Design

Brenda Peterson
Brenda Peterson

How to Successfully Rebrand Your Business

Your business environment is always changing, and the competition is so fierce that you can’t afford to lag behind. New competitors, evolving customer tastes, disruptive new technologies, and many other factors modify the market dynamics. The company that fails to adapt loses.

The once-relevant design of your business website or logo can all of a sudden appear well-trodden, and the brand can become boring. This is when the question of rebranding arises.

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Ashley Kingsey
Ashley Kingsey

How to Make a GIF from a YouTube Video

With the rise of social media and online communication in general,
the need to express our emotions on the internet has grown, as much
as our desire to share fun content with others. This is why GIFs
have become so tremendously popular these days, especially with
younger generations. There’s no shortage of ready-to-use GIFs
available on the web. The entire GIF stock libraries are there so
you can just pick any piece you like, download it, and share with
your friends. But what if you’ve got an idea for an awesome GIF
that doesn’t exist yet? How to create a GIF from scratch? The
easiest solution is to make a GIF from a YouTube video, and we’re
going to teach you how to do it further in this article.

What is a GIF and what makes them so popular?

A GIF is a looped animated image. It can be viewed as a
form of visual content
that occupies the slot right between
static images and videos, having the benefits of both. On the one
hand, GIFs look like short video snippets. On the other hand, their
file size is almost as small as that of images. What not to like?

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Brenda Peterson
Brenda Peterson

How to Create a Wedding Website That Will Blow Your Guests Away

Finally, the wedding hall is booked, the festive menu is approved, the groom’s suit and the bride’s dress are waiting for their glory hour in the wardrobe, and all the wedding arrangements are in place. Phew! Is anything missing? Actually yes… What about a wedding website? More couples come to realize that a personalized wedding site is more than just a homage to fashion. It can make your life easier when the wedding preparations are on and remind you of your Big Day for years to come!

But how to make a wedding website that would both impress and delight your guests? We assure you, this will be the most exciting part of your wedding preparations. And rewarding too!

This article will teach you how to create a free wedding invitation website you’ll be proud of.

Why make a wedding website anyway?

Free wedding websites with online RSVPs are getting more popular year by year as more couples wish to benefit from the convenience which is the internet. Here are the reasons that make wedding websites so relevant:

  • No need to send a wedding invitation postcard to each guest anymore. Just invite them all to your site and request an RSVP online.
  • Why get in touch with each guest individually to share the details of your celebration? Simply provide all the essential info on the pages of your website and consider the job’s done.
  • Your website can serve you as an online wedding planner. You can use it to schedule and monitor preparation events, coordinate guests, and keep in touch with contractors online.
  • Keeping the audience engaged and excited about the upcoming event is easier with a wedding website. Post great content that tells your love story or share behind-the-scenes details of your preparations to entertain your guests well before the party. They’ll love that!
  • A wedding website will remind you of the Big Day long after the celebration. It is also the best place to keep your wedding photos and videos. No need to store all the media on your PC anymore. Upload them on the server and be sure they are in total safety.

A wedding website is not just a fancy digital accessory. It is a powerful tool that allows you to optimize your wedding preparations and keep your guests engaged. But where to make a wedding website and how?

How to make a good wedding website?

A good wedding website is characterized by two major aspects: beautiful design and functionality. If you are not a professional programmer or web designer, creating such a website is hardly possible. But with modern website building solutions like NING, a wedding website can be easily made by anyone regardless of tech skills. Here are a few simple steps to illustrate how to create a wedding website easily.

  1. Pick a spot-on domain name

All internet experiences start with a domain name. This is basically your address on the web. A URL should be both unique and recognizable. So if you’re making a wedding website, you want people to know that this site is meant to celebrate the relationships between you and your best half.

Creating a wedding website on NING gives you the benefit of using a free custom domain name. This means you can come up with any URL that strikes your fancy, to represent your wedding (e.g., jamesandlisa.ning.com).

