In this article, we’ll explore three things that businesses should consider when assessing how it communicates through its website.
Consider what a website visitor needs from your website prior to other considerations.
It is important to know what users expect to encounter when they use a website. For instance, business communications like marketing messages and informational readings need to be to the point while also providing users with only the information needed to relay the business message. Due to this, users expect that the most important information in the website uses bold text or is easily identifiable so that the user can quickly identify information that may require that they take action. It also means that the design does not include a continuous scroll feature that does not hinder the user’s ability to scroll to the bottom of the website. The website needs to have a clear, and easily obtainable, endpoint which ensures that the user understands that the communication has ended. Knowing what the user expects and needs from the website will help to create a user experience that functions and provides information in a way the user wants and needs.
Consider the importance of web design “functionality” and web design “look and feel”.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have to decide between a website’s ability to allow a specific action to take place (it’s functional design) or its ability to look attractive to consumers. Both are equally important. For example, a “Call to Action” button on a newsletter opt-in form is an example of web design that needs to be easy to use and functional at the same time. To encourage users to sign up to receive newsletter email content, a sign-up call to action button text should state “Sign-up” instead of “Submit”. This change in text ensures that the button directly relates to the action that the user is taking. Consider the above example, since a user does not submit to receive newsletter content but does sign up to receive the text “Sign up” feels like the action that the user is taking once the button is pressed. After the button is pressed the users expect a feedback/response from the form that will verify that their request to sign up was successful. For this “functional expectation,” an appropriate feedback/response to the clicking of the button is the appearance of a message that the sign-up request is processing and/or has been completed. This quickly and efficiently notifies the user that the action is now complete.
Consider making the website’s written content easy to read.
Online written content is judge quickly by a user, thus its look and feel needs to appear easy to read in order to convince users to read it. Therefore a web design should include short-form copy over long form copy that allows the user to easily scan content efficiently. Long form copy can be transformed into short form by restructuring the content to use bulleted and numbered lists, separating long paragraphs into multiple smaller paragraphs, using bolds and italics to make important text identifiable, and using descriptive links that give a quick glimpse into the intended link destination. Using these methods to help make content easier to read will help readers determine whether they wish to continue reading and, more importantly, encourage users to continue reading because the content is easier to read.
- Clifton, Rhiannon. “1-1.2 Understanding UX Design – the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.” Coursera, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Oct. 2017.
- Stokes, Rob. EMarketing: the Essential Guide to Marketing in a Digital World. Quirk EMarketing, 2013.