Nobody wants a saw without teeth or a car without wheels. Yet there’s a mountain of websites that don’t do what users actually want them to do.
One of the most versatile tools you have, your website can serve your existing customers, attract new ones, and even lighten your team’s workload. But it can only do these things if it’s designed with your users in mind. When organizations rush to create a website without giving due consideration to what their users need, it can result in a frustrating experience for everyone involved.
Taking a people-first approach to web design helps ensure your users have a pleasant experience and find the information they need. Here are a few basic principles to keep in mind as you plan your site.
Keep Your Web Design Clean
In theory, a web page can be as long as you want, loaded up with widgets and buttons and brilliant words. In practice, however, having too much information on a busy-looking page only deters your users from reading.
Organization is key to a pleasant user experience. Clean web design means each page delivers the most important thing your users need to know and provides content that’s easy to digest—making good use of bullet points and clean visual aids—and gives users what they need.
Make the Site Searchable
The average user spends just 15 seconds on a website. If your site doesn’t deliver what they want, you may lose them for good. Providing search functionality makes it easier for your users to go directly to relevant content rather than clicking around on your site on a futile reconnaissance mission.
What seems intuitive to you and your team won’t make sense to every user. Which is what makes the search box essential for connecting users to the info they want. Search functionality allows users to take the reins, ensuring they’re more engaged—and more likely to stick around.
Be Mobile Friendly
When 85% of your customers think your site should look as good on a mobile device as it does on a desktop, there’s simply no excuse for not having a mobile-optimized site. Taking a people-first approach to design means meeting your users on their own terms and creating your site accordingly. With more and more users visiting websites via phone, tablet, and other mobile devices, you need a site that plays nice with them all.
Be Available—On Their Terms
Is it such a big deal to ask users to pick up the phone? Well, yes, actually—depending on who they are. If you want your users to contact you, it’s important to let them set the terms. That means providing multiple ways to get in touch, including a phone number, an email address, and an eform right on the page. Even better: Add a live chat to help your users get the answers they need instantly while still on your site.
The important thing here is to understand that every user is different. And with the ubiquity of mobile devices, the circumstances under which they’re visiting your site will be different as well. Providing multiple ways for your users to get in touch improves the odds they’ll engage.
Provide a Seamless Shopping Experience
For an e-commerce business, the shopping experience is a huge part of how users evaluate a website. Do you accept multiple kinds of payment? Does your site remember user information, such as shipping and email addresses? Is there a clear and easy-to-use portal that allows them to track orders, contact customer service, and initiate a return?
In an age when Amazon dominates the e-commerce space, it’s more important than ever to provide a seamless and enjoyable experience for your customers. When you do, they’ll be more likely to return and continue giving you business.
Ready to uplevel your website with a people-first approach? We can help.