To deliver effective results, your website must offer an engaging and dynamic user experience.
Since vision is the predominant human sense, your website must capture the audience’s attention and tell a story. Internet users know within the first 10-15 seconds if they’re going to hang around and read your website, or if they’re going to leave. Your design must persuade them quickly.
I discussed the importance of designing and styling content in a previous post 'Designing for Content' here on byAbi. As such, aspects like fast loading pages, mobile friendliness and adherence to image publishing guidelines must be achieved to make your website more intuitive.
Intuitive web design implies that when a user sees your website, they know exactly what to do and where to go. Like a well framed photograph, an intuitive website directs the eye’s attention to key areas, optimising flow and navigation. Does it draw the eye to the right hot spots?
The Golden Ratio
A good place to start is by studying the Golden Ratio, or the golden rectangle. This concept is used to identify sectors of a page which lead the eye to the area of maximum attention. Creative Bloq notes that using this unique element will enable you to place components such as text and photos in areas where they will naturally draw the viewer's eye. Effectively mastering this technique, as well as others like the rule of thirds, will make for a more intuitive web design.
Images speak volumes
Of course, the most important part of intuitive design is user experience. Make that experience enjoyable by improving and optimising your website’s context so that the design makes sense. Images speak volumes about your site and its content, and can determine how intuitive it is. Digital marketing agency Ayima suggests that images should appear on relevant pages, echoing Google’s Image Publishing Guidelines. Photos should appear near relevant text and the most important image should be near the top of the page. Good images provide good context and make the result more actionable. Keep in mind that Google considers page content quality when ranking your site and its images, so it’s important to create informative and high-quality websites.
User Interface Design
While aesthetics is a key component of a well-designed and intuitive website, don’t underestimate the importance of going beyond an appealing interface as well. Effective, intuitive interface design can be complicated to set up, but the return is well worth your investment. To start off, Forbes mentioned to ensure that your website loads promptly, as slow loading sites are generally a turn-off. Create an engaging and optimised design friendly to both desktop and mobile devices. Use metrics and analytics to determine how well your website is doing and how intuitive users find it. Optimise your site by including interesting, readable content on a regular basis, as well as SEO tags and XML sitemaps. These are keys to enhance your website’s position on the search engine hierarchy.
If your website is selling a product or service, ask yourself if it is intuitive enough to be conversion optimised? In other words, is your website created to increase the percentage of visitors that may eventually convert into clients? Design it in such a way that it will keep your clients moving through the website. Let your web pages guide them through your product or service so that they’re more likely to make a purchase. Medium recommends adopting a responsive design as it can greatly impact your credibility. A responsive, well-designed website is crucial to maintain and build trust with existing users and new clients, respectively.
Abi Fawcus is a freelance UX Consultant, Website Designer, Logo Designer and Graphic Designer based in Woodbridge, Suffolk. Contact me for more information.