What is a user-friendly website? Everything on a user-friendly site is easy to find, conveniently positioned, highlighted in the necessary places, properly structured, and clearly explained. Good usability helps you raise customer satisfaction and, of course, it confidently leads your users to conversion.
Provide convenient site navigation
First of all, your users should able to easily navigate throughout your website, understand its hierarchy, and find the desired pages. This is achieved by the following elements.
Simple and well-structured menus
Menus are your primary navigation tools, so you should think carefully how to give them a clear and logical structure. The categories and subcategories should be simple, not cluttered, and named in a understandable way.
Too many menu layers should be avoided, unless you have a complex online store that really needs them. For all other sites, a few clicks should be enough to reach the desired level. And, of course, menus should be well-positioned — the classic place is in the top right corner of the site.
The choice of convenient and space-saving menu types is great — drop-down, fly-out, accordion, off-canvas, push menus, circular menus, and many more. Choose the ones that best reflect your category structure and the overall website’s look and feel. In the hands of expert designers, they will be user-friendly and attractive.
You can give your users additional convenience in finding their way through your site via breadcrumbs. These are clickable strings of page names that represent either the path the user has walked or the site’s hierarchy.
Especially on complex websites, breadcrumbs are very helpful in showing the user where they now are and where they can quickly move to, without having to check the whole menu with its categories and subcategories.
User-friendly search bar
Websites with a search bar have an additional bonus in user-friendliness. This is especially true if your search feature supports things like suggesting related content, allowing user’s typos and alternate spellings, highlighting search words in results, providing exact search by various parameters, showing the most relevant search results on top, and much more.
Easy-to-find important pages
Links to important pages should be placed prominently so the user does not have to look for them. This includes your contact information with multiple options to reach you, your “About” page, and other pages depending on your site and business peculiarities.
Take care of your website’s mobile-friendliness
These two types of “friendliness” — user-friendliness and mobile-friendliness — always go hand in hand. The share of mobile phone website traffic has jumped from 0.7% in 2009 to 52.2% in 2018, so it’s an absolute must to make sure your site displays well on mobile devices. Let your users enjoy well-positioned web pages with minimum scrolling.
The most modern trend in providing the right display on mobile devices is responsive web design. It lets designers define so-called breakpoints, or control points for user screen resolutions, at which the page will change its display.
Make your content easy to read or skim
To make your website user-friendly, you need to take care of the content readability. And don’t forget that many people will not read all your texts from A to Z, but just skim through it, and they should be able to quickly grasp your message.
Your helpful assistants here will be readable fonts, color contrasts, highlights in the necessary places, clear headings and subheadings, bulleted or numbered lists, division into paragraphs with no long chunks of text, good balance between texts and images, layouts with handy columns, and more.
Speed your website up
A user-friendly website cannot be slow, so let yours gain maximum speed. There are many ways to achieve this — image optimization, CSS and JS aggregation to minimize requests to the server, the ultimate use of caching techniques, image lazy loading, web font optimization, implementing AMP standard, getting rid of the unnecessary CMS modules or plugins, and much more.
Fix any bugs and broken links
There is nothing worse for a website’s user-friendliness than bugs and broken links. Your website deserves a good testing, especially for catching possible bugs in its critical functionality. Broken links, which happen due to a number of reasons, need to be found via special tools. And then a thorough clean-up awaits, so that your audience has seamless experiences.