In a day and age where the majority of business is done online and the majority of information is found and shared online, the functionality of a website has never been as important as it is now. How many times have you been searching online for a particular topic and clicking through the suggestions from you search engine, only to find a few websites that are poorly designed, have tons of pop-up ads, perhaps slow load times or even have false links to other websites? Anyone who has dealt with this knows how frustrating it can be. In fact, chances are you probably click out of the website before you even read the content. This is because consumers, whether it be of information or products, are looking for the most easy and efficient way to get what they need. When the brain perceives numerous barriers, it will reject what it is looking at and look for another, easier option. This is the root of why web design is so important to attracting and retaining consumers, again, whether they are looking for products OR information. The below list explains some of the most important aspects of web design when it comes to attracting and retaining users.
- Responsive design: Statistics show that a vast majority of people are using their phones or other mobile devices like tablets to browse the internet. This means that a website must look good and load appropriately on every kind of device from a desktop to a laptop to a tablet to a smart phone. If you have ever opened a website on your phone to discover you have to pinch at it and drag it in order to read any of the text or navigate to where you want to go, you likely looked for another website option that did not force you to do this.
- Network security: Have you ever noticed that some websites, in the address bar, will show a little padlock icon? This means the page is encrypted, or in other words, secure. This means that your information is likely much more safe to share on this page. While network security is not a perfect science, keeping an eye out for this padlock symbol will help differentiate between secured and unsecured sites.
- Working links: Something else that is a cause for frustration for web users is when links are broken or go to a location that is not clear. Websites should employ IT solutions in order to make sure that all links are working properly and that when a user clicks on them, they can be sure of where it will take them. Often if a user clicks a dead or broken link, they will get frustrated and look for that information elsewhere on the internet. Because the internet has so many options, it will not be difficult for them to find similar information on another, better designed website.
In an era where people are so technologically savvy, there is no excuse for not having (or using) a website that is secured and well-designed.