Website Readability Best Practices
The web is dominated by minimalistic websites emphasizing readability and accessibility. Having a site that follows basic website readability and usability standards is important. Many businesses advertise or invest in content marketing. However, some users who land on their site leave because they don’t understand what you’re trying to sell them.
This article will teach you how to improve website readability and accessibility. Let’s get started.
Website Readability Best Practices
Here’s what you can do to improve the readability of your website right now.
Make your text easy to read
As noted, text clarity is key. Your visitors will navigate away from landing pages if they are confused about your message or cannot read your content.
Use readable, web-friendly fonts, and make them large enough for users on all devices.
- Contrast is important — black on white text is easier to read than white on black. Whatever combos you use on your site, ensure they are complementary colors that allow for sufficient contrast.
- Font spacing, always overlooked, should be large enough to create reading ease, especially when large chunks of text are involved.
- Device compatibility — your site should be accessible across all devices, meaning the design should be responsive.
- Make it engaging — whether it’s content on your homepage or other selling pages, or just blog posts, make it engaging. Use subheadings to signal content intent and bullets and images to make blocks of text less dull.
- Whitespace — have plenty of unused space on every page. A crowded page will not lead to better conversion, just to more confusion.
- Site speed — Keep an eye on general loading times. Speed greatly improves site usability, and slow websites will frustrate visitors.
Use relevant headings and calls to action
Guide your visitors through your site with relevant text that will show them what they are clicking on, what page they are on, and how they can navigate away from that page.
The first heading they will come in contact with when landing on the site is on the homepage, preferably above the fold. Use that to explain your business and unique selling proposition, aka mission.
Below is a screenshot of our homepage when you land on it. You can understand that we are a design agency that does franchise marketing and works with service businesses and nonprofits.
Make your images count
Everybody pays attention to images. If you are using them to bring attention to relevant, related products or blog posts, make sure they accurately convey the message of the page. When integrating images in posts or on your homepage, caption them or explain how they relate to the rest of the content.
While some designers will integrate experimental navigation into sites, that is not the most successful way to make your site easily accessible. Use classic patterns to increase the site pages’ learnability, including having main items visible in header navigation and subitems included in dropdowns.
If you have a more complex structure than that, another way to do it is to include side navigation for category pages. This is how Amazon deals with having a lot of items. They divide them into categories on a large sidebar:
Also, don’t forget about the “back” buttons. Make it easy for users to navigate away from their page and return to the homepage or the main category page.
Hypertext will point out links in context, but make sure you are highlighting it and changing the color to make it stand out. Here’s an example from Semrush:
Use modern design to stand out
Using a “modern” design doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to stand out with layout manipulations, images, colors, and content. However, standing out with a 1992-looking website is not the answer.
Your readers have used the web before, and they will unconsciously compare your website design. Keep your general layout in line with trends to create the appearance of a business that is cutting-edge in all it does.
Here are a few web design trends to keep in mind.
Large hero images
Hero images or the large images displayed above the fold can convey what your site is about in a glimpse. That image, accompanied by a relevant heading, is your one chance to make an impression on your visitors and show them what your site is about. They might navigate away from the site if they don’t understand your business and what you bring to the table in three seconds.
Tile or card design
Tiles or cards are used as a design technique when you have more categories of products, blog posts, etc that you would like to feature while not taking up a lot of space.
Users these days are accustomed to small or micro-interactions, in which hovering over a box or button will create a reaction. You can take advantage of this opportunity by providing extra information in the hover state, but, whatever you do, you have to make it clear with design that, when, clicking that, they will navigate away from their current page or perform a specific action.
Last but not least, never stop testing. Making minor tweaks to your site at all times shows Google it is frequently being updated, giving you a ranking boost. It would also allow you the chance to capture more conversions. It could be having it adapt to devices, rearranging content, adding more pages, or deleting some that are not popular. Always try to keep your site up-to-date, relevant, clear, and concise, as it is your window to the digital world.
Still not sure how to improve your website readability? Contact Bright Pink Agency!
Website design and development (which includes website readability) is a complicated endeavor that must be taken seriously if you want your business to thrive. Each business must have a unique website that caters to its audience and shows its services or products in the best light possible There are plenty of design options for everyone. Contact us to discuss your website needs and expectations.