A website is as good as it is usable. One can use the very best of design elements and ensure the highest degree of creativity, but if the user experience of your website is not up to the mark, say goodbye to any chances of it being successful. Many a times, the usability of a website goes for a toss because of some elementary errors that you might have ignored, or not realized that you have made them. It’s important to remember that usability of a website design cannot be taken for granted and therefore all errors big or small need to be avoided at all costs. Take a look at three reasons that can compromise the user experience of a website.
Landing Page Clutter
The first thing that a user is going to see is your landing page. And we have all heard that the first impression makes a lasting impression on viewers. So, it makes more than just perfect sense to start off the user’s experience on a good note. Therefore, the design of the landing page assumes tremendous importance, but in a misguided attempt to showcase their creativity, many designers end up cluttering their landing page. Imagine what it does to the whole prospect of creating the right impression in the minds of the users. Talk about starting off on the wrong note!
A Miser with the Clickable Areas
A designer who for some reason or the other doesn’t want to offer comfort clickable areas for the users, are making a big mistake. Agreed, that the real estate on a web page needs to be used with due care, but those tiny clickable areas are not user friendly at all. As a website designer, you need to ensure that the size of your clickable areas is just right. It shouldn’t be too small or too big, it must be just perfect.
You might want to think that the user will use the mouse in a precise manner, which enables him/her to click on the small clickable areas, but this is a wrong way to look at it. Most people don’t handle their mouse in a precise manner and do so quite lazily. You need to cater to their needs and requirements, so you must either go for a bigger link, or improve the padding area around the link.
Non Scannable Content
Visitors to a website don’t read the content, they scan it. Yes, much as you would like to hope that a website visitor, who comes to your site, goes through each and every bit of information about your site, the harsh reality is that they only scan it. So, in order to improve their user experience, your content needs to be such that only a glance at the content will help them get the kind of information that helps them make an informed decision.
A web user is somebody who has very little patience and coupled with the fact that there is a deluge of information available on the World Wide Web means they spend very little time on one website. So, your website needs to make an impression quickly and effectively. This is why website content must be scan-worthy. The mistake that designers make is that they forget this important aspect and use content that doesn’t focus on specifics. It doesn’t make for easy viewing so the take home for website visitors is much lesser.
The fact that only three reasons have been given in this post doesn’t mean these are the only reasons why the user experience of a website goes for a toss. There are plenty of other reasons why this can happen, and as an astute designer who want to do his job with all honesty, you need to keep searching for more reasons that will help you avoid the pitfalls that can pull down the user experience of a website.
Hazel Raoult is a designer working with PLAVEB, a leading website development company based in Los Angeles, California. She has many years of experience in this field and loves everything and anything that is even remotely connected with web designing. Her other passion is baking and her cakes are the stuff of legends. Find PLAVEB on Facebook and Twitter: @PLAVEB