Make Users Happy with a Clear Page Purpose

Good website design is always based on what we want the user to do and how users act. Let’s examine what makes users stick around and convert when on a given website page.

At a conference I was at recently, the myth of “the fold” was once again introduced. I cringed in my seat. As has been shown time and time again, there is no fold on the web. The idea does however make intuitive sense.

The concept of “the fold” suggests that users do not scroll and that only content above this magical fold is seen and read. The data however suggest that this is not true. In fact, the opposite seems to be true. In this day and age, users are very comfortable with scrolling and the sheer amount of display sizes too makes the concept slightly outdated.

What is relevant however is to discuss how we capture a user’s interest above the fold (that doesn’t exist). It should be instantly clear to a user who arrives at any given page on your website:

  • What is the page about?
  • Does this page help me do what I wanted to do?
  • Is this content trustworthy?

The above questions intertwine slightly, where the second one being what the user really is looking for, especially if coming from a search engine. “Have I gotten what I was looking for?”.

Adding this clarity to pages is not just writing some content as body copy, add an image and be happy. There is a design process to match the content and we need to carefully think about how to display the content to user so that a decision about relevancy is easy to make.

Trustworthiness can be increased by friendly customer references and a “good feeling”. Clear headlines and easily accessible content both in wording and design can make the user grasp the page’s relevancy quicker.

All this boils down to helping the user. By helping the user we help ourselves increase the efficiency of our pages, which is a good thing for everyone.

Photo: “Trading stocks on a computer” by OTA Photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0