We have a wide range of business customers using our website builder, but it was certainly a first when a six-year-old signed up to our free service and built a website this weekend.
As much as this shocked us at first, it actually turned out to be the best website usability test we had ever done. If a six-year-old can navigate through your website, then you have most likely succeeded in creating an intuitive and easy to use product.
When my 18-month-old son turned on and swiped my Apple devices to unlock, I realised the genius behind Apple’s product designs. It came as second nature for him to press the only big button on the iPad and swipe to unlock. Apple products are simple and intuitive to use, whether you are a six-year-old or an advanced business user.
A six-year-old can teach you many lessons about website design:
A. Design it so that even a six year old can use it.
This intuitive user experience (UX) is something to consider when designing your website. Your target audience may not be six-year-olds, but you should endeavour to make your site as easy to use and navigate as possible. If a six-year-old can use it, then certainly most of your other customers will be able to navigate through your website.
With so much competition on the web, good design and UX is the key to keeping people on your site and converting them into customers. When you’re fighting for good search engine rankings, the last thing you want to do is create unnecessary barriers between your prospects and the information they’re looking for. It needs to be effortless or users will click away from your website within seconds.
B. If you need instructions then it’s too complicated.
I’ve seen websites with instructions on how to navigate them — if you have to explain, it’s not simple enough. Ensure your information is easy to find and your processes are seamless. Remember, simple doesn’t mean the same as basic. Your website can still be packed with interactive features, but an intuitive interface will ensure your prospects will know the logical sequence of steps.
C. Set a clear objective and design around it.
Think about what you want to achieve through your website. Do you want people to buy from your site, make a booking or just get in touch? Decide your goal and create call-to-action buttons that clearly state these objectives. And if you are not sure, ask yourself, could a six-year-old figure this out?
D. Minimise options available
The iPhone has only external one button. Click that button and you will always be re-oriented to your main page.
You should try to minimise the number of options or navigation routes you provide to your web visitors. It is easy for your website visitors to get distracted or even confused if you give them too many options – e.g. pricing packages, services, contact information, etc. The more you confuse your visitors, the less likely they are to proceed to your call-to-action.
Think of this as a funnel where you reduce the number of options as the customer proceeds through the buying process until there is just one option which is to press “buy.”