Last updated on September 3rd, 2019
John Doe fired up his laptop. He is done with everyone else calling his latest beard trim as ‘the worst tragedy since Nero’s burning of Rome.’ He desperately comes to Atlantis, an online shopping website, to purchase a new beard trimmer. Five seconds into the page, he leaves the page because it lacks intuitive design which doesn’t seem familiar anymore. He surfs the web for another website. ‘Why did they change their design? So annoying and confusing!’, he muttered to himself, as we went to the place where dreams go to die- the second page of Google, in the hope of finding another Atlantis.
One of the most exciting examples of intuitive design can be found in the world of Indian couponing space. The coupons and deals industry in India came into its own circa 2013, but unlike its western counterparts, it wasn’t a billion-dollar juggernaut. In the nascent stage, most coupon websites were designed on a cookie-cutter PHP script. There was one startup, however, who took the onus to improve the coupon browsing experience. GrabOn, currently the coupons and deals market leader, designed the website from scratch offering an organic and natural user flow, instead of the generic coupon discovery platform
Since then, the competitors have heavily borrowed from GrabOn’s design scheme, which was instrumental in providing the users with a seamless browsing experience.
Every Day Hundreds Of Websites Lose Customers. Why?
Because their website is either too confusing or too complicated. The term ‘bad user experience’ is just another way of saying that the site or app is not user-friendly. This will lead to the loss of loyal customers and hence, overall business despite providing quality product or service.
Rule Of Thumb: Users Mostly Skim Through The Page. If You Fail To Engage Them In The First 5 Seconds, It’s Game Over
Take the world’s largest search engine, for example. Their homepage is Captain Obvious personified. They have everything right in front of you. To make any user engage with your website, you need an intuitive design and a structure. They have just that, and that is one of the many reasons why they enjoy such dominance. For any page, the design should be engaging, and the structure should be easily navigable. In short, the design needs to be intuitive.
The User Flow Should Be So Obvious That A 10-Year-Old Can Browse Effortlessly
When a developer designs a new website, they should be aware of the knowledge gap. What they perceive as obvious might not be so for the users. The intended target audience might have developed a cognitive bias browsing similar product websites. When a new website offers a different user flow, they are thrown off and tend to leave the page. So, how do you defeat something so fundamental and natural?
Simple, you kill the bias. Do not let the user decide what to do. Instead, dictate what the user needs; subtly of course.
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Users Prefer Easy-To-Browse Websites Where They Can Easily Spot What They Want
An online shopper browses through your page with the mentality to shop. If you can help them and guide them, naturally the click-through rate and the probability of a sale increases. This principle is true for blogs and content-based websites as well. The likelihood of content consumption and hence, conversion increases if the site is easy to navigate.
Improving The Search Option To Make It More Interactive Is The Most Lucrative Way Of Drawing In Consumers
A significant portion of the users already knows what they want. If you can make their browsing experience easier, you have already won over 50% of your audience. An intuitive website design bridges the knowledge gap. The website should have adequate features essential for smooth browsing experiences, i.e., clutter-free information, natural interaction, and non-disruptive experience for attracting consumers.
So, how do you make a page intuitive and likable?
Get Acquainted With Your Target Audience
You must understand the user demographic aka your page audience. Narrow it down to detailed, actionable data sets like profession, age groups, ethnicity, location, etc. Websites that do that, understand user-navigation better. Your website is not the kitchen sink. Keep it clutter-free as much as possible.
Streamline your page to help users as much as possible. Perform a large number of A/B tests if possible. Minimize display of disruptive pop-ups like subscription boxes when a user visits your product page. Intrusive ads and pop-ups not only annoy the user but also appear spammy, leading to users unsubscribing.
Knowing your target audience does not end with just crunching data and giving them a finished product. Your art needs iterative redesigns, based on more data. How much time do they spend on the website, which page gets the most traffic, which elements get least interactions, and which part of the page receives minimal visibility? Based on these insights, your page should reinvent itself and align with the user demands.
