Friday, March 4, 2011

50 Tips To A User Friendly Website

1. Clicking on the logo should take you to the home page;

2. Your logo/site title should be positioned in the top left of the page;

3. Duplicate your main navigational links in the page footer with links to additional, but less prominent pages;

4. Keep your navigation positioning consistent from page to page;

5. Don’t open links in a new tab/window, except PDF’s and embedded documents;

6. Highlight your current location in your navigation bar;

7. Use reasonable sized fonts (12px or larger);

8. Make sure font sizes are flexible (Use em’s or %, not px);

9. Sans-serif fonts are easier to read at small sizes;

10. Serif fonts are easier to read at large sizes;

11. Center your layout on the screen;

12. Use a page width appropriate for your audience (Older people use lower resolutions, tech savvy people use higher resolutions);

13. Use whitespace to logically group related items on the page;

14. Use font sizes, colors and styles to prioritize content;

15. Use 1.4 or 1.5em line height;

16. Use line lengths of 45 – 60 characters, the same as a paperback book;

17. Link to related content within the context of your page content;

18. Make sure your links change color/style when visited;

19. Always underline links, except some navigational cases;

20. Do not make important parts of the website look like an advertisement;

21. Use pull quotes to highlight important content in a lengthy article;

22. Text should be concise and scannable;

23. Use dark gray text instead of black text on a white background;

24. Break long pages into multiple pages;

25. Do not use all uppercase words, word shape helps word recognition;

26. Divide text into sections and use sub headlines to make content more easily scanned;

27. Keep a consistent layout, colors and typography throughout the whole site;

28. Print friendly automatically with print stylesheets;

29. Use buttons to submit forms (Some images which look like buttons are ok);

30. Don’t disguise or over-style inputs;

31. Don’t redesign standard UI elements, like scrollbars (this means you, flash people!);

32. Use breadcrumb navigation for hierarchical content;

33. Search results page should reiterate the phrase you searched for;

34. Do call your homepage “home” – not “welcome,” “front page,” “your company name” or anything else;

35. Use short and easy to read URL’s;

36. Give links to other content on your site related to their current page;

37. Optimize images for fast downloading;

38. Publish new content regularly, don’t “set it and forget it;”

39. Test in all browsers and OS’s, and different versions – IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome;

40. Listen to your users and let them dictate changes (user centered design);

41. Avoid using jargon in page copy unless absolutely necessary;

42. Keep forms short, only ask for what you absolutely need;

43. Encourage conversation around your content. Comments, forums, etc…;

44. Include a text only sitemap;

45. Use the title attribute on links to add more context;

46. Never use “click here” as the text on a link;

47. Write in a inverted pyramid style;

48. Create friendly 404 pages which help people find content;

49. Create incentive to come back later;

50. Connect information via hyperlinks, don’t force navigational channels;

Reference -

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