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How To Design A User Centric Website?

Jun 3, 2008
Web design is becoming more user-centric day by day. Since most of the websites have some products or services to sell, they want high conversion rates. High conversion rates mean more sales and who doesn't want more sales.

To convert the visitors, you need a simple design which is user-centric.

User-centric means that your design compliments the content and the product you have on the site. The distraction is minimal because the website design is not distracting the users that scan the content and go to their desired page.

Usability and utility, not the visual design, determines the success or failure of your website. If you know how to present the information in a logical and easy way with a complimenting web design, you will actually experience more conversions and sales.

Since it is the user who clicks the mouse and visit your site, you should be more focused on providing information in a logical and easy way to help the visitor decide and buy.

To understand the whole use-centric design concept, we need to understand how the users' interact with websites, their thinking process and the basic patterns of users' behavior.

The Thinking process

User's habit on the website is not much different from their habits in a store. They glance and scan the text, visit other pages and click on the links that engages their interest. Visitors search for specific information and they click on links which vaguely resembles what they are looking for. Most of the visitors never look at most of the parts of a webpage.

Most visitors look for something interesting on the site. They look for what they are searching for.

For example, if you have an iPod site and you offer iPods and accessories, users' will directly go to the products page skipping most of the sales pitch that you setup for them on the first page. They will choose the product and check the price and anything else that may be important to them be it prices or customer services. If they are unable to find that, they will leave your site and search for alternatives.

Here is what you need to incorporate in your site to increase conversions and sales:

1. Credibility and Quality - If the pages on your website provide high-quality content, the users are willing to compromise the advertisements and design of the site. You might have noticed that the not-so-well-designed sites with high quality content gets loads of traffic over years. Content is far more important than design which compliments and supports it.

2. Anchor points - users don't read content, they scan it. So put anchor points or fixed markers to guide the users through the contents of the page. If you have a product to sell, guide the users to the product page with pricing mentioned in clear letters.

3.Provide instant gratification to impatient users - Simply put, if you are not giving what users want, you are not making money. If a site doesn't meet users' expectations, you fail and loose money. The cognitive load is high so a less intuitive navigation will cause the users to leave your site and move on to other sites and search for alternatives.

4.Give Satisfaction - Users don't search for the quickest way to find the information they're looking for. They also don't scan the webpage in a linear fashion. They check for the links that might provide what they need and instantly click on it. So don't focus on optimization too much. User satisfaction is more important.

5.Give them control - Every user wants to control their browsers. They want a constant presentation throughout the site. They should be the one who choose what to do on the site.

For example, if you want their email addresses, put a simple request and give them something in exchange for their email addresses. Give them that motivation and you will have more opt-ins for your newsletter.

Remember your website should be focused on your visitor's needs so stick to the basics in the beginning. Have a easy navigation, allow them to fill out a form if they need to contact you, and make sure your contact information is visible on all of your webpages.
About the Author
For more information visit Netlyte | Houston Web Design. You can also request information to find out how we can help you build a website to grow your email list at Website Design Houston
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