Making a site look great is not only what web design is about. A website needs to offer usability, it needs to be coherent and its needs to satisfy the user. Thinking about the way users behave on websites will ensure more return visits and longer visits in general.
Avoid Navigational Overhauls
With trends and technology changing all the time, websites receive constant upheavals. One thing to try and change slowly however, is the navigation. As much as you want new users to frequent your site, it shouldn’t be at the risk of alienating existing users. Those who come to your site regularly will know their way around, the last thing they want is to not know where they’re going: just think about how annoying it is when your local supermarket moves the ketchup or the loo rolls?
Thinking about the F Pattern
Web user research has long indicated that most users read sites in an F pattern. The read across the top couple of lines, then skip down a paragraph, read across a couple more lines and then simply look down the left hand side for what they want. This tutorial blog offers a host of handy suggestions for working with the F Pattern.
Banner Blindness Theories
The theory goes that web users have suffered years of banners and as a consequence have become blind to them. The risk to web designers is that with users no longer looking at banners, any important information displayed in this way may be overlooked. If you do want to draw users’ attention to an ad of your own, then place it at the top left hand corner where visitors look first and not across the top or bottom. Ensure the banner flows with the style of the site. If you don’t feel confident about creating your own banners in this way then find a company such as Viziononline web designers who’ll be able to advise.
These are just a few user behaviour considerations: more can be viewed on this excellent slideshow.
Thinking about the way in which users operate on the web should be considered at all parts of the design process. Rather than try and manipulate the way users interact with the internet, use their behaviour as a guide.