3. Accessible and Easy to Navigate Website
We’ve already discussed the pivotal importance of having a simple and mobile-responsive website with a minimalistic approach and not overdoing the design aspect.
Let’s talk about accessibility and users' ability to easily browse your website and navigate to the pages they want.
Keep into account that over 70% of visitors browse and take action on your website with just one hand.
It is imperative that content, text, graphics, links, and essential website functions need to be placed within your visitors' reach. While this element can be flexible for desktop websites, there is no margin for smartphone users' errors. The area space is limited, and they need the best possible user experience from a small screen.
A key aspect of website accessibility is the ability to load from anywhere in the world, on any device, and any time of the day or night. Invest in a good hosting company so that your website remains up and running with lightning speed. Regular downtimes will hurt your organic rankings and credibility as new visitors won't waste their time coming back again.
Top brands and companies like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and many others seldom have downtime making them highly credible in their fields.
Take a look at Yoast SEO’s Website:
They have a great visual hierarchy. Notice how the CTAs pop out, depending on your exact needs. Plus, the hamburger menu on the top right is at an excellent location, adding another layer of primary navigation. Most visitors will take action without clicking the hamburger icon and ensuring they land on the right page; Yoast has done an excellent job in having different CTAs above the fold. Here are some key takeaways from this section:
- Keep your navigation straightforward, simple, and the same across your entire website. Your website navigation should not change once visitors browse the various pages of your site.
- Your footer should also include navigational links.
- Use breadcrumbs whenever possible, but not on the homepage.
- A search box at the top right will help your visitors in finding what they need.
4. Incorporate Visual Hierarchy
Your website is your first and last impression for new visitors. Give them something to feast on, and they’ll come back. Give them an eyesore, and they’re gone forever. Your site should make it easy for them to find the right information and one way to do this is by employing visual hierarchy.
Having something as simple as a CTR pop out could make your site visually appealing. Here’s an example of Shopify:
If something stands out from the crowd, it’s the Get Started CTA with white text and green background; on the top right and bottom left. Shopify wants to make it easy for you to sign up with an email address and get a free trial for 14 days. This is called visual hierarchy. The reason why Get Started is different in color is the relative importance of this action on the website.
First, a user scans the website from left to right. Second, in the top right corner, companies usually have a login/sign-up page. With the exact same size, green color, and style of the Get Started button, Shopify did its best to ensure new visitors never are confused about what action to take.
5. Consistent Layouts with Variations
Ever wondered why a Big Mac from London tastes almost exactly the same as the one bought from somewhere in the UAE? With the fact that big food chains slightly alter their recipes to cater to the local tastes, the same is true for websites.
While you should have consistent layouts for all your pages, there are variations expected for the blog page, blog post, landing page, and home page. But this should not be overdone. Every page of your website does not have to be different. Here’s an example of how the help center pages for ThoughtSpot look exactly the same. Regardless of the page, you visit, you’ll find the layout to be exactly the same.
6. Clarity Should Strike Immediately
There’s no point in having a fast-loading website if it isn’t clear on the first instance. The core of web usability is creating clear sites. Your website should be clear at first, instead of cluttering it up with useless elements and unnecessary graphics. This point correlated with site accessibility.
In fact, clarity is at the core of every website. Don’t distract or confuse your site visitors. According to research, people are losing their patience, and they don’t have time to wait longer than 5 or even 4 seconds before abandoning the website.
Here’s something else you also need to consider. Our short-term memory is not able to attain more than 9 things at a time. That’s why marketers often remarket to keep their audiences engaged with ads and help to retain the brand value. It’s important for brand recall. You can have anywhere from 5 to 9 elements on your website so that the site visitors’ short-term memory can easily remember and retain what they just saw.
Keep this principle in mind whilst designing a website. Our own site, Sitewired, does not have more than 8 elements.