Web Design: Six Things to make a Website Magnetic

In his book, ‘Don’t make me think’, Steve Krug emphasized on the issue of trying to make our users think as little as possible. His point cannot be emphasized enough. Our users shouldn’t have a hard time figuring out where they are, where they should go and basically, what exactly do you have for them on your website that they need. How much you make your users think, could reciprocate to how many users you are going to lose in the process. It is a well a researched fact that users only have a window between 1 and 2 seconds  before they can decide whether to stay or leave. Below are some of the techniques you can use to up your game in as much as your users’ experience interacting with your site is concerned.
  1. Think of your Users first
The reason you created your website in the first place is for you to be able to communicate with your users. Rather than thinking of yourself and your company, think of them instead. Every button, color scheme, word choice, should be user centric. If you love hamburger menus, for example, sit back and think of how your users’ experience.
  1. Stay Away From corporate jargon as possible
A website is not a directors meeting. Please desist from the usage of words which only you and your managers know their meanings. Actually, let your website use simple English as possible. Use ‘fix’ instead of ‘debug’, use error messages like ‘You name was not found’ instead of ‘Database Error: query cannot be executed! ’. Corporate jargon does nothing except creating noise which would hurt communication badly and so does the overall user experience.
  1. Optimize The Anxiety Of Waiting
Interstitial anxiety is the period between triggering of an event and the actual occurence of the event. Say, between clicking a “Contact” link and landing on the Contact page. Due to different variables our users may find themselves trading through, be it their hardware speeds, internet speeds, they sometimes end up having to wait for a little seem for them to be redirected to their requested page for example. Animate that wait with some JavaScript to make the wait seemless. It’s like giving your visitor a cup of coffee while he/she waits for your boss whose in a meeting. Try it, you will be glad you did. Your users won’t have to wait to stare at a rather boring white screen which is easy to interprete as not responding . Just let the screen show it’s working on something.
  1. Use Plain And Simplified Copy
On top of desisting from excessive usage of corporate jargon, try to make your copy as simple as possible, both in it’s amount and it’s depth. We are a generation of schemers, we don’t like to read a lot of stuff. We probably visited your website in a hurry because we are always busy, so don’t make us even busier by burdening us with another caboodle of nouns and verbs. Try to cut your copy into the half, drop another half. Now, cut the remaining half in half once again. Drop one half and remain with the other. It sounds counterintuitive, but you will be glad you did. Also, the importance of being precise can’t be emphasized enough. Try to say, “Click Here” rather than, “We would like you to click here if you want”. You get the point.
  1. Use Verbs For Something Which You Want To Be Done
Remember you are trying to make your users’ experience as natural as possible. Think offline. How would you tell someone to do something in real life or how does his/her intuition address him/her when he/she sees something he/she wants to buy Do exactly that. It’s more natural to use, “Buy” instead of  “Click Here To Buy”. Make it feel like your user is shopping around in his/her favorite supermarket not like he/she is in computer class.  
  1. And finally Don’t Underestimate The Power of Off-board Experience
This is not exactly a way of enhancing your users’ experience per say, but it sure could make them forget their little bad experience they encountered on your site. Ideally, we would spread  roses  in front of our user, leading him to our website until he/she gets translated into a conversion and we are done! Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way in real life. Well, that is if you wish the user to feel obliged to share his/her experience with others, leave a review somewhere or of least have vivid memories of your site. Give them free gifts say after checking out. Offer them free coupons for downloading your ebook. You can be creative on this one, the options are unlimited. Last but not least, don’t lose your audience just because you let them think. Don’t make them think. Use other techniques like the visual hierarchy in your content to direct their reading, be clear in your calls to actions. If your website is dependent on search functionality, make it apparent. Don’t be vague and finally, don’t make me(the user) think.Posted in Web DesignTagged

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