  1. Start with the design

Nothing speaks of your feelings better than graphic visuals. Designing your wedding website can be a great way to put your creativity to practice. How do you envision this special day and what images do you picture when you think of it? You can capture it all in your website design.

With a website builder like NING, you have a lot of room for creative experiments:

  • Choose a design template you like most and use it as a foundation.
  • Customize the template to make your website one of a kind. Set your own fonts, images, and backgrounds, configure a header, footer, navigation menu, buttons, etc. Use the best photos of you two to make the website unique and recognizable. If you have chosen a specific theme for your wedding, design your website in the same style. Playing around with various customization options is a fun and rewarding process.
  • Create a landing page that would be the face of your wedding site. Use drag-and-drop tools to add custom elements and edit various visual parameters. A landing page is an optional addition to your website, but imagine what a great impression it would make on your friends and relatives!
  1. Create the pages you need

Any website consists of pages, and your wedding site is not an exception. Look at it as if it was an invitation postcard that could tell your entire love story. What would you like to say to those invited, what secrets would you share with them? Every single page of your wedding website should open a small window into your relationships. And of course, you should dedicate a couple of pages to your guests, providing them with all the information related to the celebration.

  • Create a captivating homepage with vivid welcoming images (or perhaps a photo of you two) and an eloquent announcement of your wedding; don’t forget to mention the date and place – for example, in the header or footer where the information will remain in sight all the time.
  • Make an “Our Story” page and tell how you met each other, what special moments you shared together, how your lives changed in the relationship. Your guests would love to know a couple of intimate details.

 

  • Start a blog a few weeks prior to the Big Day; you can write daily blog posts describing how the preparations are going and what exactly your guests can expect from the upcoming celebration. How to create a wedding blog? It’s easy if your website is built on NING and has an integrated Blog feature.
  • Create a photo gallery. Photos can actually be a centerpiece of your wedding site. Upload a bunch of quality images where you and your best half are having the best time of your lives or share the photos made in a studio.
  • Create a video gallery. Your guests will definitely appreciate it, especially after the celebration, when you upload all the videos from the party.
  • Add an information page to provide your guests with all the details they need. Once again, specify the time of planned events and their location. Mark the places of interest on Google Maps and embed it in the page. If there are any additional remarks or requests you have to make, mention them here as well.
  • Create an Event. This is yet another way to invite people to your wedding and find out who exactly will show up. With the Events feature by NING, you can set up events, mark them in Google Calendar, invite people via email, and request an RSVP.
  • Make a contact page. Some of your guests will surely want to get in touch with you. Make yourself available by providing your contact details on a dedicated page.
  1. Enable communication

Wedding preparations are the time when you want to stay connected not only with your friends, relatives, and loved ones but also people who help you organize the event. The online communication can greatly increase the efficiency of wedding arrangements and make the whole process more fluid.

When your wedding website is created with NING, you are actually in power to turn your site into a comprehensive social network where your wedding is in the spotlight. You can exchange private messages with your network members, send out group messages, broadcast messages to the entire network, send out bulk emails, and even talk on Live Chat. Thus, getting in touch with your guests and contractors is easier than ever before.

  1. Help your guests to make you a wedding gift

As a young couple, you’ll need funds to get your family rolling. Imagine how many of your friends and relatives want to help you start your new life together. Offer them an opportunity to support your family and make you a wedding gift!

NING lets you accept gifts the easiest way possible. Thanks to the Donations feature, your friends and relatives can send you money you can later spend on your honeymoon or other useful things you’ll need in your married life.

It’s time to make the best free personal wedding website!

Your wedding is your special day. Make it even more special by creating a wedding website that would help you go through the preparations and remind you of the Big Day for years and years.

Being a professional website builder, NING provides you with the tools needed to follow the tips offered in this article. And there are more opportunities to explore!

