Is Your Website User Friendly?

7 questions you can ask to determine your website's user friendliness

Smiling woman using a tablet
A website that is easy to use makes for a good user experience.

One of the most common requests I hear from clients when discussing plans for their new website is that they want it to be “user friendly.” This is a logical goal, but being able to determine whether or not your website is, indeed, user friendly is often a difficult task.

The best way to establish a site’s user friendliness is to conduct professional user testing. This is not always possible, however.

If budget, timeline, or other constraints are preventing you from doing actual UX testing on your site, you can still make some high-level assessments to determine if it is user friendly or not. Let’s take a look at 7 questions you can ask during this assessment.

1. Does It Work Well on All Devices?

On today’s Web, visitors are using a wide range of devices with a staggering variety of screen sizes. For a website to be user friendly, it must accommodate each of these devices and screen sizes with an experience suitable for each.

Multi-device support means much more than just having the design “fit” on smaller screens. A website that was designed for large desktop screens will scale down for the small screens of mobile smartphones, but just because the site appears on that smaller screen does not mean it provides an acceptable user experience. A site that is built with a responsive approach and which focuses on delivering the best possible layout and experience for users on the device that they are using at that moment is a key step in establishing user friendliness.

2. Does It Load Quickly?

As sites become more and more bloated and weighed down by different resources (images, Javascript dependencies, social media feeds, etc.), their loading time is impacted negatively. This makes for sluggish, slow loading websites that frustrate and often drive away visitors.

Access your website on various devices to see how quickly it loads.

You can also use third party testing tools to evaluate your site’s overall speed and performance. Once you have a picture for how your site stacks up currently from a performance standpoint, you can make the necessary adjustments to improve that download speed and performance.

3. Is The Navigation Intuitive?

A website’s navigation is like the control panel for that site. That navigation is how visitors will move from page to page or section to section of the site and how they will find what they are looking for. Navigation that is clear and easy to understand allows people to orient themselves quickly. This is important, because if a visitor does not know what to do next, the next move that they make may be hitting the “Back” button to leave your site altogether.

4. Does It Have Quality Content?

Few people consider content quality when they assess a website’s user friendliness, but that content is absolutely an essential ingredient in a site’s success and how users perceive the site.

People come to a website for its content. Whether that content is the products you sell from an Ecommerce store, the news or articles you are publishing in a blog, or something else entirely, content must be relevant, timely, and useful if it hopes to support a good user experience.

5. Is The Text Easy to Read?

The quality of a site’s typographic design is another factor in determining site friendliness. If the content on your site is hard to read, you can all but guarantee that people will not make the struggle to read it. Text should be an appropriate size and contrast to make reading it easy. It should also have adequate spacing and use fonts with letterforms that are easy to distinguish.

6. Does it Have An Enjoyable User Experience?

Too often people focus only on making a site easy to use. They ignore the benefits of creating an experience that is both intuitive and enjoyable. A website that creates a fun, enjoyable experience is often a memorable one, which is a positive for that visitor and for the company.

When evaluating a website’s user friendliness, understand that ease of use comes first, but do not discount the benefits of adding a bit of delight into that experience as well.

7. Is The Site Search Engine Friendly?

Most people equate a site that is optimized for search engines as being a benefit to the company for whom the site is for, rather than the people who will use it. This is not true. Of course, a site that ranks very well in search engines is a boon for that company, but it also benefits visitors to that site by making it easy for them to find content that is relevant to them through that search engine query.