Increasing sales of products and loyalty of employees affect the public positively: Anyway, the goals that companies are pursuing with their Internet presence are often very different, still websites have always one thing in common: They can only achieve the desired success if they are user-friendly.
The digital business expert ARITHNEA gives seven tips for the optimal usability of company websites to assists companies along their paths to digital maturity.
The German company has developed a successful network of partners including Adobe, e-Spirit, and SAP Hybris, and shares following 7 tips for developing a user-friendly website:
Comply with design rules: The basis for a high user friendliness are provided by the Gestalt (German word for form/shape/design) laws of visual perception, which include six categories, namely similarity, proximity, good form, closure, common fate, and continuation. In addition, it is associated with the idea that humans are naturally capable of perceiving objects as orderly and organized forms and patterns. As you can imagine, that’s particularly important when considering the small screens of mobile devices.
Observe the expectation conformity: Over the years, users have built up certain expectations, like e.g. that the shopping cart is always at the top right, the logo at the top left, the navigation at the top or the left column, etc. Companies should not deviate from this, as it would make the users only unsettled and irritated.
Focus on essentials: For websites, less is more! People cannot accumulate much information in their short-term memory, and only very few of them are able to solve complex cognitive tasks in a short time. Websites should therefore not be overloaded and be optimized by reduction.
Provide feedback: Website visitors want to be in the know about ongoing events. If there are waiting times, it is often not clear for them whether a process is in progress or a temporarily poor mobile network reception is the reason for this. A simple message about a running operation could prevent this.
Speak the language of the users: Users must be able to understand what is offered to them on a website, but they also do not want to be underestimated in any way. Companies should therefore carefully analyze the prior knowledge of their website visitors and choose the right approach. After all, it is a huge difference whether a small specialist group or a large audience without a professional background is addressed.
Ensure consistency: Web design should always convey a clear and stringent picture. Therefore, if possible, contents and functions should only appear in one place. If certain functions have to be offered several times, it must be ensured that they always deliver the same results.
Do not neglect loading times: The loading times are a usability aspect that is often forgotten. The speed of the websites is, however, a crucial success factor, since long loading times are a source of confusion. Targeted technical optimizations can increase the speed, as well as the use of a content delivery network.
By Daniela La Marca