Here you’ll find some WordPress usability guidelines that will help put your visitors at ease on your website.
Why will they be so relaxed?
Because you’ve considered usability in the design of your website.
You’ve put emphasis on their needs and desires rather than copying some of the common mistakes that bloggers, designers and even marketers make.
What does conversion mean for your blog?
When people are relaxed and feel in control of their experience, they’re more likely to:
- Read more of your content
- Sign-up to your newsletter
- Engage with your brand or business
WordPress Usability Guidelines
If you want to give your content the best chance of being read and shared, I recommend at least starting with these points:
- Your page background to text contrast should be high, to make reading easy. Black on white is fine and is a well established convention.
- Place your logo or site name in the top-left of your page
- Your site name or logo links to the home page
- Make your links blue
- Don’t use blue for anything that’s not a link (except in images). If you set an unusual link color only use this for links and not other things.
- Make your body font a web-safe style such as Helvetica, Arial or Georgia at 16px size for maximum readability.
- Have a decent line-height for your body text to make it easy to read
- Use space between the elements to let your content breathe
- Break up your content with appropriate use of formatting
- Have at least one call to action above the fold i.e. Email sign-up (without the user needing to scroll down)
- Include a search field either in your header or sidebar
- Keep the layout consistent from page to page. Moving the sidebar and changing major design elements often creates confusion. The exception being landing pages (that are even more simple).
- All audio visual presentations, including slideshows should be user-controlled. No automatic movement of any kind.
- Your website should signal clearly to your target audience ‘this is for you’. This means a strong tagline and well crafted headlines.
- Optimize your site to load quickly.
- Use relevant images. Refrain from using stock photos
- Use keyword rich alt-tags relevant to your images
- A well written about page. Learn how to create a great about page here.
- A clear contact page or link
- Well structured title tags for search engines and user bookmarking
Some things to avoid
Here you’ll find some things that are guaranteed to confuse your visitors and increase the bounce rate. i.e. The number of people that leave your site after visiting only one page.
- Sliders and carousels – yes they’re very popular but they’re proven to make people ignore the content. Learn why they annoy users right here.
- Too many colors and graphics – you need a limited palett of color and images in order to make your content easy to read and digest. In addition you need one action color for all links, buttons and calls-to-action.
- Too many different fonts – Same principle as the colors. Having a few signature fonts for the site titles and headlines (as long as it’s easy to read) is fine but too much variation creates confusion.
- Why Your Website Should Strive for Simplicity – Kissmetrics Blog
- Mastery, Mystery, and Misery: The Ideologies of Web Design – Nielsen Group
- How Users Read on the Web – Nielsen Group
- What’s the BEST color for high conversions? – Social Triggers
- What’s the Best Font For Your Site? (The Psychology of Fonts) – Social Triggers
When you look at this list, how does your website shape up?
Have you clearly articulated who your audience is, and what their specific expectations might be?