How to Make Your Website Accessible and User-Friendly
You want people to enjoy visiting your website – it should be a place they feel welcome, informed and where they can easily find what they are looking for. This means they’ll return and become loyal customers – which is the perfect kind of customer!
To make your website as accessible and user-friendly as possible, you need to look at the following:
Your content needs to be clear, concise and consistent. Don’t try to sound highbrow – talk to people in normal, everyday language and say what you want to and need to say without wasting their time. Remember what the key message of each page is and stick to that.
Keep all the elements of each page – content, images and overall design – consistent throughout the website. Pages should be clearly titled and easy to access. The “story” of your brand should “flow” from page to page.
The easier your website is to navigate, the longer people will stay and the more they will like it. Navigation should be fast, clean and effective – make sure visitors can find what they are looking for without a fuss.
Responsive web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to mobile, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. In other words, the website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences. This would eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market.
Use a site map to give visitors instant access to the information available on your website. This will make navigation easy and effective. Make sure all links are operational and accurate, and that all the key elements of the website is captured.
Avoid distraction and disruption
The last thing you need on your website is something that annoys visitors or distracts them from your content. If they get irritated they will leave, so avoid pop-up windows, animation and music on your website, where possible.
You’ll inevitable have hyperlinks to other pages or cited sites, as well as anchor text describing where the hyperlink leads. Check that the anchor text does indeed describe the correct hyperlink, and that the hyperlinks work.
No one has the time to wade through an entire website if they are only looking for one piece of information. Empower visitors and make it easy to navigate your website by adding a very visible search button. Happy browsing = happy visitors = happy customers.
There you have it – when it comes to creating a website, simpler is better. You want a website that is clean, streamlined and effective. Impress visitors with ease of access, spot-on navigation and clean consideration for their needs and you can rest assured that they’ll be back.