Often the argument goes that website design is the most important factor in making it highly effective and user friendly. But, the truth is that the users cannot be satisfied with lucrative web designs alone. When they visit a website they expect more than just some pretty web designs and styles. That’s doesn’t mean a website design should not be attractive. It is vital to make users come to the webpage and stay there for a long time, but the design alone cannot achieve that.
When it comes to designing highly effective websites, the needs and requirements of the users need to be put on high priority list. There are many instances where a website has better rankings in the search engine with not so attractive web design but with a quality and information rich content.
Want to bring back more traffic and make users stay longer on your website? Consider the following pointers.
Getting into the minds of your users
Before you get started with the web designing, understand the requirements of your users.
The famous saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” stands true as far as the behavior of online users is concerned. A highly attractive website can get the users to arrive on your website, but unless you offer them usability and utility, they will be walking out on your website before you can blink twice.
So, what do the users value most?
- High Quality Content
Content is the reason why users come online and visit various websites. There are hundreds of websites with quality contents. And, that’s what they truly value the most. The page may not have a great design, but, if it gives the user information they are looking for, they will put up even with the most annoying advertisements.
There are so many tools that can prevent ads like the Ad Block Plus, so intrusive advertisements aren’t a big concern for them. What they are looking for is content that provides them with specific solution and tips and assistance.
- Scanable Content
With so many options available, you will hardly find a user that reads each and every line of the content. What they actually do is scan the whole content and look for specific line or words that instantly gratify their needs. They can find the information they need by just by scanning the content. So, what they value the most in a website is the high quality content that can be easily scanned for particular keywords or phrases.
- They Satisfice
Users are looking for information on your website and they will choose the way that is most likely to provide them with desired information. This means they make decisions on basis of what works best for them and they don’t go scan the webpage manually.
Pointers for Effective web design
Now that you know how the users think and act online, you can use these points to design the most effective website for them.
- Make it obvious and self explanatory
You might have visited website that aren’t clear on what they do and pose questions to the users. This can backfire on you. Users want websites that make it easy for them to understand what a website is offering. It is like spoon feeding them the information. This saves them time figuring out what your website is all about. They are there for information, not to play detective.
Below is the example of poorly designed website that creates more jargon than what users can handle.
Give them direct answer and let them find out about your product or services and features in the first instant itself.
- Make the information easily accessible
Don’t make the users fill out long forms before they can tryout your features. This can be frustrating and off putting for many. If you really have to do it, then make the sign-up simple and short, just like the picture below:
Let the users explore the website and forcing them to share their emails and private data can drive them away easily, no matter how attractive your landing page looks.
- Make it even easier with Visual Texts
Visuals work wonders when you are trying to catch attention. It’s a no big secret. Everyone knows it. That’s why an advertisement no matter how intrusive or interfering that is, it manages to achieve its goals by grabbing your attention.
Likewise, when it comes to effective web design, making visually attractive text that highlights the key point of your feature will be more effective. The word FREE is quite powerful, no matter where you use it – on stores, online, mobile or banners. Free is the word that catches attention quite quickly, because it’s says what the user is going to get and when it is shown in visually attractive text, it immediately catches attention and provides user with the information they are looking for.
- Creating Visual Hierarchy
Creating a visual hierarchy using the white space can make your web design more effective. If the website is too loaded with texts and visuals and colors with no visible space, it can make scanning the content difficult. So, it is important to use white space as a page break or separator to make it more easy for the users to read and scan the content.
When it comes to writing for the web, different rules are applied. The writing needs to be more precise and it doesn’t have to follow the usual grammar rule.
For example: “25% Off” – While the line doesn’t necessarily follows a grammar rule, it is till effective as the user knows they are being offered 25% off on the product or services. It is short and yet informative and the users will get it instantly. That’s the kind of language you need to use that highlights the benefits, so that users can understand easily.
How do you know your web design was effective or not? Doing usability test can answer your question. It provides you with useful insights regarding your design and helps you eliminate the problems and issues that are making your users spend less time in your website. And, it is not a onetime thing. There are millions of other websites that are providing better usability. So, you need to test the usability of your website every so often to keep on improving.