Looks aren’t everything. And even when it comes to your website that needs to be attractive to the eye, this remains true. The most common mistake that web designers make is that they tend to turn the website in the pure visual extravaganza. It’s easy to get carried away, but users (your potential customers, that is) can quickly get lost if they’re overwhelmed with various visual elements. The most important thing is not to make them visit the website, but to make them stay. In other words, making the first impression a lasting one. And since you have just a couple of seconds to persuade them, you shouldn’t risk losing them due to the incoherent design that could create confusion. Looks and usability should go hand in hand, and we’ll show you why that is so important.
We’re all mad here
We understand that the most important thing when creating a website is to make it attractive to visit for the people browsing the net. But you need to look further than that. If you create a website that looks like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland people will get lost inside that psychedelic universe and probably end up mad like in the famous quote. You can make the website visually attractive, but as long as it doesn’t become overly complicated. So let’s take a stroll through that Wonderland and see what usability complications you need to take care of.
The shrinking potion
Every website is a world for itself, a world of your brand. And the first thing you need to do is to make sure everyone has equal access to that world. Right after Alice enters Wonderland she encounters a problem – she sees Queen’s garden, but the door is to small for her to go through. She drinks the shrinking potion, and now she can go through, but the key remained on the table that’s now far beyond her reach. Irritating, isn’t it? Well, in that Queen’s garden are your CTA buttons, and your potential customers also could have some trouble getting in, not due to the size of the door but due to the size of their screens. Since you can’t offer them a cup of that shrinking potion, you should definitely employ the responsive web design that automatically adapts image size, resolution and scripting abilities to any device out there.
Croquet with flamingos
Now that everybody’s in it’s time for a famous croquet game. As you can probably remember, Alice didn’t have any luck with that game for a simple reason – nothing on the field was where it needs to be, and flamingos were reluctant to hit the ball. Well, that ball should go straight in your sales funnel, and you can’t allow your potentials customers to turn their heads from it as the flamingos did. That means your layout needs to make perfect sense. Every element should be in a place where users will naturally look for it. If you want them to hit those CTA buttons, you need to make them stand out plainly and not get lost among other design elements.
The Mad Hatter
Unfortunately, you can’t order visitors where to click on your website. They should be allowed to browse freely, which means there are a lot of places where they can get stuck. If your site is a maze of highly visual elements they can get lost and end up on a never-ending tea party with a perfectly unuseful Mad Hatter. That’s why it’s not enough just to make elements stand out, but you also need to make sure they correlate to each other. Keep in mind that text should be appropriately sized and clear. Otherwise, they’ll have a feeling like they’re talking to that stoned caterpillar or that disappearing cat. Visitors are here to get what they want, not to experience hallucinations. Since you can’t literally direct them to the sales funnel you need to make sure that the navigation is smooth and easy.
Oh dear! I shall be too late!
Probably the most popular character from the Wonderland is the White Rabit who can be seen running around in a frenzy, constantly late. In reality, people are even worse. The rhythm of life has become so fast that everybody is constantly out of time. Here is where lies the problem – the bigger the Wonderland, the longer the loading time. If you have too many animations, videos, plugins, etc. it can really affect the speed of your website. And no one cares what’s inside if it takes to long to open.
Off with her head! – the conclusion
Well, you’ve seen the dangers along the way. And be sure that today’s modern man is pretty much like the Red Queen – one false move and it’s ‛Off with your head!’. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean they don’t like Wonderlands. They simply need a guide through it, and it’s called usability.
About the Author:
Chloe Smith is a business consultant for a mobile website design agency and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success. When she’s not working, she’s probably somewhere cuddled up with a good book, and a cup of lemongrass tea (or more honestly binge-watching the newest Netflix hit show).