In fact, detailed information about your target audience is not restricted to designing a website. You also need to ensure the logo is professional and carries your business message appropriately. Even when you design a logo, you should take into account all the different crucial backgrounds of your audience. After all, a logo is the face of a company, and it is also the most visible symbol in an enterprize’s marketing campaign.
Therefore, whether you are hiring a professional for website design or you intend to create your company’s representing symbol by using a logo maker tool, keep your audience in mind.
Design Changes Should Comfort Users, Not Irritate Them
Naturally, a new iteration will require some time getting used to it. Of course, there will be a user outcry every time you change something. Some sections will never be happy, and that is okay as long as you know how to retain them by not complicating things further.
Take Facebook as an example. Every time they make a change to their feed, hashtags start trending. ‘Boycott Facebook’ dies down within a few hours, and users are back, sharing memes and articles without fact-checking them. That is the power of intuitive design of a webpage. No matter what happens, users always know where and what to click.
Consider Page Speed And Mobile-Friendly Design
In this journey of understanding-the-process, remember the significance of page speed and how important it is to load pages fast and to ensure better user experience. This applies equally to websites and mobile-pages. The load-time is extremely important to ensure users stay on your page, and this feature is often overlooked.
If you want to draw customers’ attention, then ensure fast loading and mobile optimization. You don’t necessarily need AMP plugin for your pages, but it needs to be mobile-friendly. Remember, a majority of your intended audience is viewing your website through their mobile phones. Therefore, it’s imperative to ensure that your website design is intuitive as well as mobile friendly as you can see in coupon website like GrabOn. According to a research conducted by Statista, the number of smartphone users worldwide has touched 3.3 billion mark and still growing every minute!
Context Is Critical, So Is The Content!
Apart from the design scheme and elements, the text and media present on your website are essential to attracting and retaining users. Your page can be the most optimized page on the planet and yet have ridiculously high bounce rates once a visitor lands on the page. All that SEO effort is going to go down the drain without engaging content.
Set A Tone And Context
Setting the proper tone, context, and providing supporting content is essential to making users stick and come back to the website due to excellent user experience. Don’t make your text dry and cold as the Arctic. Add some flair to it and make it lively. It should feel like a good journal: private, tailored, and personal to make the reader feel valued.
One of the best examples of an intuitive website is probably Moz. Considered to be the best place to learn more about Inbound Marketing, their blogs and products are self-explanatory.
Their articles are engaging, while their product page can be navigated and used by anyone who can read and understand the basic English. Their content strategy is brilliant, and they offer genuine long-term content plans and strategies. Now if you are sold by that, which you probably will be, you will go and opt for their products.
Their product page with clear price listing along with benefits is natural and obvious. Intuitive designs need not be over-the-top creative. They are just obvious and natural. And that transition can be tough, if you are out to show the world how abstractly creative your team is, instead of selling your product (or yourself).
Follow These Actionable Tips
To sum up, here are a few actionable items that you can follow to make your website design intuitive:
i. Don’t complicate your page with abstract designs. Keep it simple and clutter-free.
ii. Focus on optimizing the on-page content, thus ensuring the user does not feel lost when they land on your page.
iii. Keep improving your search option and make it more accessible to the users.
iv. Pay attention to the page speed. If your page is too heavy, it will load slower, and you’ll end up losing users to your competitors.
v. Adopt a mobile-friendly design scheme because a massive chunk of your traffic and visitors are coming from mobile sources.
vi. Keep reinventing your page, based on how users browse and interact with your website.
vii. Don’t add any design element without doing a proper deep dive into how it would serve a purpose.
viii. Ensure your page grabs the audience’s attention the second they land.
ix. Optimize the headings, subheadings, and associated media in a way that caters to the F or Z pattern used by most users while skimming through a page.
Always remember, content isn’t just an element; it is the most important part of intuitive design. It is more than the on-page text; it is the entire interaction!
The intuitive design of a website is the key to keep visitors glued to the site pages and ultimately make them buy your products or services. For better user experience, improve the search option, know your target audience inside out, consider page-speed and mobile-friendly design, and pay attention to the use of text and media in your website pages and make it private, tailored and personal for your users.