Usability is crucial for web design. No matter how pretty your website looks, if it doesn’t function well, you could be losing customers. As Top Design Firms finds, 42% of people will leave a website because of poor functionality. Still, your website needs to be attractive. Top Design Firms also reports that 50% of consumers believe that website design is crucial to a business’s brand. So, how do you balance user experience with good website design?
At Corridor Consulting Company, we find that usability and web design go hand in hand. Many principles that make websites easier to navigate actually make better designs. To create web experiences for our clients, we use four key principles. We decided to break each of these usability fundamentals into this guide so that you can use them on your own website.
Learn how you can have a beautiful, usable website by using each of these principles below!
1. Focus on Accessibility
Everyone should be able to access and read your website. Whether people are using screen readers or have color blindness, they should be able to find the information they need on your website and have a seamless experience. This means using proper backlinks, alt tags, and ensuring your website design has an appropriate level of contrast.
One of the best resources for checking what you need on your website is by using the Web Accessibility Initiative. The website includes a tool kit and explanatory materials on everything you need to make your website accessible. Google also has a free accessibility course to help you learn how to build more accessible websites. Just using these tools will make your website easier to access for everyone looking for your services. Plus, all of these things help boost the SEO score of your website, which makes it easier to find in search results.
In addition, because more people are finding and browsing websites on their mobile phones, you need to ensure your website is responsive. When you design your website, be sure to check the mobile preview of the website to ensure that it’s easy to navigate and that nothing is getting lost in the shift to a smaller screen. Luckily, with Wix, the platform is built to be responsive on mobile, so it’s just a matter of checking how well it translates. Here’s the guidance from Wix on checking that mobile design.
Just focusing on accessibility makes your website easier to navigate for everyone and ensures people can see your content. Even people without color blindness can appreciate a site with good contrast so that they can read every word on the page on mobile or desktop.
2. Leverage User-Centered Design
You should always be thinking about the user. Ask yourself:
“What would I want out of a website?”
Chances are, you want to visit an attractive website that is easy to read and navigate. That’s why you want to format it for scannability. Don’t use walls of text. That way, your customers can find what they’re looking for. After all, remember that the text on your website is navigation. It’s not just the menu at the top of the page. When people land on a website, they want to know what this is and where they’re going. Build your design on that.
When it comes to actually navigating your website, you should guide the user where you want them to go. Use clean navigation, backlinks, and CTA buttons. Just use a simple menu with not too many categories and large contrasted text for the big things you want customers to do. People want navigating a website to be easy, not like solving a puzzle.
As you build your website, try to think of your different personas and the customer journey as they move through the website. What would Amy, the real estate agent, be looking for first? Think about how different people would look for different things and design in a way to serve those personas. For added benefit, get trusted family and friends to test the design! They can tell you what is working and what isn’t.
If you focus on the user, your website will make more sense and also be more attractive to your audience.
3. Choose the Right Visuals
Choosing the right visuals for your website is important not only for design but in boosting the speed of your website. We use images in JPG format instead of PNG when possible. That’s because JPGs can be up to 10 times smaller than PNGs, so they load much faster. Just a couple of seconds can make the difference between customers staying or leaving your website. Also, don’t forget to use high-quality images. Grainy images can deter customers and make your website look lower quality. At Corridor Consulting Company, we use websites like Pexels and Unsplash for stock photography that is high quality and optimized for use on websites.
Adding videos to your website can also be an engaging visual to add to your website. While GIFs are great for social media, they don’t work quite as well on websites. That’s why we choose videos over GIFs for animated content. Modern video encoding formats have better quality at a smaller file size. This will help your website load faster while also giving the user engaging and animated content.
Choosing imagery this way will help your website load faster and look more professional for users visiting your website. Of course, remember not to overload your site with images, as it can increase load times and make a page look cluttered.
4. Optimize Your Site For Search Engines
Finally, don’t forget about SEO! Your website needs to be found by Google for people to visit it at all. Focus on the Searchability of your website so that it can be high enough on search engines. Plus, when people search your website, ensure tags on blogs or other content are accurate. If they use the search function on your website, they should be able to find what they’re looking for.
Plus, when you think about SEO when building web pages and content on your website, you’re also making it more accessible. Using alt-tags, easy-to-navigate headings, and scannable text are all SEO fundamentals. So, you’ll make your site easier to navigate and findable by optimizing all the text and images on your website. Wix has SEO scoring tools to ensure you’re checking all the right boxes while improving your websites.
Plus, as you think about SEO, you should also consider lead capture. If people are coming to your website from search, social, email, or anything in between, you should know why. After all, better data make better websites. So, make sure you have lead capture tools enabled so that you can understand how people are finding your website. With Wix, you can add forms on your website pages to catch these leads. As you gather information, you can learn more about these customers and reach out to them through other means like emails. Using SEO fundamentals, you can integrate these into your sites that support discoverability and nurturing future customers.
Need More Help Building Your Business Website?
Of course, this blog just goes over some of the top strategies we use to ensure all the websites we manage are as user-friendly as possible. Even knowing the fundamentals and using a site builder like Wix, you might still need help building a strong user experience. We hope you'll reach out if you want additional guidance with your website design! Corridor Consulting Company is an experienced team of web designers and marketers dedicated to helping businesses reach their audiences.
Our team of creative social media managers, designers, ad experts, and copywriters is ready to help you reach your audience with a strong web presence. Since opening our doors in 2018, we’re proud to say that we have a more extensive list of returning and new clients each year. Contact Corridor Consulting today, and let’s talk about your business goals. We’d love to put our expertise to work for your business.