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

  • Easy-to-find content

  • Conformity with the style guide with regard to design, look and feel and fonts


Here are 8 ways to ensure you avoid the ugly website blues:

 

 1.    Keep it clean & fresh.

    • Don’t add new design elements to the home page or under pages. New boxes, arrows, call-outs, etc. will clutter the design, making it more difficult for users to navigate
    • On the home page, keep the number of items under the menus short—no more than 4 new events or newly-added items at a time. Be mindful of consistent spacing.
    • 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

      • Grammar, spelling, etc.
      • Tone and readability
      • Links working

      • Consistency in typeface, style, size, etc.

 

2.    Keep it simple.
  • 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.

    • Graphs, charts and pictures are great, but only if they are additive.
    • Never use stock photos just to fill a space.
 
7.    Keep up with your users.
  • 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.
 
8.    Keep your brand on your content.
  • PDF all documents added to maintain consistency and to preserve your branding on materials you develop and post for downloading.



Copyright Health2 Resources 2013