8 Tips to Keep Your Website User-Friendly
Always remember that your website is designed for the end-user to easily, effortlessly find what they are looking for. As you add content to the site, keep in mind you are aiming for:
User experience that is second-to-none
Intuitive content structure/ information architecture
Conformity with the style guide with regard to design, look and feel and fonts
1. Keep it clean & fresh.
Keep up with programs with dates—especially on the home page. Keep them current.
Whenever you add or change content, ask another person to go behind you and check for
Consistency in typeface, style, size, etc.
Text and typography have to be easy and pleasant to read. Don’t tighten kerning or make text smaller than its original design.
Be careful of widows and orphans (words that dangle at the top or bottom of columns) «— like so
Content should be easy to understand. Leave jargon for the print journals.
Web users don’t like to read a lot. Break content up into bite-sized pieces. Use hyperlinks to dive deeper. Use headings to break up long text pages—if you must even have long text pages.
3. Keep it consistent
Typefaces should be uniform in usage. Use the same type face across the site for text, the same for headers, the same for footnotes, the same for links, etc.
Page architecture should be consistent. Only use module pages for modules, and topic pages for new topic pages, etc.
If you put a line space between paragraphs on one page, you should on all of them. You get the picture.
Update the site map as you add new content.
4. Keep it concise
Get to the point as quickly as possible.
Cut out unnecessary information.
Use easy-to-understand words and phrases.
Avoid long paragraphs and sentences.
Avoid long, grey pages of text.
5. Keep them on your page.
If using hyperlinks to add documents, make sure you choose the option to open them on another tab rather than in the same window.
Choose carefully before linking to another website that will take people off your page.
6. Keep visuals strategic.
Respond in a timely manner to "contact us" queries.
Update/review content on a regular basis—set up a regular schedule for content review so the website is refreshed at least on an annual basis.
Don’t inundate your users with too many “update” emails. Group content updates so you are sending out at least a week apart—monthly is even better.
PDF all documents added to maintain consistency and to preserve your branding on materials you develop and post for downloading.
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