When it comes to creating a website that users will click on and stay on, the quality of the content is not enough. You can have the best, most perfectly-tailored content around, but that won’t mean anything if you haven’t utilized key design principles that will keep your audience’s attention. You don’t need to be a UX ninja or an expert web designer to pull it off. All you need to know is a few simple rules for improving usability and making sure that your website isn’t driving away potential customers. Here are the essential design tips that will turn clicks into customers.
1. Compressed Hierarchies and the ‘Three Click Rule’
One of the most important things you can do to keep potential customers on your site is to reduce the amount of labor needed to get essential information or services from you. If they have to spend a lot of time navigating different pages and clicking different pop-ups to get where they want, it is more than likely that they will simply give up and close the tab.
Many designers swear by the so-called ‘three click rule’, whereby you should make sure that any kind of query or purchase never takes more than three clicks. It’s the reason why major e-commerce sites like Amazon allow you to go from browse to purchase in two or three clicks. It works.
2. Formatting Text to Allow for Skimming
Even if your website is full of beautiful long-form writing, chances are most users will not be interested in reading it. People like to skim and absorb information as quickly as possible, as this helps them decide quickly whether they have found what they are looking for on a site. You can format your on-screen text in a way that is conducive to productive skim-reading.
One way to do this is to format all of your paragraphs into an ‘F’ formation, as eye-tracking studies have shown that this is how most readers follow a piece of text. If you aren’t sure how this looks, simply go onto a Google search results page and see if you can notice how all of the chucks of text move in an F shape.
3. Make Sure Important Content is Instantly Accessible
If you can manage it, make sure that all of your important content is easily visible and accessed from your landing page. Users want to get an instant idea of what you are offering and be able to access those offerings in a single step. This means making use of comprehensive drop-down menus or going for a long or endless scroll front page that contains everything a user could possibly want from your website.
A common example of this in action can be found in the world of online casino games. A look at the landing page for William Hill’s online slots games reveals that all of the slot games, including their titles, logos, and jackpot sizes, are all visible and clickable on a single page. This kind of design will keep customers on your page and undeterred.
4. To the Left, To the Left
Finally, another important design principle is to stack all of your most important features, links, and content on the left-hand side of the page. Studies tend to bear out that web users’ eyes, and therefore their attention, stays firmly on the left side of a webpage for most of the time.
There is no definite explanation for this, but some researchers believe it is because we are trained from a very early age to read books from left to right. To see this in action, go to the website of a major news platform like the New York Times, where you will see that all of their big, attention-grabbing headlines and stories are clustered on the left-hand side of the homepage.
With these simple design tips, you will be able to retain customer attention for longer. As we all know, attention translates to custom, so don’t hesitate to implement these tips today.