We’ve all been there before: visiting a website that makes us want to scream and throw our computer across the room. It could’ve been for any number of reasons. Maybe you finally found the right page, then it loaded slowly, and once it was finished loading you realized it wasn’t actually the right page.
Or, maybe you tried to visit a page on your phone but the website, which said it was optimized for mobile, wasn’t actually, and the information you needed was cut off. Maybe the website loaded quickly and was optimized for your screen, but you looked and looked and still couldn’t find anything you needed.
All of these situations make the user feel stress.
Whichever problems you’ve personally run into when browsing the web in the past, you know that it’s critical to the success of your business that your website doesn’t stress out users. Stress drives people away, right into the arms of your competitors.
So, web developers and business owners know the importance of making sure that a website provides a peaceful, engaging, informative, stress-free experience for users. What exactly goes into that? The answer is, well, a lot. Here are three important tips so that you can know how to develop a stress-free website:
- Craft an elegant and pleasing design
- Only include great content
- Implement a clear navigation process
Life is stressful enough. When a potential customer visits your website, you don’t want them to encounter any additional stress. If there are a lot of videos that pop up out of nowhere and prevent the user from getting to where they want to go, that creates a stressful experience.
This also applies to the colors that you use. Color symbolism and color psychology tell us that bright colors can be great for attracting attention, but they can also send a message of “danger” or “warning.” In most cases, you don’t want your website to send that stressful message.
It’s also important that your layout is sleek and you’re using easy-to-read fonts and spacing. When the information is there but difficult to read (maybe you’ve used light gray, which can be hard on many users’ eyes), then you’re stressing out potential customers.
Don’t fall into the traps of including too many distracting features, like videos, pop-ups, or busy colors. Instead, think about colors that are calming and reminiscent of nature, which can be extremely peaceful.
In order to keep your website visitors engaged and ready to move forward, your site needs to feature great content in a simple format. This means that you should make sure that the language throughout your site is easy to understand.
If your product is in a more technical industry, it can be easy to get caught up with jargon and to use it in the main links on your site. Don’t fall into this trap! If a potential customer doesn’t understand the menu options because the vocabulary is too advanced, you’re going to stress them out and lose them.
In addition to making sure the language is jargon-free, it’s important to also make sure that the language is engaging and relevant to your customers. If the information is boring, you might end up frustrating your customers. Include content that’s both informative and clever whenever possible.
For great content, make sure it’s jargon-free and engaging.
Possibly the most important aspect of creating a stress-free website is making sure that the navigation is clear. This is hugely important because if a customer can’t easily find what they need on your website, then they’re going to walk away and find it on a website that’s easier to understand and navigate.
There are many types of navigation, including standard horizontal navigation, hamburger (or hidden) navigation, sticky navigation, and mega navigation. Each of these styles has its own benefits, so you should investigate what you think will work best for your particular business.
Whichever type of navigation you choose, you should be sure to make sure that your main menu has no more than eight choices. According to research, more than eight is overwhelming and will stress out your customer.
You should also make sure that your navigation follows the two-click rule. If an average user can’t find a page in two-clicks (for instance, they see the main menu, they click on one sub-menu, and then they find and click on the page they want), then it’s going to be too stressful and they will probably end up leaving.
Clear navigation is absolutely critical when it comes to developing a stress-free website experience for your users. Without it, your users will feel lost and will drift away… right to the competition.
There are many moving parts that go into developing a website, but three of the most important for a stress-free experience are having an elegant design, great content, and clear navigation. The world is already such a stressful place. Make sure that you’re providing your customers with the best possible web experience, so that they’ll want to spend their time having an engaging, smooth experience on your website.