8 Tips to Keep Your Startup’s Website User-friendly
Propelrr ContributorAugust 5, 2022
To a small business, a user-friendly website is absolutely crucial to getting your business off the ground.
User-friendliness and responsiveness of a website is what user experience (UX) is all about. As the key aspect of your UX design, its goal is to keep your website simple and easy to use.
Basic as it may sound, not a lot of people care to optimize their websites for this. And that’s despite it being a major determinant for the success of your digital marketing efforts.
This is because without a good UX design, your website may not be able to give you the results you seek – be it in traffic, leads, conversion and, most importantly, return on investment (ROI).
According to a study by CareerFoundry, ecommerce companies lose 35% of sales due to poor UX.
Sadly, a lot of small businesses fail at this due to bad UX practices, alone. Meanwhile, other businesses are winning their online customers that are turned off by non-responsive designs.
Which begs the question: What steps should you take so that your website is providing seamless shopping experiences to your customers at all times?
8 Steps to keep your startup’s website user-friendly
Do you want to improve the user-friendliness of your website? In the following paragraphs, you will find all the information you need to achieve this goal.
We will talk about loading speed, visual elements, use of colors, and more.
1. Design for efficiency and simplicity.
Have you ever come across a site with such poor navigation that it won’t let you click on it? Or even one without a menu bar?
Remember how long it took you to close it and move on to another?
If you don’t want the same thing happening to your website, then you need to make sure that it is as intuitive as they come with no margin for error.
And by that, I mean having such an organized structure of content and information that your users shouldn’t have to think twice while browsing through your online store.
The point is to keep the navigation as easy to understand as possible without cutting off the essential features or having too many.
2. Optimize for mobile.
Since most people use the internet from their mobile devices, it’d be a mistake to not make your website mobile-friendly.
It’s why you have to make sure that your site is compatible with all types of handheld devices and screen sizes, such as mobile phones, tablets, and laptops.
Creating a mobile app for mobile users is also a great way of reaching a wider audience base than limiting your efforts to just a website.
But launching an app for your business is not enough. If you want to make the most of it, then you’ll have to make sure that it provides a stunning user experience as good as the desktop version of your site, if not better.
3. Incorporate useful visual elements.
The visual design of an online environment is what makes the first impression. It’s also what keeps your customers engaged with your content.
And this is why it’s important to keep all the design elements of your website, including the color scheme, layout, fonts, icons, images, videos, and so on, top-notch.
According to Top Design Firms, 40% of customers value photos or images on a website. If you add useful visual elements, you will keep your customers happy while navigating your business website.
Here are a few tips:
- Use high-quality images and illustrative videos when it’s relevant.
- Include stylish typography with easy-to-read fonts.
- Keep the color scheme subtle yet appealing.
The idea is to give your site an interactive or game-like feel so that visitors don’t get bored. Instead, spend more time exploring.
Another element you need to keep in mind is branding! For this, you need to ensure a unified style or approach across all your web pages, app, and content. Let’s take a closer look.
4. Consistency is key.
While new trends and technology are less likely to cease, consistency is something you cannot miss.
Page layout, spacing, and coloring to other visual elements, everything on your website and app must resonate with your brand.
At no point in time, the visitor should feel confused or lost while surfing the website, regardless of the page or section.
All the pages should maintain a uniform style, including heading, fonts, buttons, icons, and so on, to make your site easily recognizable no matter on which webpage a visitor lands.
In a nutshell, everything on your website should match.
Also, keep in mind that this aspect doesn’t apply only to your website, you need to maintain consistency across all your social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, X, etc. Which will ultimately make your brand look more professional.
5. Fast loading times.
The loading speed of your website is certainly the most crucial factor for a positive user experience. It’s the topmost reason for a visitor to leave a website for a reason.
And it’s not just the homepage of your website that has to be fast enough, but all the internal pages, links, and visual elements such as pictures and videos should also load instantly.
If it isn’t loading within 2-3 seconds, chances are your users will quit.
These are some tips that you can follow to increase the loading time of your website:
- Compress images and code
- Install a cache software, if you are using WordPress, WP Fastest Cache is a good option\
- Enable lazy loading for your images
- Remove unused CSS and JS files
- Limit the size of your images and videos
- Install as little software as possible
- Implement a CDN solution
READ MORE: How to Optimize Page Speed From 18 to 2 Secs
Apart from these tips, there are a couple of factors that will heavily affect the loading speed of your site. These are hosting, and themes.
By hiring fast and reliable hosting, you will have more resources to operate and you will have more freedom of the things that you can install on your website so that you can make it more unique.
In addition, you will not have a bandwidth limit, so you can have a large number of users viewing your website at the same time.
On the other hand, having a lightweight and flexible theme will allow you to design freely without being bogged down by unnecessary theme features.
6. Customer-oriented copy.
The most effective way of creating a user-friendly website is by keeping a customer-centric approach.
Remember, it’s all about the end-users. They are the ones who’d be using your website, and if you’re not able to meet their specific needs, then you might as well not have it.
FURTHER READING: How to Do Conversion Copywriting in 3 Easy Steps
What you can do, though, is take inputs, suggestions, and feedback from your audience base to understand what they like and what they don’t.
You may also do a little social listening on social networks, community forums, chat rooms, and the likes to figure out what they need and the changes you must make.
The purpose of all this is to make your website accessible to everyone regardless of their age, gender, and personal inclinations.
Analyzing your customers’ data can also give you a lot of insights into their shopping behaviors which you can use to improve your site and develop new products.
7. Provide a secure experience.
As more and more people visit your site, make queries, and place orders, the need to have solid digital security becomes inevitable.
Especially when people’s identities, personal info, and most of all, their payment details are at stake.
So while collecting the data is important; what’s more important is to keep it safe and secure.
And if you aren’t savvy enough, you can always get in touch with an IT company or a digital marketing firm to get that done.
Updating your site on a regular basis is also a great way of improving the site’s security. Besides, an outdated website is a major turn-off for users as a massive 94% of them don’t trust such sites.
Therefore, if you want to increase your sales, offer a smooth and pleasant experience by protecting your visitors’ data.
8. Use colors wisely.
Last but not least, it’s the color scheme of your website that plays a major role in catching the customer’s attention. Mainly because of the impact that colors can make on our subconscious, and secondly for the aesthetic purpose.
But don’t go over the top with it. As I said, every visual component of your website has to, in some way or another, resonate with your brand and business.
There has to be a proper balance of contrast between the background and the text or typography of the content. Not too bright, not too dark, not too odd, but a perfect balance between beauty and functionality.
- Use lighter colors that are soothing to the eyes.
- Utilize different shades of the same color for a unified look.
- Don’t use an overcrowded background or image.
- Keep some contrast for links and buttons to make it easy to navigate.
Using color wisely will also help you speed up your site loading across different devices and internet services.
While the list of ways to improve the user-friendliness of a website is far from over, in this post, we have touched on some of the most important methods that every website should use.
Some of the other factors include white spacing, error fixing, internal links, and A/B testing.
Speaking of which, testing is an ever-important phase of a website design and development process which tells you more about your site’s usability than any other technique.
Better known as wireframing, or prototyping, it’s how you examine the functionality of the design without getting distracted by the visual effects.
While working on the blueprint, your entire focus should be on the structure, content, flow, and functionality of your website from an end-user point of view.
About the Author
Isaias Flores is the CEO of Brimar Online Marketing, a digital marketing agency located in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are focused on providing their clients in the Bay Area with affordable solutions to increase their business revenue through online marketing.