Is your website usable and engaging to your visitors?
Does your website clearly communicate what you can offer to visitors? Is it easy to navigate, to find the right information? Is it easy to follow, with engaging presentations? And is it accessible to different types of people?
Clear Hierarchy & Messaging Plan
Does your website have clear messages, groupings, and hierarchy?
A visitor should be able to understand who you are, what you offer to them, and how to find the right information.
They shouldn’t be overwhelmed with messages, options, and content.
Each page should have a clear task it helps the user accomplish.
Make a clear hierarchy on each webpage (prioritizing the most common and important message). Group, stage, and prioritize your various resources and pieces of content.
The website should use headings, sub-headings, and body text that are differentiated using font size, color, space, and bolding/italicization.
There should not be content-dumps or undifferentiated lists of resources.
You have great expert content. Don’t put it in long paragraphs. People won’t read it, and search engines won’t feature it.
Instead, lay out your content in formats that people & search engines prefer:
- FAQ question and answers
- Step-by-step bullet point or numbered lists
- Slider stories
- Chatbot conversations
Can people find the problem, topic, or tool that they need?
You should have clearly labeled, easily-used navigation menus and search bars to help people get to where they need to go.
The home page should also have most commonly used issue areas and resources featured, so it’s easy for people to jump to.
There should not be too many sidebars or competing navigation choices.
Clean & Consistent Layout
Does the site use white space to give the user a clear, calm experience?
Do not overstuff the page with content and navigation. Especially when emergency messages, liability disclaimers, and privacy cookie messages are on the site — are you overwhelming the visitor with clicks, distractions, and competing messages?
Have a layout for each page type that has lots of white space, good hierarchy, and consistent templates.
Can people of different backgrounds use the site easily?
Use sans-serif fonts.
Make the smallest size font still above 12pt size. Do not use dense, small print.
Ensure your contrast ratio for text-to-background is above 7:1 for normal text and 4.5:1 for 18pt or larger.
Have images with high resolution, and with ‘alt text’ descriptions so that people with screen readers can understand them.
Do not have your content in static pdfs.
Check your website’s design perforance
Want to check how your website is performing when it comes to Design & Content?
Use this DIY design audit. Go through your main pages, and rank how your site is doing, when it comes to user-friendly navigation, hierarchy, content, and visuals.