforms from one device to another, making for a better user experience.

2) Simple Navigation

To use your site successfully, visitors must have the ability to get from place to place. The more you make them hunt for navigation buttons, the more likely they are to ditch your site. How do you rectify this?

Simple.

You keep your navigation visible and easily accessible. Build a navigation bar that permanently stays at the top of the screen, even when a user scrolls down. You also include appropriate navigation pages.

If you don’t know what those should be, imagine your website layout like that of a tree. The trunk of the tree is your homepage. Other sections of your website are the branches shooting from the trunk.

Include those sections on your navigation bar.

3) Simple Searches

If your site contains more than ten pages, it’s time to consider adding a search option. We’re talking about the small icon of a magnifying glass and its adjacent search query box. It’ll help ensure visitors find what they’re looking for.

This is true especially if you have a blog. If you have a blog site in 2018 without a search option, you’re already behind the curve.

4) Clarify Your Brand

If visitors recognize your business, they connect with you more quickly. If they’ve had good interactions with you in the past, they’re more likely to trust your company and products. They’re also likely to hang out longer on your site.

This is called dwell time. It’s a key metric used by search engine algorithms to determine your page rank. If visitors hang out longer, you score a higher rank.

That means more visitors.

So how do you clarify your brand? Flaunt your brand colors throughout your site. Include your logo on the top left corner of every page. Ensure your web copy, graphics, videos, and podcasts align with your brand.

5) Speed It Up

Fast load times entice visitors to stay. Slow load times push visitors away. Fortunately, speeding up your load times is a straightforward process:

  • Minify and combine files
  • Minimize HTTP requests
  • Asynchronously load CSS and JavaScript files
  • Reduce time to your first byte
  • Defer JavaScript loading time
  • Decrease server response time
  • Compress files
  • Use browser caching
  • Include image optimization
  • Use a content delivery network
  • Separate CSS and HTML code
  • Prioritize content for loading
  • Reduce the number of plugins

We said straightforward, not necessarily easy. Unless you’re familiar with HTML and CSS, we recommend outsourcing this job to a web design agency.

6) Define Your CTAs

The term call-to-action (CTA) refers to any element on your page that requires a response. Examples include buttons, sign-up sheets, and phone numbers. In other words, it’s an element which is asking visitors for a response.

Trouble arises when vague information is used around the call-to-action. For instance, we’ve seen sign-up sheets embedded in sites that offer no indication what the user is signing up for.

We recommend using clear, easy to understand words around your CTAs. Avoid phrases like “Get It Now!” Instead use phrases such as, “Download Your Free Website Market Survey Here.”

7) Sharpen Your Content

Visitors jump to websites looking for something specific. If they don’t find that something, they continue their search elsewhere. You can help them find it more quickly with a few changes.

Ensure each page of your site is built with a single goal in mind. If the goal is to redirect visitors to a different part of your website, make certain every element on that page supports that goal. Get rid of any extraneous features.

Break your text up into easy to read chunks, each below a heading which describes it. Also, make sure your text is written by someone who knows what they’re doing. Avoid errors in grammar, syntax, style, and clarity.

Just because you can’t spot them doesn’t mean other people won’t. It’s one of the most common mistakes made by small business owners. They give their web copy an “A+” grade, but it’s filled with glaring errors.

Unless you have a master’s degree in English (or an equivalent), we recommend you outsource your copy.

8) Create Balance

We live in an age of too much information. Readers now skim content to reach relevant information. It’s one of the reasons we mentioned the importance of sharpening your content. Part of that is breaking it up into easily digestible chunks.

That begins with your text.

Use plenty of headings. Shorten your paragraphs and sentences. Use bullet lists and numbered lists when possible.

Break up your text up further with relevant videos and graphics. You can also add other things, like CTAs and different font sizes and colors. Break things up so your eyes can easily navigate the page.

After User Friendly Website Design Tips?

Now that you’ve learned some user friendly website design tips, it’s time to use them. Start with whichever one you think will be the easiest. Then continue on to the next easiest.

Remember, you needn’t implement them all. Even a few of them will make your website more user-friendly. Focus on the ones you know you can finish.

Not sure where to start? Don’t despair.  Get in touch with our expert web design team and let us help you make your website more user friendly.

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