The importance of having a user-friendly interface

When building websites, companies sometimes pay too much attention to content and not enough attention to website UI. What does UI mean though? It is short for the user interface. In other words, parts and features of the website that the user sees and interacts with. Web developers should always focus on making the website easy to use, easy to understand, and easy to navigate.

If users can not find what they’re looking for, they will get frustrated and leave. Most likely, they will never come back. This is the worst-case scenario for a business, especially one that relies on returning customers. In short, having amazing content means nothing without also having a user-friendly interface.

Does it affect your bottom line?

Yes, user-friendly websites are typically more profitable than those that are not. This is for a number of reasons. If the website or web application makes money primarily from ads, then more engagement means more time spent on the website, which means more ad revenue. Even if you don’t make money from ads, you want users to interact with your website. This allows you to study their habits and notice patterns to further improve your website and optimize it for users.

Important things to remember

Never forget that you (the creators of the website) may be different from your intended audience. For example, you might find it easy to work on a tech website, because you understand technology yourself. However, the people who will come to your website want to learn about technology, so they know very little. It’s important to not confuse them.

New users might not be familiar with the latest trends. Always assume that they’re seeing the website for the first time, and make the website usable for them regardless.

Web developers sometimes live in a bubble where everyone around them understands technology, at least to some extent. But you’d be surprised to find out that 90% of internet users are not good with technology.

Practical tips

If you have a website that is difficult to figure out, include a tutorial that introduces people to the most important pages and features.

Identify which pages are the most troublesome for your users and try to simplify them. For example, I run a small quiz website and a lot of my audience were struggling with the forms they had to fill out. I implemented a number of UI features to fix this.

My website was built in React, so I could easily implement these dynamic features. For example, after users signed up, I would redirect them to a dashboard page and give them access to the admin panel. Here is how to use useNavigate() to redirect users in React.

If the users had to work with the same form over and over, I cleared their inputs after every submission, so they didn’t have to delete their own inputs.

Summary

When building websites or applications, user-friendliness should be your main concern.