 

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Brenda Peterson
Brenda Peterson

The Psychology of Color: How to Increase Website Conversions Through Web Design

Why do you prefer one color to another? Why does red mean “stop,” while green stands for “go”? Why does an optimist see things through rose-tinted spectacles, and a pessimist feels blue?

On the one hand, the way we perceive colors depends on the physiology of our eyes and nervous system, as well as personal life experiences and the environment.

On the other hand, colors are powerful signals received by the brain. They are capable of triggering various processes in our bodies. For example, long-wave colors like red or yellow are known to have a stimulating effect on the brain, increase the heart rate and breathing rhythm. On the contrary, short-wave colors like green and blue have a calming effect and can even slow down the metabolism.

An undeniable fact is, color plays a tremendous role in how we perceive the world around us. For marketers, color is one of the essential tools for driving customers’ impressions and decision-making. The knowledge of how certain colors influence human behavior is fundamental when it comes to leveraging psychology for the purpose of increasing sales.

The same goes for digital content. When you’re building a website, your goal is to make a positive impression on your audience. You want the website appearance to communicate certain ideas (about you, your product or content), deliver the best user experience, and encourage conversions. So how can the psychology of color help you design a website that will touch the right chords in people’s minds? Let’s find out!

Color and marketing

There’s no doubt, that color has been used by marketers to build brands and promote products at all times. When developing a company logo or brand philosophy, color is often the center of attention. Why? Because it appears to increase the brand recognition by up to 80%.

As we know, every color implies directly or indirectly certain ideas or bears specific associations. This helps marketers shape people’s perception of particular brands or products, develop unique brand images. Some colors go beyond individual brands, symbolizing entire industries. This is why we used to associate fast food restaurants with the color red, while green is typical for pharmacies.

However, there are no clear rules for choosing a color scheme for a particular business or corporate identity. Some prefer colors which are considered to be traditional within their industry, while others go against the tradition in order to stand out from the competition.

This way or another, colors help brands obtain identity and attract the attention of customers. Meanwhile, 85% of buyers admit that they make purchasing decisions based on color in the first place, while 66% of people would not buy a product unless it comes in their preferred color. Apparently, color is not to be taken lightly when promoting a brand.

Color and website conversions

Digital marketing has also realized the potential of color to influence the audience and increase conversions. Turning a regular website visitor into a customer is a multi-stage process that requires a comprehensive conversion funnel.

As soon as a prospect takes an interest in your offer, discovering and browsing your website, you have to be ready to make an impeccable impression that will encourage potential customers to proceed further down the funnel.

At this stage, two aspects play a crucial role in determining whether you will be successful or not:

  • Website design: gives visitors a basic idea about the website topic and brand values through visuals; shapes the first impression of the site;
  • Website usability: determines how quickly visitors can find the desired information and accomplish certain goals with the help of the website.

Both of these aspects have a lot to do with color. While the former depends heavily on the color scheme you choose, the latter calls for distinctive colors to make the user experience more intuitive and guided. Once you find the colors that effectively serve your goals, convey the intended message through the set aesthetics, and help visitors enjoy using your website, the conversion boost will inevitably ensue.

What are colors all about?

Just like there is no best color, there are no set formulas for interpreting colors. Colors are more or less subjective. The way we perceive them depends on many different factors including:

  • General associations;
  • Differences in color perception between men and women;
  • Individual life experiences;
  • Color vision deficiency.

However, for most people, colors trigger pretty much similar emotions and associations. This allows giving each basic color a generic description based on psychological effects they entail. Doing this may help us understand the psychology of color better and figure out what colors to use to optimize website conversions.

Red

  • Associated with a very strong but coarse energy.
  • Encourages action, instills confidence, evokes excitement and passion.
  • The saturated red is a color expressing speed and power.
  • Perfect for grabbing the attention and putting important objects to the forefront.
  • Creates a feeling of warmth or heat.
  • Often stands for self-confidence and readiness for action, demonstrates strength and the power of will.
  • In negative contexts: associated with fury, anger, worry, annoyance, distress, danger.

