USGBC Studio: Best practices for a better user experience on your website


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USGBC Studio: Best practices for a better user experience on your website

The web is an amazing place to share and create a wealth of content. But how do you ensure users are having the best experience possible on your website when it comes to viewing that content? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Simple navigation: It’s easy to think that adding a link to the main navigation will give a page more visibility. But the more choices available, the more overwhelmed your users will feel. Instead of trying to fit everything into the main nav, evaluate what your website’s key pages are. Simpler navigation makes it easier for users to move around on your site. It also gives those few pages higher visibility than if they were bogged down with several items alongside them.
  • Avoid too many choices: Adding too many links or call-to-action items to a webpage will only confuse visitors. Really think about what’s important and what the intent is behind your website. That way, you can guide users to make specific decisions.
  • Less is more: Try to capture your users’ attention by using brief and straightforward text. About half of all users visiting websites only spend about 15 seconds on them. With that kind of attention span, it’s important to draw your audience in and maintain their interest. Or at the very least, create content they can easily skim.
  • Create interest with images: Text-heavy pages are not your friend. Instead, create more user-friendly and readable pages by breaking up text with related images and illustrations.
  • Minimalist design: You may think that the more bells and whistles you add with images and interactivity, the better the design is for your website. The reality is that less is more. Simplistic and minimalist designs are the way to go when it comes to web layout. Why? They’re easier to translate to different devices without significantly altering the look and feel of the website. They also make it easier to highlight what you want users to focus on.
  • Think responsive: These days, websites are being viewed from smart phones, tablets—a huge array of electronic devices. With that in mind, your content should be easy to digest for different users. You shouldn’t use graphics that are so complex that when they are resized for mobile devices, it’s hard to tell what the images are. Be aware that the page layout will constantly shift for a responsive site, so the content should be flexible for different device widths. Also note that if your site isn’t responsive, anyone on a mobile device will have a bad experience.
  • Don’t put too much content at the top of the page: Users are accustomed to scrolling, so don’t be afraid to space your content out. Give the text room to breathe and break it up with supporting graphics. The information on each page should tell a story, guiding the user to scroll to the bottom of the page.

Check out some of USGBC’s websites: usgbc.orgusgbc.org/discoverleedleed.usgbc.org, centerforgreenschools.org, greenapple.org and greenschoolsconference.org.

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