It’s the fourth quarter of the business year. Who would have guessed Thanksgiving would be here so quickly? We certainly wouldn’t, but here we are in the thick of November, waiting for New England to turn from autumn orange to winter white. As the seasons change and the year winds down, most business owners will reflect on their year and see how they can improve. A small but important aspect of all business’ online presence is their visitor’s online user experience. This essentially means, how easy your website is to navigate. Navigation is key when it comes to potential customers staying on your site, so if your website’s navigation is not up to par, it could be hurting your business. Below, we’ll discuss the best tips and practices for making your business’ website as easy to read as possible!
Keep your character count to around 80 per line
Keeping visitors interested in your content can be a challenge. When you keep the length of each line of content to around 80 characters, it keeps visitors engaged in the text due to the fact line’s any longer are seen as subconsciously intimidating. It also helps solve a common online dilemma of visitor’s attention spans lasting only 7 seconds. With shorter lines, come more consistency in visitors reading what is on your site.
Make sure your homepage uses an abundant amount of white space
With website visitors having such short attention spans, it is best practice to utilize as much white space as possible to keep them from getting bombarded with too much information. Stemming off of the 80 characters per line tip, the less someone has to read, or remember, they better they will be able to process and take in what your website consists of. Couple this ample white space with an effective call to action and a few icons/images and you’re ready to roll.
The font you select is key
Believe it or not, size 12pt font is extremely inefficient for websites! The quote above is from web design usability expert Oliver Reichenstein who says the ideal size of your website’s font should be 16pt for the lengthier paragraph portions of your site. In regards to the actual font itself, there are two font families – Serif and Sans Serif. Serif, is the family which consists of the fancier looking fonts such as Times New Roman. Sans Serif is the family of more rounded fonts, such as Arial, which are actually the more effective of web fonts. One last caveat in correlation to font selection is to not select too many of them! Use a maximum of three fonts throughout the entirety of your site to maintain easy readability and aesthetic harmony.
Contrast is crucial on your website
It is integral that your website’s fonts contrast with the website’s background, or else no one will be able to read it! You can’t read what you can’t see! You should select colors that are representative of your overall brand identity. Mess around with what works best for your site, as well as your business. Just make sure you don’t get too creative and sacrifice readability.
Navigability helps readability – quick tips!
- Link your logo to your homepage and put it at the top of your site.
- Keep your menu at the top of your website and structure it in accordance to importance.
- Keep it vertically navigable. Scrolling is as commonplace as breathing nowadays.
- Have a footer. It is the last thing seen on your site, so put all your important links there.
- Keep your most important content up top, so your visitors don’t need to scroll to understand what your business is all about.
Lists can be useful to structure content
Lists are extremely easy for visitors to scan over and get the gist of what you are trying to convey. Use relevant keywords in the lists on your site and you’ll give your website’s visitors a lot more information than a lengthy paragraph could. Additionally, couple the text with images so they can get a visual representation of what they are reading.
If you’re worried about the readability of your site, take a step back and visit it in the eyes of a potential customer. Go through the site, and jot down some notes about what encouraged you to read versus steered you away. Couple that practice with the aforementioned tips, and your site should drastically benefit! If you would like to learn more about how to make your website more readable, contact your friendly neighborhood web designers at 617-539-6528 or shoot us an email at [email protected]!