Blue

  • A calming color associated with physical and mental relaxation.
  • Evokes the feeling of security and trust.
  • Considered to be the color of creativity, communication, and perfectionism.
  • Inspires respect, expresses loyalty, reliability, and integrity.
  • In some cultures, dark blue stands for wealth.
  • Symbolizes the harmony with the world and with oneself, encourages thoughtful reflections.
  • In negative contexts: associated with weakness, sadness, depression, emotional burnout, unsatisfied ambition.

Yellow

  • A bright, joyful, and stimulating color associated with optimism, intelligence, youthfulness, and expressiveness.
  • Stimulates concentration, encourages clear thinking and promotes rapid decision-making.
  • Represents warmth and joy.
  • The color of gold often symbolizing wealth and luxury.
  • Conveys the aspiration for freedom, openness, liveliness, independence, and sociability.
  • In negative contexts: associated with disappointment, anxiety, fatigue, sickness, self-delusion, self-coercion, volatility, uncertainty.

Green

  • The color of life, growth, and harmony.
  • Symbolizes the unity with nature.
  • A soothing and relaxing color often associated with health and wellness.
  • Reminiscent of spring, regeneration, and life energy.
  • Often means safety, reliability, and generosity.
  • Other associations include firmness, stability, truthfulness, nobility, justice.
  • In negative contexts: associated with immaturity, self-doubt, passivity, indifference, greed.

Orange

  • A cheerful color representing confidence and easy attitude to life.
  • Releases positive emotions, tells of high self-esteem.
  • Often symbolizes friendliness, openness, and adventurousness.
  • Stimulates creative thinking, expresses enthusiasm and optimism.
  • Promotes active lifestyles, perfect for everything connected with sports.
  • In negative contexts: associated with an excess of energy, hecticness, carelessness, light-mindedness.

Purple

  • A color that usually stands for creativity, inspiration, innovation, intuition, and wisdom.
  • Often associated with mysticism.
  • Promotes inspiration, compassion, sensitivity.
  • In some cultures, the color of nobility.
  • May imply the desire to fascinate and express one’s originality.
  • In negative contexts: associated with excessive sensitivity or eccentricity, the desire to show off.

Pink

  • Considered to be the most feminine color associated with elegance and grace.
  • Suggests affability, courtesy, finesse, glamor, and sophistication.
  • Symbolizes unconditional love, romanticism, tenderness, and care.
  • In negative contexts: associated with sentimentality, arrogance, susceptibility, pretentiousness, artificiality, cheapness, lack of serious attitude.

White

  • A color of purity, innocence, goodness, and truth.
  • Although being a neutral color, white is considered cold because of the associations with snow and ice.
  • Often means sterility and safety.
  • Symbolizes light, serenity, and peace.
  • Suggests elegance, simplicity, and style.
  • In negative contexts: associated with emptiness, detachment, loneliness.

Black

  • Considered to be a conservative and noble color inspiring respect and trust.
  • Instills a feeling of security and comfort.
  • Creates a sense of mystery.
  • May appear aggressive or intimidating in certain contexts.
  • Conveys weight and depth.
  • Makes things look more serious, expensive, and luxurious.
  • In negative contexts: associated with sadness, sorrow, depression, darkness, death.

Optimizing conversions through color

Now, when you’ve got an idea about the psychology of color, it is time to apply the knowledge to ensure your website design works toward maximum conversions.

Color has always been an indispensable tool for web design. Not only does it make an overall website appearance more eye-pleasing but also helps improve the user experience. This is why choosing the right colors for a website may turn out to be a more challenging task than creating a brand logo. It takes creativity, a clear understanding of what your audience expects, and the knowledge of how to facilitate effective and effortless conversion. Here are a few tips to help you along the way:

  1. Analyze your audience and their expectations

The choice of a color scheme for your website should be determined, first and foremost, by the characteristics of your target audience and, of course, the product (or content) you are offering. Obviously, a business consulting website will look very different from a beauty blog. This is mainly because they target different people, with different backgrounds and goals.

