User-friendly websites imperative

Written by Monica McInnes.

There are lots of things businesses need to think about these days, especially in our fast paced world where everything is changing all the time! Marketing is no different, and online marketing even more so!

A website is just one online marketing tool. Long gone are the days where people only accessed the Internet from a desktop computer or laptop. Smart phones, tablets, iPads are much more likely to be the device customers are using to access information about your business. And, if your website doesn't work on these devices, it wont take long for your potential customer to close your page and search for another service provider.

But never fear, a responsive website can solve this problem!

A responsive website simply means a website responds to the device it is being viewed on. Photos, icons, content, links all scale in size to ensure the best experience for your website user.

The challenge however, is that creating a responsive website can be quite technical and you will require the assistance of developer. Fortunately there are many fantastic template sites out there that have inbuilt code to ensure the site you create is responsive. The key is to pay attention to usability; it is the key to good design, and engaging with your audience. Think about the size of your buttons and links for example. If they are two small, users will get frustrated they can't use your site easily and will likely leave and find the information they seek elsewhere.

Not all sites work well on mobile devices though. Especially large organisations, like banks, real estate sites, online shopping sites. Many of these businesses have chosen to create an app for its users to download. More often than not, these apps will have more functionality and usability than the website! So perhaps this is an option or something for your business to consider.

So when you're next reviewing your website, make sure you have a responsive website, and if not, it's a good opportunity to update your site's look, feel and functionality.

Ask yourself these questions:

• What information do you need your customers to be able to access?
• How is this information best displayed?
• How do your website users access your site?
• What functions and features does your website need?
• Does the site need to be interactive, or are static information pages more appropriate?

By arming yourself with a solid understanding of what your website users want and need, you are on your way to creating a well thought-out, user-friendly website which your customers will thank you for.

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