Web design is not only concerned about creating a good looking website; it is also concerned about making sure that a website is usable.
Far too many websites only focus on the aesthetics without ever thinking about the function based on the research made by website developer. You might think that it can mask all of your site’s flaws, but it can be soon found out by your users.
With that being said, the hallmark of user-centric web design is for you to craft a website that maintains the beauty of what you have in mind whilst also making sure that your site is fully functional and easy to use.
That being said, how can you achieve this and why is it so important?
It Makes Your Website More ‘Accessible’
The word ‘accessible’ can be used in so many contexts, but for the purposes of the article, I will refer to it as something that makes everything easier for the end-user.
User-centric web design is more focused on the end-user as opposed to just thinking about what design you should go with.
You make your websites more accessible by making it much easier for them to navigate through the different parts of your webpage.
For instance, you could implement a search bar for active users so they can easily find something that they really want.
Or, you can implement categories for passive users to just browse through your different product or service catalog.
Furthermore, the clever use of typography- both from an aesthetic and functional standpoint, is key.
You can either increase the font size to make everything more readable or you can use typography in a way that it ‘pops out’ to the user (or perhaps, you embed a link to your homepage if you use typefaces as part of your overall design).
It Makes for Proper Navigation
Adding to my previous point, you could also add other elements that will further enhance site navigation as well.
For instance, using hamburger menus can really minimize the screen clutter and so that the navigational links are much easier to see in the process.
Furthermore, using anchor menus can also help. These menus will follow the user whenever they scroll down and on the menu, there should be some useful links that people can just click so that they will get instantly redirected somewhere they want to be.
Consistency and Uniformity are both pillars of proper navigational schemes. Be sure to remain consistent all throughout. Mix and match accordingly until you find the ones that best work for you and your clientele.
Some Visual Considerations
A user-centric website, as I’ve alluded to earlier, is a site that keeps users in mind. You should never sacrifice simplicity for beauty. You want your website to look good, yes, but it has to follow a specific function first before you add elements to beautify the form.
There really is no specific rule for this, but as a rule of thumb, just make use of 3-4 colors so that your users won’t be bombarded with a lot of different color elements.
Moreover, the use of white space is advised so that you can give your customers a bit of a breathing room before consuming content again.