A website, first and foremost, must be user-friendly. At the very basic level, that means visitors to your site should be able to navigate through its content with ease. How users interact with various elements should be intuitive and content should be easy to read. Above all, the goal is to help guide users to where they want to go.
Once we’ve provided the basics, it’s time to think about adding more advanced touches that bring an even higher level of convenience. The idea is to provide functionality that is both easy to use and highly useful.
This is an area where WordPress really stands out. In fact, the whole basis of most WordPress plugins is to add user-friendliness in one form or another. As a web designer or site owner, you are literally just a couple of clicks away from adding features that will positively impact the user experience.
Today, we’ll introduce you to five plugins that will do just that. They can all be found over at Envato Elements, where a curated collection of 400+ WordPress themes and plugins have recently been added. A yearly subscription will provide you with unlimited access to everything in the WordPress collection, along with over 400,000 top-notch resources.
1. Help Customers Find the Nearest Location
For businesses with multiple locations, providing an easy way for users to find a path to your door is a must-have feature. People will want to know where you are and how to get there. Plus, they’ll want instant access to other important info such as business hours, services provided and a way to get in touch.
WordPress Store Locator is a true all-in-one solution. It uses geolocation to automatically guide users. Locations are attractively plotted out on a map, and each one can have its own listing with any pertinent information you’d like to share. Users can filter locations by virtually any criteria and the whole system is responsive to ensure that customers on-the-go can find you.
2. Cater to Mobile Users
While making sure that your website works on mobile devices is vital, it’s also become the bare minimum. These days, mobile users expect extra bells and whistles that cater to the strengths of their device. That means features like click-to-call, touch navigation and a search designed for small screens. It’s no longer enough to give mobile users a way to get around. Instead, provide them with features that enhance their experience.
Adding Touchy to your site will provide the conveniences that mobile users expect. The plugin enables a fully-customizable header and navigation that is built for small screens. Users can call or email you with a single touch. And the previously difficult idea of multi-level navigation on a small screen is handled gracefully.
3. Enable One-on-One Communication
Sometimes, visitors to your website need a little extra help. And while they can always email you directly or fill out a contact form, they may well have moved on by the time you can respond to them. Every extra minute gives them an opportunity to find what they’re looking for somewhere else. The solution? Adding a live chat feature enables you to interact with users in real time and can help you build a trusting relationship. It shows that you care about customer service and can result in increased conversions.
Facebook Live Chat for WordPress offers a simple and effective way to bring live chat to your website. Install the plugin, enter your Facebook page URL and you’re all set. Visitors to your site can contact you through a dialogue box that is connected to Facebook Messenger, so you can respond to them immediately. You can have multiple, simultaneous conversations while also providing users with a quick way to “like” your Facebook page.
4. Help Users Find the Perfect Product
WooCommerce enables you to sell online with ease. But if your store has a lot of products, it can be difficult for customers to find exactly what they’re looking for. That’s why it’s important to provide a simple way for users to filter product listings. If they’re looking for just one specific size, color or price range, they shouldn’t have to scroll through every product in your catalog. The easier you can make this process, the better chance you have of making a sale.
Product Filter for WooCommerce adds powerful filtering capabilities to your store’s shop and product archive pages. Customers can sort listings by any combination of categories, product attributes, ranges and meta keys–all in an easy-to-use interface. It helps users quickly narrow down your listings to just the products they want to see.
5. Empower Users to Help Themselves
As the old saying goes, “Knowledge is power”. And for websites that sell a product or service, providing a resource for users to conduct their own research is a powerful concept. Adding a knowledge base filled with useful information allows customers to learn how things work and solve their own problems. This makes them feel great and helps cut down on the number of support requests you receive.
Adding the Knowledge Base plugin allows you to create a full-featured support area for your website. A drag-and-drop UI lets you easily organize categories and articles to meet your needs. On the front end, an intuitive look and a live search feature helps users quickly find what they’re looking for. Users can even vote on the helpfulness of articles, letting you know what’s working and what needs to improve.
No matter what type of website you have, there is always room to improve user-friendliness. Think about what the typical user wants and needs from your site (or, better yet, ask them). Then, think about what it is you want them to do (sign up for an email list, make a purchase, etc.).
From there, the goal is to streamline the processes involved. Implement tools that will make things both as simple and useful as possible. It may sound difficult, but if you’re using WordPress, the right tools are within your reach.