web designThis is a great post with top tips for making a user friendly website.

A great website is all about getting two major factors spot on: style and usability. If your website appears to be of poor quality or conveys the wrong image, users will instantly be put off and leave your website. The first impression created by the website style is incredibly important.

However, if the user proceeds to use your website and struggles to get around it, this will also cause them to leave. Usability is incredibly important in web design. Although some people believe that usability can be complicated and expensive to implement, the truth is that it is all quite simple. Below are a few top tips for ensuring that your website provides a great user experience.

Tell users who you are and what you do

The first tip is incredibly simple and doesn’t cost a penny to implement. Add a tagline of some form to the home page of your website which unmistakably tells users who you are and what you do. You would be surprised by how few companies do this. You only have a few seconds to grab a user’s attention and if they are unsure that they have come to the right place, they could leave. By clearly telling your customer what you do, they have no doubt that they are looking in the right place.

Allow users to search for what they want

Users are impatient, they like to find what they want immediately. Adding a search function to your website is a great way to allow users to find exactly what they are looking for instantly. It is advised that the search bar is placed prominently on the top of your page. Ensure that there is a large, clear button which says “Search” so that a user is under no doubt that it is indeed a search bar.

Don’t go overboard with images

Many companies get a little over-excited when it comes to images and graphics. Flashy graphics and large images should only be used where they add value to a website. Throwing a lot of flashy graphics on your home page will not only clutter your page, it will also slow your load time leading to a poor user experience. When websites are slow to load, visitors are very likely to leave.

Ensure that your text is easy to read

Your content should be easy to digest and effortless to read. According to studies, most web users scan pages, they do not read them. Therefore, adding plenty of subtitles is useful. It is also advised that you break up the text into paragraphs of no more than four lines so that users can get an indication of what your content is conveying. Research has indicated that the first two paragraphs on page are most frequently read so getting your important content here is vital. A page filled with a block of content is unlikely to get read at all. Aim to create 400-500 words of content, broken up with subheadings and bullet points, making the information easy to read.

Write for UsVanessa Thompson is a web designer and blogger. She likes to visit www.smartuk.net.