Correspondingly, visitors coming to your site will expect a design that reflects what you do. Unless these expectations are met, there’s a risk of losing a potential customer, reader, follower, etc.

In this sense, color is crucial for making the right first impression. Imagine you landed on a website supposed to be dealing with professional car reviews. But all of a sudden, the site welcomes you with tender pastel colors. How much of credibility will it suggest?

Besides, the choice of colors depends heavily on the gender of your audience. It is known that men and women tend to perceive colors a little differently and have specific color preferences:

  • Men usually have a soft spot for black, green, and blue while showing less affection for colors like brown, orange, and purple.
  • Women prefer blue, purple, and green while not being too fond of orange, brown, and gray.

Factors like age, social status, income level, and origin also matter. So try to take them all into account when choosing a color scheme for your website.

  1. Avoid using too many colors

Although it may be tempting to use a plethora of colors on your website in order to make it vivid and cater to different audience groups, it is very important not to get carried away as this may result in a completely opposite effect.

Applying different colors in web design, you should strive for balance. The more colors you use, the more difficult it is to achieve this balance. Employing too many colors can greatly confuse website visitors and affect usability. But how to come up with a balanced color scheme?

Stick to the 60:30:10 rule which has been effectively adopted from interior design. The rule prescribes the following color structure:

  • 60% dominant color (e.g., website background);
  • 30% secondary color (e.g., header, footer, navigation menus);
  • 10% accent color (e.g., buttons, CTAs).

A color scheme like this ensures a professional and attractive appearance of your website, helps to bring out the most important elements and avoid cluttering.

  1. Make sure your CTAs stand out

A prominent call-to-action button (CTA) is essential for successful conversions. The choice of color for a CTA is one of the most widely disputed factors influencing conversions. Some argue that the best color for a CTA button is green because it is associated with security and encourages action. Others say that the most effective color option is red since it is particularly good at attracting the attention (check out an A/B test conducted by HubSpot).

However, color alone does not guarantee a button’s effectiveness: what works well on one site can be totally ineffective for another one. At the same time, there are certain techniques that allow using color to boost conversions. One of them is the psychological principle known as the ‘isolation effect’. According to this principle, people pay more attention to objects that stand out from the rest.

For example, if there is a lot of green in the design of your website, users will most likely not pay attention to a green CTA button because it will simply melt into the background. In this case, a red button will definitely be your preferred choice.

  1. Use color to improve the UX

The choice of colors is not just about a flawless look of your website. It should also have a positive effect on its functionality and usability – perhaps the most important principles of UX design.

Color is a tool that helps web designers make the whole process of using a website easy and intuitive by drawing users’ attention to the most important objects and optimizing interfaces. If you manage to pick colors that will not only look great on your website but also enhance its usability, converting your visitors will go much smoother.

  1. Adapt colors for the color-blind

Color blindness, also known as color vision deficiency, is an inability to distinguish certain colors. Around 8,5% of the global population suffer from color blindness. Unless your website is capable of delivering an adequate level of usability for these people, you will miss out on a lot of potential conversions.

The most common form of color blindness affects people’s ability to see the difference between red and green. The best way to avoid problems related to this phenomenon is not to use this color combination, especially when it can damage the usability (e.g., a color indication of required fields in registration forms).

Besides, colors should not be used as a single visual tool for the following purposes:

  • Communicating information;
  • Calling for action and response;
  • Highlighting critical visual elements.

Thus, web designers shouldn’t rely solely on colors when it comes to UX design. In some cases, it makes sense to employ other means, like verbal or graphic, to meet the needs of people affected by color-blindness.

Conclusion

Considering everything mentioned above, we can safely say that color is an effective tool for optimizing website conversions. Thanks the emotional value and symbolism pertained to different colors, they can be used to drive impressions and communicate your brand message.

