To build a really user friendly web site, made a list of rules that I consider a user really hates, and us, as the site designers, try to work on:
I don’t want to be lost in your site.
The usability is the key to your web site. The user ought to be able to easily tell “where I am” and “what I am doing” all the time on your web site. How to do this? Good navigation system and clear links. They really need to stand out from the rest of the content. Sometimes a simple underlink navigation beats the sophisticated rollover image manu. Why? Because they are just easier to follow.
I love your content, but can I see your main point first?
Every web site (or page) need to have a clear point from the very beginning. Web users scam the content. And they will appreciate the clear writing which shows them what this page is all about.
I love your content, but I am lazy and I don’t want to dig around.
Links are good. They provide nice structure. But overuse the internal links can really test someone’s patience. Don’t make the users make too many clicks. For example, if you contact phone number and email are short enough (which is true most of the time), show them instead of putting a “click here” link which leads to another page.
Your image is obscure, and what does this icon mean?
Images bring the liveliness to your web page. And remember, they can also be the source of the distraction. The image needs to fit the whole theme of your web page. They are the “eye-pleasers”, not dominant roles.
Talk to me…
Write the web copy like you are talking to someone.
Left, or right?
I’ve seen some web sites place their logo on the right top corner of the page. Quitely frankly I think this is not a very good idea. In English speaking country, people read from left to right. Maybe that logo looks nice on the right, but it really works against users’ brain.
My eyes don’t want to jump!
A web site needs to have a consistent flow, left to right, up and down. It should guide the user to the next click or next part of your page, natuarally.