After you have an understanding of their behaviors, expectations, and knowledge gaps, you can then design a website that’s easy to use for them. If there’s one between your visitors’ current online habits and how your website works, then you need to help them close the gap. Make all information available on one page You need to consider all the questions a visitor may have when making a purchasing decision and have the answers located conveniently on the page. Therefore, you need to make it easy for visitors to find what they need with as few clicks and as little detective work as possible: Clear navigation Most of the time, your visitors will look for a specific product or information on your website’s menu bar. Use placeholder text to show visitors what they can search for. For example, you could show a link to a customer-only knowledge base only to logged-in customers. When the content is relevant, visitors can navigate the site more intuitively. If you interact with your customers outside of your website (and I hope you do,) you can bring in customer data from all touch points to inform the customized view they see on your website. To create an intuitive mobile user experience, follow these best practices: Prioritize content and put the most important information at the top of the page. Keep in mind that the goal of an intuitive website design is to help visitors find what they want quickly and perform the desired action with the least amount of friction by: Creating a streamlined user experience Reducing clutter on your website Increasing the relevance of content and products that are shown to each visitor Designing the shortest path to purchase Conducting A/B testing to figure out what customers like best Reducing the amount of disruption during customers’ interactions with your brand What are some tips and tricks you use to design an intuitive website?
Websites that make me jump through hoops drive me nuts.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer to get from point A to point B via the shortest path possible — especially when I’m shopping online.
If I had to click back and forth, look up information on different pages, figure out whether the merchant ships to my location, or scroll up and down to look for a call to action, I’d probably just close the browser and move on.
And I’m pretty sure it isn’t just me.
The Why And How Of Intuitive Website Design
An intuitive website is easy to use. It delivers a seamless experience toward achieving desired outcomes.
Your visitors can find what they need and take the desired actions in the most efficient way possible. They can focus on the task at hand without thinking about how they’re doing it.
An intuitive website is “attention-saving” by delivering an experience with the least friction through incremental improvements and radical shortcuts.
An unintuitive design, on the other hand, forces your visitors to take notice of what’s not working and causes them to become frustrated with your brand.
An easy-to-use website design is instrumental in increasing your conversion rates.
Here’s what you can do to create an intuitive website experience.
Understand your visitors
Different target audience segments have different habits, expectations, and cultural conditionings that affect how they interpret and interact with content.
Your visitors also come to your website with a preconception about “how things work” — including how to navigate websites to get the outcomes they want.
Your website design and content have to address the expectations and behaviors your target audience brings with them so you can meet them where they’re at.
However, that’s not always possible.
If there’s a “knowledge gap” between where they are and how your website works, you need to provide the steps so they can learn, adapt, and close the gap:
Before you start designing your website, you need to first define who your visitors are because what’s intuitive for one audience may not be so for another.
Then you need to find out what they expect and how they respond to copy and page layout by doing your homework. Conduct usability and A/B testing, survey your customers, and monitor content from industry influencers.
After you have an understanding of their behaviors, expectations, and knowledge gaps, you can then design a website that’s easy to use for them.
Work with the brain
The human brain is conditioned over the centuries to register and process information in a certain way. It won’t change overnight, and you’d be better off working with it rather than fighting against it.
Many studies have been done to understand how people read and process information visually. Use this knowledge to inform the placement of content and graphic elements on your pages.
For example, people in the western culture exhibit an F-shaped pattern when reading web content:
As you can see in the heat map, the most attention is given to content closest to the left and the top, reflecting the way we read (from left to right and top to bottom).
In addition, most attention is given to the first couple of paragraphs. Then it trails off further down the page.
However, if the text is broken up by an image, the reader’s attention is renewed right below the image. Now you understand why we have so many images on this blog. See, you’re still reading!
An intuitive website needs to work with your visitors’ brain:
- Use an F- or Z-pattern to guide the placement of your elements to work with natural eye movement:
- Put the most important content in the first two paragraphs
- Use images with bold colors and good contrast at regular intervals to reinforce the reader’s attention
- Use white space strategically to create a rhythm
- Apply the “rule of thirds” to draw attention to important elements, such as a call-to-action:
Give your visitors what they want right away
That means that if visitors land on your website and can’t find what they’re looking for within the first few seconds, they’re likely to click away and never come back.
They won’t spend the time to hunt and peck.
You have to show them what they need to know about your business and what they need to do next right off the bat.
Shopify’s homepage doesn’t beat around the bush — it tells you what exactly the platform does, why it’s relevant to its visitors, and what they need to do in just a couple of seconds:
Use simple instructional text to bridge the knowledge gap
Remember the “knowledge gap” we talked about earlier?
If there’s one between your visitors’ current online habits and how your website works, then you need to help them close the gap.
Nobody wants to read a full page of instructional text on how to use your website, but visitors will welcome snippets of instructions — often called microcopy — to show them what they need to do:
By incorporating simple instructional text, tips, and microcopy throughout your website, you can help visitors have a better user experience by making the interface more intuitive for them.
Make all information available on one page
You need to consider all the questions a visitor may have when making a purchasing decision and have the answers located conveniently on the page.
If visitors have to divert their attention to think about how to get the additional information, their experience with your website is disrupted.
Not only is it inconvenient for them to look for the information somewhere else, but the added friction could also decrease your conversion rate.
For example, when shoppers are looking for running shoes, they’d probably wonder how a particular model will fit them.
Amazon preempted the question by putting a “find the right size for…