Usability - illustration with street sign in front of office building.

Is Your Website User Friendly?

 

I’m often asked to review websites and give my opinion as to why they don’t seem to be performing well.

More often than not, if a site has a pretty good Search Engine presence and it’s not doing well, then it’s likely to not have a friendly content strategy or well-defined pathways for the user to follow to find the answers to their questions and to get in touch with the site owner. This is known as being user friendly.

User friendly means when your potential or existing customer comes to your site they shouldn’t meet obstacles that make it difficult for them to find out about your products or services or to get in touch.

Here are three common obstacles.

1. Site – loads slow. Having wonderful graphics and lots of photos may look great on your own machine, and may seem to load fast, but for the user who is coming to your site for the first time, this can be one of the most frustrating experiencing experiences. Since they’ve never been to your site, their browser hasn’t “cached” the images and graphics yet. So it will take 3 – 4 times longer to load than it should.

One general rule of the Internet is a page should load quickly. Having to wait for a page to load is an opportunity for your audience to leave. We want to avoid that.

2. Knowing what your site is about in 4 seconds. That’s right. Your first screen should have a clearly defined statement about what your company does and who you are.

3. Contact Information – Making your user search for the most basic contact information is a primary problem on many sites. Phone numbers and an email address, at a minimum, should be on all pages. And you should always include a contact form to provide a means to help guide them in the type of information you nee from them in order to respond.

Being user friendly helps your site perform and thereby provides increased opportunities for your users to become clients.

Matthew