How do you make your website compelling?
Have you ever gone to a website only to discover that you couldn’t find the thing you were looking for?
Or maybe you found a website but couldn’t work out what it was selling?
Over the years this has sadly happened a great deal, however in recent years with the boom in small businesses and websites, it is becoming easier to navigate sites in general – but is yours easy? We have been on a mission for many years to make our customers websites as attractive visually as they are useful to the user. We understand what makes sense on a website and what makes good design, here we outline some key attributes that we like to bear in mind.
Do visitors leave your website too quickly? Maybe your website needs a rethink, here we outline how to make it more successful.
So what makes a website easy to use?
1. Buttons: If you have something that looks like a button, that it might lead the user somewhere, make it do so.
2. Clear layout It’s important to decide what is your key area of business that you want to draw people’s attention to, but not to clutter the upper most area of your homepage with too many options. It’s simply not possible to get everything above the fold.
3. Purpose of Navigation: Think about what the main navigation area is to do. If you have a link called ‘Bananas’, it needs to go to a page about Bananas, not one about fruit in general. It can be confusing to the user to go to an unexpected page, and not find what they want.
4. Mobile Friendly: Your website really must be mobile friendly. Double S Design have been creating Responsive websites since late 2011, we were so ahead of the game that we had to explain to people what it meant. This article written in 2012 explains mobilised sites in more detail. When searches are carried out on mobile devices, Google will downgrade your site for mobiles, making yours harder to find.
5. Above the fold: If you have a lot of services to offer, lay out the homepage with interesting graphics and content above the fold. Although users are aware that they can scroll, many people do not bother, you may miss conversions if you have your best product or service too far down the page.
6. Going back: Make sure you have a ‘Home’ button or the logo links back to the homepage. People are used to clicking on logos now and expect to be taken back to the beginning.
7. Breadcrumbs: On larger sites, it is useful to display Breadcrumbs as they tell people which section of the site they are in.
8. Graphics: People’s minds work differently from each other, for instance research has shown that in general, women are more attracted to images and men prefer text. It is important therefore to give two or even three ways of moving to other areas of your website. Text and images need to link to their relevant pages. For example on this website’s homepage, we have text links at the very top and bottom of the site and images on the slider that will take you to their relevant pages. An image of an envelope should signify ‘Contact Us’ and take you to the contact page. Similarly an image of a horse should take you to a page on horses.
Make your website user friendly!
Make your website interesting and compelling, write short worded links, and create graphics that show the user where it will take them.
Make it obvious what is clickable, people don’t like to click too often as it can be irritating to click on something that says ‘Services’ and go to a page listing various services, better to have a drop-down menu under ‘Services’ so that people can find the service they are interested in quickly.
Make text links stand out, by giving them a different colour to the body text, and keep link style and colour consistent on your site.
People don’t read every word
People don’t read every word, so headings need to capture attention. Use bullet points, numbering systems, bold text and subheadings to make scan reading easier. Position your most important products or services high up on the homepage, above the fold – oh I may have said that already!
Use contrast to attract attention. Contrast is important for catching attention, make sure your text is readable if it is on a coloured background.
Make it logical
Don’t cram everything up the top, trying to say too much is almost as bad as having an empty webpage. A website should flow like a book, guide the user to your products that make sense, below is an infographic which should give you the idea:
To explain this simple example:
If you sell lots of products or services that belong in a certain category, e.g.: Apples, a dropdown navigation menu is useful for visitors to choose which variety of apple they’d like to read about. But make sure you have a clear call to action with a link or button on each category page, to take the visitor to your contact page.
The information we give here has been built up over many, many years working in Website Design and before that in print design; the same rules apply:- logic, clarity and good design will compel people to navigate your site, and if they feel confident with your product or service, will give you call.
We make a point of getting to know your business before we put pencil to paper. Once we have assessed your needs, we plan the site before venturing into web building. We are always happy to talk through your business website, what you need and discuss what we can do for you. Do contact us on 01473 487699 or by emailing us here>