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User-friendly web design is not about making the user

User-friendly web design is not about making the user (the visitor and your potential customer) happy. If it was just about that, you could have uploaded a bunch of funny cat videos and gone home. No, design is about ensuring that the user reaches the goal of the website in an efficient way using the techniques that the computer has made available to us.

Making a website is about combining the user’s goals with the company’s goals. To succeed, you need to have identified who the user is. Who has access to your website and how should the user use the information contained there? Only when you know that, you can start building a website.

  1. Mobile adapted
  2. Available
  3. Fast to charge
  4. Good at handling errors
  5. Consistent
  6. Contrast knit
  7. Airy
  8. Well organized
  9. simple navigate
  10. simple to see
  11. fill out forms on
  12. Mobile-adapted website

In 2017, 85% of New Zealand Internet users used the Internet on their mobile phones (New Zealand and Internet 2017: Internet on their mobile phones). With that said, it is obvious that all  websites are mobile today.

A responsive website is the perfect example of how a website can be: It adapts to the user regardless of which screen he is at. The perfect responsive page also displays different content depending on the screen. The computer user may be able to sit and read longer texts, while the mobile user is mostly looking for directions or phone numbers.

  1. Available to everyone

websites ensure that everyone can enjoy the content on the page, regardless of whether you are disabled, blind, deaf or elderly. These users often use an aid that reads the content of a website or prints it in Braille.

When you build your website, make sure you write the so-called alt attributes on each image. The alt attribute should in a few words describe what the image represents. This can be read out by the screen readers. In addition, it affects your chances of being searchable on Google, so you only have to benefit from working with your alt attributes.

This is what the code for the image looks like:

<img src = “image-name.jpg” alt = “Short description of the image” />

In most website platforms, there is an option to add alt texts to the images you publish.

  1. Fast charging times

The fact that the website loads too slowly is a very common reason why users leave it. Make sure that your website is built correctly and that your web hosting is fast, otherwise you risk losing many potential customers.

On friendly websites, images, videos and other heavy files are compressed to load as quickly as possible.

  1. Smart 404 pages

Of course, a  website has no links that do not work. But some external links to the website cannot be influenced. Then it is important that the website is good at dealing with the problem.

A 404 page is the page you end up on if you try to access a subpage that no longer exists. The 404 page should help the user by giving suggestions on how to proceed to find what they are looking for.

  1. Consistent design and content

Being inconsistent is not only bad for the user, it can harm your brand as well. Be consistent when designing your website and other marketing. The fact that the website’s design and content are the same on all subpages helps the user to recognize themselves and find your website. It’s about color, shape and font as well as text size and language usage. A consistent website feels professional.

Different browsers handle code differently and can therefore display the website in slightly different ways. A well-built website looks (approximately, 100% is rarely possible) the same regardless of the browser.

  1. High contrasts for good readability

Websites have a high color contrast between text and background. It may sound obvious, but still there are many websites that for aesthetic reasons choose inappropriate colors on text or background. High contrast makes the text easy to read.

  1. Airy design on the website

It can be tempting to try to include as much information in as little space as possible.  Websites work the other way around and are not afraid of a little “dead space”, ie air between the website’s elements.

  1. Well-organized content

Imagine that you go into a store where all the goods are just made without any plan about what should be where. When new things appeared, they just ended up somewhere where there was free space. Such a store would not be long-lived, right?

Both store and website owners have a lot to gain from being organized. We cannot adequately describe the importance of planning the structure of your website before you start building. Too many people think about design primarily when building a website, but if you want a  website, you need to start with the structure.

What information do you want on the website now and what information may be added in the future? Think ahead. It should be easy to find what you are looking for on the website, so highlight your most important pages clearly. Imagine the website from the point of view of the various potential users.

  1. Easy-to-navigate menu structure

A  website is easy to navigate through. When it comes to navigation, simplicity is often the best thing. Have few menu choices and instead build subpages if you have a lot of subpages. Few menu choices make it easy to see which paths the user has.

Research shows that the eye moves in an F-pattern over the website. In other words, place important elements such as the navigation up or to the left where the eye first looks. Complementing the menu with a sitemap and a search function is seldom crazy because it gives the visitor several ways to find what they are looking for.

  1. simple information

Neither you, I nor your customers read all the text on a website, that’s it. We look through headlines, the beginning of paragraphs and other things that catch our eye. Hopefully this attracts you to read a little more of at least some of your lovingly written text.

Write descriptive headings, use subheadings generously and divide the pieces of text so that they do not become too long. Breaking up the running text with lists and pictures is also good. It is good to keep in mind that it is not just the start page that can be the landing page. If the user ends up on your website via a link on a Google search or other page, he may end up directly on a subpage. Make the information easy to see on all subpages of your website.

  1. Userfriendly forms

The fact that the forms are is very important on a company page, because a form is often the goal of the page; to complete a purchase or submit a request for example. The form is a way for the user to interact with the website and it must of course be easy to use.

How many of the points does your website meet?

It’s easy to become home blind. There are probably few who visit your website as much as you do, so it may be difficult to decide for yourself how  your website is. Ask some outsiders to go through the page to get a neutral opinion. Need something fixed? We know the web and are happy to help you!

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