25 usability tips for a user friendly website

25 August 2011

Lets keep it simple. Just a list of things you can do to make your website more user friendly:

  1. Keep the main menu short and place less important links in a footer

  2. Don't use content area's that are too wide. Create columns if needed. Max 60 characters.

  3. When a user clicks the logo (left top) they should always return to the homepage

  4. Place the logo and navigation on the same place in every page.

  5. Make sure the current active item in the navigation is highlighted.

  6. Use a line-height of somewhere around 1.5 em's. Higher looks nicer, but reads crappier.

  7. Don't use small fontsizes for text to read. Apply a minimal fontsize of 12px.

  8. Center the content on the center of the page.

  9. Don;t be affraid of whitespace. Use it wisely to group elements together.

  10. Use font size, color and decorations to let important content stand out.

  11. Link relative and related content in you text.

  12. Always underline links except in main navigation.

  13. Use quotes or blocks of larger text to highlight important phrases.

  14. A dark grey letter is easier to read on a white background than a black letter.

  15. Never uppercase a whole word. Uppercase words are screaming. You don't want to scream on your website.

  16. Break content in small parts with paragraphs and headings.

  17. Always have a button to submit a form, never links with Javascript click actions which disable the press-enter-to-submit functionality of a form.

  18. Never ever redesign standard UI elements like scrollbars.

  19. Use breadcrumbs when you have more than 2 levels of pages in your page hierarchy.

  20. Rephrase the searched-for keyword in searchresults. People forget what they are looking for within seconds.

  21. Call your homepage "home". Not something like "welcome" or "howdy stranger!"

  22. Use search-engine-friendly URL's. They are readable and result in better pageranking.

  23. Keep forms as short as possible. Only ask what you really need to know.

  24. Always add a hyperlink when referring to content on your own website.

  25. Try to add a title attribute to all links on your site.

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