Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Importance of User-Friendliness

Is having a website important? Definitely. Is having a user-friendly website important? Even more so!

In fact, having a website that isn't user-friendly will actually do more harm than good. People visit your website for certain reasons - to find specific information, to browse your goods and services, to connect with you socially through links to your Facebook accounts, etc. But if that information isn't there, or if it's offered in a way that's confusing and annoying to navigate, then you've frustrated potential customers before they've even set foot in your building.

Like it or not, we're in the age where people tie your organization's image to its website. If the website is wonderful, they're more likely to think well of you and seek what you have to offer. But if the website is a disappointment and frustrating, or if it has an outdated design, that's what people will perceive about your business. You can have the friendliest employees in the world and the most updated services in your industry - but people will never know because your website turned them off. Not only did the website not adequately reflect your business, but it just harmed instead of helped.

Every business and organization needs to have a website in this day and age. But be careful not to focus too much on simply getting one, and not focus enough on what you're getting. If you're not sure what constitutes a user-friendly site, do some research online. Contact a web designer or two - with a decent portfolio! - and simply tell them you're doing research and ask if they could please impart some suggestions. You can also visit some of your favorite websites and take note of what makes them so easy - or not so easy - to navigate or use.

However you approach it, a little research will go a long way! The more user-friendly a site is, the more powerfully it will work for - rather than against - your business.