- “What does this link do?”
- “Hmm. Pretty busy. Where should I start?”
- “Is this clickable?”
- “What does that title mean?”
- “There’s too much information to process”
This is the most important tip, which makes it number 1 on our list. People should just “get” how to use your website. Fear, doubt, and uncertainty creeps in when they have to think about how to use your website. If they get frustrated with your website, they’ll leave and find another. Example thoughts that cause fear, doubt, and uncertainty:
Imagine yourself driving and coming across a green stop sign. Do you stop or keep going? Whatever you chose to do, you probably had to think about it. And that usually spells fear, doubt, and uncertainty. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Most websites that try to do something new often come across gimmicky and hard to use. Keep things simple and use the current website conventions. For example, if most websites have their navigation on the left or top, you might consider doing the same also.
Most people don’t read web content word for word. That’s why it’s important to structure your content for scanning. Headings, bold fonts, descriptive links, and white space are a few of the things to consider when designing and writing your content.
Long lines of text tend to make it difficult for eyes to track back to the beginning of the next line. To make it easier for people to read or scan the page, keep content blocks narrow by limiting the characters to approximately 65 per line.
Narrow block example: Capilano University is a teaching-focused university offering a wide range of programs and services that enable students to succeed in their current studies, in their ongoing education, in their chosen careers, in their lifelong pursuit of knowledge and in their contribution as responsible citizens in a rapidly changing and diverse global community.
Wide block example: Capilano University is a teaching-focused university offering a wide range of programs and services that enable students to succeed in their current studies, in their ongoing education, in their chosen careers, in their lifelong pursuit of knowledge and in their contribution as responsible citizens in a rapidly changing and diverse global community.
Headings help people scan pages for information. On the web, up to 6 different headers can be used: h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6. Heading 1 (h1) tags are the largest and are most often used as the page title. The rest are used as subtitles to help divide content into different sections. Check out the 2 examples below. Which one would you prefer reading or scanning? Capilano University’s ePortfolios use WordPress, which are already equipped with an editor that can work with heading tags, so go ahead and try them out!
Use white space to help improve visual hierarchy of your website. Grouping content together can help draw attention to the important areas of the site and help people find what they’re looking for.