The internet and the websites that have made it their home have always had one purpose: to share with others. For businesses, they share their products and services to people who visit their website. The whole focus of website building for businesses has always been to make the viewing and navigating experience as easy as possible for potential customers. This accessibility makes it so people can get the information they need and buy their products without confusion or hassle.
Over the past few years there has been a new trend where web designers are starting to gear their work towards other web designers. The websites are typically good looking, but lack functionality. There are often unnecessary animations and interferences that add no value to the customers who visit the site. One example that’s becoming more popular lately is to have a large video set as the background of the website. This increases load time significantly and also increases data usage for the visitors which can be a problem if they are on a mobile device. A lot of websites are also featuring a “loading wheel” or “loading animation” which plays while their website is getting everything ready for the visitors. It is a very bad sign if a website has to have a special loading screen prepared for its viewers before they can even access the website. Long loading times are a well-documented cause for users to simply leave the website without looking at anything.
So what exactly is user-centric web development?
User-centric web development is going back to the core basics that have been proven successful for over a decade. The entire website design is geared towards providing visitors with the information they want and the functionality they need. It focuses on easy to navigate pages and clear messages so that there is no room for confusion. Have you ever went to a website you were interested in and weren’t able to find what you wanted to know? It is frustrating and leaves a bad impression. User-centric web development makes sure that the most important information is displayed clearly. Links like “About Us” and “Contact Us” and “Products” are all very common and typically at the top of the page and centered along with the website name and logo. User-centric web development also makes sure there is little to no interference while using the website. This means there aren’t large advertisements popping up and blocking the screen, or sign-up windows asking to join the newsletter. Those things disrupt the natural flow of a user’s experience with the website and hinders usability.
There is a natural order when it comes to how people look at websites. When they first look at it, they typically will look at the navigation bar to see what pages are available to them. If they see what they need, they will click it and follow through. If not, they will either leave the website or scroll down a little bit to see if they find what they need. User-centric web development acknowledges that and builds around it. Having clear navigational links is key. Also have a short, clear message that explains the website and its mission. That message has to be emphasized to ensure they will see it and understand it. Additional information, pictures, and descriptions all need to be easily viewable. If there is a lot of text and reading required, increasing the font size is important. People need to easily be able to read what is on the page. Using colors with low contrast is easier on the eyes when compared to colors like bright red and bright green. Having open “white space” is good because it gives a visitor’s eyes a break and also makes it easier to focus in on where information is.
User-centric web development ensures your visitors will find the information they need in order to become customers. Contact forms, social media links, and cash out capabilities are all optimized to run as smoothly as possible and provide value to visitors:
- Makes it easy to contact your business for any additional questions or concerns they may have so you can reach out to them right away.
- Visitors can share your website to their friends, family, and followers.
- Customers can purchase your products or services with no hassle or confusion.
The Basics Have Been Improved
Just because user-centric web development focuses on the core functionality that has always been successful; it doesn’t mean the website will look outdated or out of style. In fact, it will be quite the opposite. Sticking to the essentials keeps your website light and responsive like how modern websites are supposed to be. You won’t have to worry about slow load times; your visitors will be impressed by how easy it is to access the pages of your website and find out what they need. The design is built to match the style of your business and brand without any clutter or unnecessary animations that slow down or break your website.
Please contact us for more information about user-centric web development and other internet services we provide.