Eight seconds: the average attention span of a person . . . and a goldfish. That is virtually all the time that companies have to gain a new customer or lose out on new business. It is essential that companies provide a positive experience for their customers through a sophisticated, user-friendly website in order to be successful and relevant.

 

A user-friendly web design ensures the user experience is easy and effortless. It is a combination of elements such as readability, navigation, mobile-optimization, and load time which are all aimed at enabling a user to quickly and efficiently navigate a website and locate what is needed without problems or delay. Readability is synonymous with “scan-ability” – a user should be able to quickly look for a keyword or phrase to locate an answer. Some best practices are keeping the copy for a website short and simple through the use of bullets, subheadings, spacing and short paragraphs. It is also important that the font style across the website is easy for most to read – opt for Sans Serif font instead of Edwardian Script. Navigation is also important because it ensures that the content on the website is thoughtfully organized and categorized by relevance.

 

Mobile-optimization, another key element, has become vital as more and more consumers interact with businesses through their mobile devices. Google says that 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing, and 40% will go on to visit a competitor’s site instead. This makes mobile optimization a requirement for companies when designing a successful website and staying relevant to their consumers.

 

Lastly, load time, or the amount of time it takes for a website’s components to load, is also a big factor in an overall user-friendly website experience. Typically a load time of more than 4-6 seconds will drive users away from a site. Not only does it deter users from learning about a business, but it also hurts a company’s Google search rankings.

 

A bad user experience as a result of poor website design can ultimately cripple a business. Fifty-seven percent of users say they will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. To make matters worse, it is very likely that those same users will head to a competitor’s website to seek out similar information and services. Ensuring a website has user-friendly key elements like readability, navigation, mobile-optimization, and efficient load times is vital for a company to succeed in today’s technology-centric world.