To know how a web design works, you must first understand the user’s behavior on a website. It is similar to a customer’s behavior in physical stores. A visitor will check a new page, click on the first thing that catches their eye without even reading the other contents of the page. The user is just interested in whatever they are looking for, and if it is not there, they leave the page. The average user will look for something clickable, and if they don’t find what they want on the next page, they click the back button, and the process continues.
Professional website builders understand the fact that web users don’t read but rather scan. They appreciate quality rather than quantity, have a short attention span, and want to control what they view. For instance, a web user gets easily frustrated by new windows unexpectedly popping up and wants to efficiently use the back button to get back to the previous page. With that in mind, here are some practical guidelines for web design.
Do not make the users think.
A website should be straightforward and self-explanatory. When designing a website, your focus should be to eliminate the user’s question marks. For instance, if the site is not easy to navigate, the user’s questions increase since it is harder for them to understand how the site works. But a clear navigation path and recognizable links make it easy for the visitor to find what they want.
Don’t gamble with the user’s patience.
Web users have a brief attention span, and you should never gamble with that. The less time required for a user to test a feature, the more you get random users to try it. For instance, first-time web visitors may not be willing to fill in a long-form of details for an account they may never use in the future. It is never advisable to force users to share private data to test a feature. Let them explore the site and discover the services on their own. Users will be more than willing to provide email addresses or sign up after they have seen how a feature works.
Manage the user’s attention
You can manage users’ attention by using eye-catching content. Images are more eye-catching than texts, just as bold text is more eye-catching than plain text. You can use visual elements to direct users from point A to B without thinking about how they are supposed to do it. In simple words, the less thinking the user needs to do while on your site, the better the user experience.
Persuasive writing is vital.
Ensure the font style of your website aligns with your visitors’ preferences and browsing habits. For example, users will skip long texts without bold keywords and images and will ignore exaggerated language. Avoid unfamiliar technical names or market –induced names. If you describe a product or service and want users to create an account, it is better to use ‘sign up now’ than ‘explore our services’. in other words, use plain but objective language, short and concise phrases, and include a scannable layout.
the final thoughts
Test your website for usability from time to time. That way, you can identify design flaws or any problem you may not have recognized before.