Colleen is back from maternity leave (with limited hours)

10 Tips for a User-Friendly Website

Websites are really complex these days – there’s so much to think about and track. Arguably the most important is how to keep people that visit your website ON your website. That’s the biggest goal, right? You can review your bounce rate and other metrics with website analytics, but overall…you just want to have a user-friendly website. 

Below I’m giving you my 10 tips on creating a user-friendly website that your viewers will LOVE to visit.

Follow these recommendations and I’m sure you’ll see an improvement in both user experience and lower bounce rates. 

1. Keep it simple (design): Don’t get TOO fancy or elaborate with your design. This can make visitors confused or overwhelmed and miss the whole point of your website. Strip it down to the most basic content and functionality you need, then dress it up a little, keeping the main goal of your site top of mind. 

2. ONE main “call to action” on each page: But make sure to repeat it 2-3x on the page. This makes it clear what you offer, want visitors to do or how they can interact with you. They need more direction than you think, so show them the way!

Minimal main menu with no socials and one clear CTA

3. High Speed Loading: Invest time (and maybe money) into making your site load in 3 seconds or less. Visitors get frustrated with slow sites and may leave if it hasn’t loaded quickly. It looks unprofessional to have a slow website these days. Test your site speed at GTMetrix.

4. Have a great Mobile & Tablet versions: Visitors will also get frustrated with a site that doesn’t load a well-designed responsive version for the device they’re using. Mobile is the most important, but tablet is also essential.

Tablet + Mobile Views

5. Keep your main menu minimal: Try to have 6 items or less, with clear categories of your pages and content. Getting too fancy with your menu can be confusing for visitors and bad for SEO. Make it REALLY easy for people to find what they need. Any less important menu extras (like privacy policy) can go in the footer or sitemap menu, so that they’re available but won’t distract from your main pages and content.

6. Don’t make pages and content too long or wordy (unless they’re a copy heavy blog post, in which case refer to point 8): Visitors get annoyed if they have to scroll for forever to get to where they want. If there’s too much to read and the visitor can’t see the main CTA or content, then they may leave. Keep it as short as possible and make sure to repeat your CTA 2-3x on each relevant page.

7. Add white space between sections of content: It’ll be a more pleasant experience for your visitors if there’s visual breaks between sections. This also helps them see the flow of the page more easily. If they understand how to navigate the site, they’ll be less likely to leave. Cramming everything close together will be confusing and hard to consume as there’s no order or hierarchy.

Lots of white space with clear sections of content

8. Break up text with graphics and images: This will keep your site visually interesting (without being overwhelming) and also help create smaller text-heavy sections. This will encourage visitors to actually read your content, as it’s broken up in an easily digestible way. This is especially helpful with long blog posts; throwing some photos in will keep people more engaged.

9. Put socials and other distractions in footer or farther down the page: This will help keep visitors from getting pulled away from the CTA.

user friendly website footer example
Clear CTA, extra menu items and large social media in footer

10. Have all outbound links open a new window/tab: This will keep visitors ON your site, while also being able to check out the outbound link they’re interested in. They’ll love you for it. Nothing is more annoying than clicking on an obvious outbound link (like a 3rd part recommendation) and being directed away from the site you were just on, because then you have to click back etc. Help your visitors out AND keep them on your site at the same time!

11. BONUS TIPS! No more annoying pop-ups: Everyone’s sick of them. UNLESS you’ve got a crazy temporary discount or offer they’ll love, take them off, especially on mobile. If you MUST have pop-ups, take the time to program them so people don’t get them popping up repeatedly on every page, especially if they’ve already clicked it off or signed up once before. You can also adjust where they show up on the page so they’re not blocking the content viewers are reading.

If you make the effort to implement all or most of the above tips, your website will be loved by all who visit!

If you have any questions or would like to see something added that you’re curious about, you’re always welcome to contact me.

There’s no cheatsheet for this 10 Tips to a User-Friendly Website post, but check out the others below!