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Passing the 5 Second Test: Designing Intuitive Websites

Designing an intuitive website, where the user instinctively knows the layout of the site and how to navigate it, is a vital aspect to a businesses web page design. With intuitive design, the user will feel confident in the navigational system of the website, and the business itself will gain credibility in the mind of the user. What are the components of intuitive web design, and what are components of a non- intuitive web design? Here are a few examples:

1. An intuitive web design is “invisible”. It just works. An invisible intuitive web design means that the website works well and navigates effectively without the user having to worry about it. There aren’t any glaring inconsistencies, or links out of order, or a problem with the general layout.  The user doesn’t need to worry about how it works, just that it works without having to think about it.

2. An intuitive web design understands its target audience. A business does plenty of studies on marketing their product to an audience, and the same should be done for a website. This can be difficult because the level of knowledge a user brings to the website is varied. Some have limited understanding of what makes a website good, some may be more tech savvy. The user, despite all prior knowledge, expects to find what they are looking for easily. If they have limited experience, it should be a simple process to find out what to look for. As a rule of thumb, the simpler and more organized the navigation and layout, the more intuitive the web design will be.

3. A non- intuitive web design is messy and difficult to navigate. If links are out of order in terms of importance, or if the navigation bars are not horizontal or vertical, the web design cannot be intuitive. The user will intuitively know that the website is cumbersome, even if they have limited knowledge of how a website should work. The more frustrated a user becomes, the more likely they are to click out of the website.

A business has a small window of opportunity with their target audience on a website. An intuitive web design will entice the user to relax and surf the site with ease, knowing that he can find what it is he is looking for. Poorly designed and difficult to navigate sites will cause the user to become frustrated, and perhaps go elsewhere.  This is why it is vital for a business to take advantage of affordable packages that can improve the intuitiveness of a website’s design.


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