Form Meets Function with User-Friendly Web Design
What’s the use in building a great website if you don’t focus on how people are going to use it? There are a surplus of websites on the Internet that may look pretty but don’t support their creators’ first objective, which is to get people to actually use them. Imagine designing a great-looking chair so uncomfortable no one could ever sit in it. It sounds ridiculous, but it happens.
Here are some tips that can help you easily combine form and function on your company’s website:
1. Every element of your website should have the same goal, to sell your product or service.
Don’t bury this intention in complicated design. That just distracts a user from the point—to give you their business. Every piece of your website should clearly display this goal. Banish anything on your website that has no relation to that goal. No pictures of your cat, please.
2. Give t
he user a direct channel to you at all times.
Make it easy for them to get in
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touch with you by simply displaying your contact information on every page. It’s so easy; yet you would be amazed at how many sites don’t do this. Two clicks later, your visitor is gone, and so is your ROI. Whether it’s an email address, phone number, or contact form, it should always be visible.
3. Clarity is key to functional design
“Probably one of the best-designed objects in the world is the ball. With minimal instruction even infants can use it!” says
4. The quickest way to get someone to abandon your website is a slow page load.
A great guideline to follow is something commonly known as the “four-second rule.” From the moment a visitor lands on your page, you’ve got four seconds to convince them to stay. A few years ago it was eight!
5. Keep your ear the ground.
Monitoring how visitors are using your website is one of the most important parts of the web design process. Say you’re a fitness equipment company and you’ve designed a fancy calculator on your homepage that measures how active a potential customer is in their daily life. You may believe this will help you sell a treadmill but your web stats show only 10% of visitors are using the mechanism. Is the application leading to sales or is it merely distracting your customers?
Designing for maximum function from a website is an evolutionary process that relies on always keeping the end user in mind. Functional web design is about understanding and implementing user-friendly design and making sure your site reflects the way your audience wants to use a website, not just they way you think they should be using it.