Any good website designer will tell you that the end user is the most critical part of any effective site. And yet, too many designers ignore the components of design that best serve the client or customer.
The most important component is user interface (UI), those elements built into a site that allow for not only ease of use but increase visibility and draw repeat traffic. Consider these seven tips when building a site to keep users happy and satisfied.
- If your site or application features subscription plans, make it as easy as possible for them to upgrade from the basic version to a more advanced one. Upgrading should be completely intuitive and simple.
- The science of the brain has shown that different colors provoke different responses and actions. So consider using color-coded lists for different types of content, which are easier for the eye to scan, and place text inside a colored box whenever possible.
- Help messages are crucial for first time users, so be sure to display them in a way that instantly attracts the eye. But keep messages short and make them pop out to attract their attention.
- As with help messages, your feedback messages should also be designed carefully. Users like to know that a particular action was completed successfully or that there is a problem. Consider using the traffic-light analogy and color-code the different messages: green signal that everything is okay; yellow means wait; and red is a warning to stop because something is wrong.
- Use modal windows that pop up on top of the current page and require user interaction to proceed.
- Keep sign-up forms short. Longer forms require more effort for visitors to your site. This means removing all optional elements from the form and sticking to just the core essentials. You can always gather the optional information later.