That’s the average attention span of a person — and a goldfish, for those wondering at home. Eight seconds is virtually all the time companies have to gain a new customer or lose out on new business. It’s essential for companies to provide a positive experience for their customers through a sophisticated, user-friendly website in order to be successful and relevant in today’s modern world.
A user-friendly website ensures that each user’s experience is easy, effortless, and pleasant. Creating a website that’s considered user-friendly involves a combination of things like readability, navigation, mobile-optimization, and load time — all of which are aimed at enabling a user to quickly and efficiently navigate the site to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Readability is synonymous with “scan-ability.” A user should be able to quickly skim for keywords and phrases to locate the answer they’re looking for. Some best practices to keep in mind are keeping website copy short and simple by employing bulleted lists, frequent subheadings, plenty of white space, and short paragraphs.
It’s also important to keep readability in mind when choosing a web-friendly font for your website. Fonts need to be easy for the average user to read, and that means that simple sans serifs are going to be preferable to something like Edwardian Script. Navigation is also important, since it ensures that the website’s content is thoughtfully organized and categorized by relevance.
Another key element of user-friendly website design is mobile optimization. Now more than ever, users are interacting with websites through their mobile devices. In fact, Google says that 61% of users are unlikely to return to a site if they had trouble accessing it through mobile, and 40% will go on to visit a competitor’s site instead. That could be a serious blow to companies that are trying to grow their business through their website, so mobile optimization should be viewed as a requirement for companies during their website’s design phase, and as they adapt to remain relevant to their customers.
Load time is the amount of time it takes for a website’s components to load, and it’s a giant factor in an overall user-friendly website experience. Typically, businesses should aim for a load time of no more than four to six seconds. Anything beyond that will drive users away from the site — and that’s not even the worst of it. On top of deterring users from learning about a business, a poor load time can even have a serious negative impact on a website’s Google search rankings.
A bad user experience as a result of poor website design can ultimately be crippling to a business — both online and off. In fact, 57% of users say they will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. It’s important to take user experience seriously and create a user-friendly experience for every customer, both new and old. After all, your business’s website is seen as a reflection of the business itself.