However, boosting conversions requires conducting a thorough analysis of your audience’s preferences and expectations, as well as putting good thought into your website color scheme and color-related UX design.

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admin
admin

What Is UI And How Is It Different From UX?

In the digital age, the concept of ‘design’ has drastically changed. Nowadays, this term covers not only graphic design but also new forms of digital product design. Their primary objective is to create user-friendly interfaces. The primary requirements are practicality, intuitiveness, and convenience. And it is namely the UI and UX design that are meant to meet these requirements.

What is UI?

UI is the abbreviation for ‘user interface’. In the most simple terms, it is a combination of visual elements such as buttons, menus, and icons designed to help users interact with a device or software. An excellent example of a user interface is a mobile phone with a display and buttons fulfilling various functions; or a car dashboard and so on.

Thus, a UI designer is responsible for the look and usability of a website or application, ensuring that the interface elements are well-organized, structured, grouped, and executed within the same graphical style. The job requires lots of prototyping and in-depth analysis before the final product (which is a finished user interface) takes its ultimate shape.

What makes a perfect UI?

While designing a high-quality UI, the attention is paid not only to its appearance but also to the logical structure. A user interface is considered to be good and complete only under the condition that users can quickly and easily interact with it and achieve the desired results investing minimum time and effort. In the computer field, UI development is faced with the task of creating user interfaces that provide a simple, smooth, understandable, and convenient interaction with a product (device, application, website, etc.).

The core principles of UI design are as follows:

  • Clarity: For normal interaction with a UI, the user must be well informed and confident in what he does. Clarity serves both of these purposes.
  • Flexibility: A good user interface must retain its practicality in any situation and context. At the same time, it should be able to stand the test of time.
  • Recognizability: The human eye likes to see simple and familiar things. Studies show that simplistic interfaces are considered to be more beautiful. Plus, a UI with a recognizable design can become associated directly with your brand.
  • Effectiveness: Make sure users can perform essential actions most efficiently and that they never lose the progress they have made to complete one task or another.
  • Consistency and structure: Consistency is what helps users see something familiar in situations they have not been before. In other words, this is the way to implement your language within the application. The structure is what makes things more accessible in your UI.

The principles mentioned above are pretty simple, but in order to get a better understanding of how to create a high-quality user interface for a particular product, it is essential to study the behavior, emotions, and response of users when interacting with this product. Obviously, this takes lots of testing and data collection. While interacting with any system, people experience certain sensations and react in different ways. And this is precisely what is called ‘user experience’, or UX.

What is UX?

As noted above, UX stands for ‘user experience’ which is basically everything the user feels and remembers about an application, device, or website as a result of using it. UX is taken into account when developing UIs, creating an information architecture, and testing the usability.

However, UX is not limited to the visual interface of your product. This is a concept that has many facets and encompasses the entire way made by a user while interacting with a product, including:

  • The process users go through when they search for a product;
  • The sequence of actions they perform while interacting with an interface;
  • Thoughts and feelings that arise when users interact with a product;
  • Impressions left after the interaction.

UX design is one of the first steps in creating a digital product and serves the purpose of making applications/devices/websites logical, convenient, and useful. UX design of software determines what kind of impressions a person will get from using it, as well as how exactly it will be used.

What is the best location for a “Sign in” button on a web page? How many steps should users take to subscribe to a newsletter or place an order? How to let the user know that the operation was successful? It is these questions, among many others, that UX designers are usually faced with.

Generally, UX design includes several components:

  • Information architecture;
  • Interactive design;
  • Usability (the indicator of simplicity, convenience, and efficiency of a product in users’ eyes).

UX designers are required to understand users’ psychology and emotions, be able to analyze their expectations and correctly prioritize certain goals over others. The ultimate purpose of UX design is to create appropriate user tools and come up with an application or website structure that matches specific parameters (often set by customers ordering the product).

