When designing a website, many people prefer the technical side and simply ignore the design part, which is perhaps the most important for the end-user. A website which fails to render a quality architecture and which is hard to browse around will most likely be avoided by the user on future times. We live in a world where online competition is ever-growing and where businesses are making huge efforts to stay unique and appealing on top of the others. In this regard, a website with a good flow is essential. How can this be achieved, especially when speaking about the business environment?
What human’ psychology tells us.
When analyzing a website or a tool in general, humans are used to viewing a clear sketch in their mind and relating to their past experiences. Thus, if the user has previously seen a website better than yours, then it will regard yours as being inferior. This also relates to a feeling of freedom and spatiality. Just as a book is comprised of several pages divided into different sections, so should the website. In addition, we want to make sure that those sections are listed in the website’s navigation bar and the user can easily reach certain articles/sections of the website based on a specific keyword search.
Note that most people can’t really relate to multi-tasking activities quick enough to understand their initial purpose. For instance, when they receive a message or when first interacting with an app, the mind needs a certain period of time in order to adjust and act accordingly to the task’s purpose. For this very reason, website designers are recommended to divide the content into several parts before uploading it online. This way, the user-website interaction becomes a lot simpler.
What can we actually do to enhance a website’s flow?
In this regard, there are a few elements which need to be taken into account.
First of all: simplicity. Although this is quite an obvious element, many designers forget about it when building a website, in their effort to create more complex navigation panels. However, without simplicity, users cannot really get the most out of your website.
To simplify the design of a business website, a number of steps must be accomplished. First of all, it’s necessary to minimize the time it takes for a user to complete a certain action, to reduce the number steps required for it, and also to minimize the number of your website’s less than necessary features. It’s also mandatory to reduce the number of elements on a page, as users will find it difficult to cope with them.
The next thing which designers should take into account is users’ self-awareness. In other words, you have to clearly drive your visitors to their objectives, without making them wondering at any point if “this worked or not”. You need to ensure that each required step is outline clearly, otherwise some of your website’s magic might get lost.
Another element which must be taken into account is self-service. You must put your users in the middle of the action through different means. For example, you could make them press an extra button, let them try out different inputs, or by simply ensuring their ability to serve themselves, rather than be passive bystanders to the process.
A great browsing experience and a nice look are two elements which should not miss from your miss business website. These elements together form the so-known “website flow”, the one which manages to lead users to part in the action. In the absence of it, you’re only driving your visitors to the competition, since they are the one who take advantage of your weaknesses.