Conclusion

As you can see, UI is basically the part of UX. The goal of both is to improve, simplify, and make the usage of devices and software more convenient. But although these terms are closely related, they are by no means synonyms. You can have an excellent UI but a terrible UX and vice versa. UI design is mainly the domain of graphic designers while the UX industry is also populated by other specialists including analysts and marketers. To achieve the best results the cooperation of specialists in both areas is necessary.

Meanwhile, if you have a network on NING, you can easily try yourself in a role of a UI designer by customizing the interface of your own website! Experiment with a layout of core elements, navigation menu, color schemes, fonts, etc. so that your visitors feel comfortable and enjoy every second spent on your website.

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Brenda Peterson
Brenda Peterson

How to Make Your Website User-Friendly: 8 Essential Tips

What do you usually do when you stumble across an ugly-looking and poorly optimized website? Do you stay and continue struggling against all odds in order to find the information you came for? Unlikely. Why would you even bother if there are so many other websites out there? Your time is valuable, and so is the time of other internet users. This is why good usability is considered to be the cornerstone of web design, determining whether a site will serve its intended purpose.

Indeed, website usability is not to be taken lightly. It is reported that 79% of people simply give up on websites that are not optimized for convenient usage. Creating a website for business or any other purpose, the last thing you want is visitors leaving you after only a few seconds never to come back again.

But what is a user-friendly website anyway? Usability depends on so many different factors including design, navigation, optimization, mobile-responsiveness, etc. In this post, we’ll figure out what exactly makes a positive user experience and review some tips for ensuring a good website usability to help you retain your visitors for as long as possible.

  1. Plan the website architecture from the outset

Creating a user-friendly website takes a lot of planning. Even before you start building your website, you need to have a very clear idea about its future structure and appearance.

This is why it makes sense to create a rough blueprint that will allow you to come up with the basic schematics for your future website. This step is called prototyping, and you don’t need any special tools to carry it out except for a sheet of paper and pencil.

All you really have to do is draw a simple sketch to render the overall arrangement of core elements on the site, e.g. header, footer, navigation menu, sections and categories, on-page layout, functional elements, ads, buttons, etc.

To ensure good usability, try to put yourself in the user’s shoes, think of how to provide the easiest and most effective way of finding and consuming information on your website.

With a prototype, it will be much easier for you to prepare a design assignment for a web developer or create a website on your own using a site builder like Ning.

  1. Make sure your website design is flawless

The visual aspect is as important for your website usability as its structure. Being a website creator, you are free to follow your own aesthetic preferences and creative vision while designing it. But try to approach the process strategically. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Adapt your website design to the audience you are going to engage. Different target groups have different tastes. Their first impression from your website will determine whether they will stay or leave.
  • Pick an appropriate color scheme. Make sure the colors of your website’s background and content contrast well and are not straining on the eyes. Ideally, the colors shouldn’t be too bright or too dull. The content must be easy to read.
  • Unify the design of every page. The pages should look equally good and within the same design pattern. Consider using a website template to achieve the desired consistency in terms of design.
  • Make sure your website header and footer are on point. Use them to the full extent but try not to overload with excessive navigation and design elements. Don’t forget to add your logo.
  • The recent trend is the design simplification in favor of website usability. The cleaner and lighter your website looks, the easier it is to navigate through. Check Apple’s website for inspiration.
  1. Ensure the efficient and convenient navigation

Navigation is particularly important for good usability as it directly influences the user experience while browsing a website. The easier it is to navigate, the more effortlessly users will find the information they need, and the better impression your website will leave.

Good navigation incorporates multiple aspects including:

  • A well-designed navigation menu: accurate and short labels, a moderate number of tabs, an absence of clutter effect, good legibility, well-defined sections and categories, dropdown and sub-navigation menus; don’t forget to anchor your navigation bar so that it doesn’t disappear out of sight while scrolling;
  • Easily accessible search tool: sometimes there’s just no time for browsing a website page by page in search for the required content; a search bar is a great solution to help users find information by keywords and save precious time;
  • Multiple ways to browse content: introduce various charts or filters to sort your content out (by date, by rate, by relevance, etc.);
  • Well-managed internal linking system: this not only ensures good usability but also improves SEO;
  • Functional header and footer: intuitive navigation tabs, informative introductory content (website name and logo linked to the home page, tagline, etc.), additional buttons, e.g. Subscribe, Contact us, Follow on [social media] etc.;
  • Accurate product classification: if you sell multiple products on your site, break them into several distinct categories so that your customers can find what they need easily.

Unless the navigation of your website is intuitive, people will be more likely to leave. No one wants to spend ages looking for the required content or feature.

  1. Optimize the loading speed

Let’s face it, slow websites are annoying. There’s nothing surprising in the fact that most internet users do not want to sit and wait until a website loads. The truth is, 40% of people leave a website unless it loads within 3 seconds.

To minimize the loading speed, you should make your website as lightweight as possible. Remember that a large number of third-party plugins and widgets will considerably slow your site down, so use them in moderation. Apply only those that are essential for user experience on your website.

Images are also quite data-heavy, so compressing or resizing them is not a bad idea when it comes to optimizing the loading speed. You can use online tools like ImageSmaller or Image Optimizer to get the job done.

To check whether your website is fast enough, use Pingdom, the service that allows you to run comprehensive speed tests and offers helpful suggestions as for improving the load times.

  1. Make sure your site is mobile-responsive

It is estimated that 49.7% of page views worldwide are made from mobile devices. This means that if you don’t optimize your website for mobile usage, you might lose half of the traffic you could potentially generate.

With so many people accessing the internet from smartphones and tablets, making a user-friendly website is pretty much about making it mobile-friendly. Speaking about mobile-responsiveness, if you build your site on Ning, consider yourself covered.

  1. Format your content properly

How you write matters as much as what you write. Your content can be as good as it gets, but if it is poorly presented, retaining visitors on your website will be quite a challenge.

Here are a few basic tips for an on-page arrangement of your text-based content:

  • Avoid huge and dense chunks of text, most people tend to feel intimidated with large portions of information thrown at them;
  • Split your text into several smaller parts to make the whole thing more digestible. Divide it into logical paragraphs and make use of subheadings;
  • Numbered and bulleted lists are good for keeping your audience’s attention;
  • Highlight the most important parts of the text with bold font or italics where necessary;
  • Introduce images in between the passages to make the content more engaging.

Did you know that the average human attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish? Only 8 seconds! This means you have to make your content as approachable as possible to ensure the best user experience.

  1. Simplify forms

Long and complicated forms are one of the reasons why people abandon websites early on. However, forms are very important for generating leads and ensuring the best user experience on a website. To make them more approachable, follow these simple tips:

  • Minimize the number of fields;
  • Give the fields accurate titles;
  • Add informative tooltips;
  • Show messages of confirmation;
  • Apply simple validation methods.

The more effortlessly users can go through the process of registration, the more user-friendly your website will be.

  1. Display ads in moderation

The last but not least, online advertisements can drastically affect the usability of your website. Needless to say, ads are important for your website economy. They can even be the main source of income. But let’s face it, they can be insanely irritating.

If you show too many ads and they interfere with user experience (e.g. pop-up ads that suddenly appear every time you interact with a website), many of your visitors will be too annoyed to continue and will simply give up on your site. This is why you always have to make sure you don’t cross that thin line where the commercial interest starts to erode usability.

Final words

Creating a user-friendly website is a doable task as long as you approach it from a user’s perspective. Think what you’d want to see if you were a visitor to your website. And remember, the easier and faster people can find the necessary information, the higher are the chances that they will eventually stay and interact with it.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Keep it clear and intuitive, and you’ll be proud of the results.

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