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Is Your Website Structure Consistent?

Is Your Website Structure Consistent?

“Consistency is one of the most powerful usability principles: when things always behave the same, users don’t have to worry about what will happen. Instead, they know what will happen based on earlier experience. The more users’ expectations prove right, the more they will feel in control of the system and the more they will like it. And the more the system breaks users’ expectations, the more they will feel insecure.” – Jakob Nielsen

Consistency in a website is important for the user. A good example of this is navigation.  If the navigation is on the top on the homepage, but then only on the side in the inner pages, it causes frustration, inconsistency, and a lack of trust for the user.

By following the same pattern throughout the site, you create a consistent flow of information.

An important goal for any company is building trust, don’t let inconsistency in the site break down the trust you are trying to build. Other ways to have consistency throughout your site can include using the same font, colors, links, titles, navigation, and layout. If you choose to break this consistency with a well-thought-out plan, you can deliberately attract attention to some part of the site that stands out from the rest. This lets you highlight a special event, sale, or new service while maintaining trust. If you are unpredictable all the time, you will confuse the user.

Check out your website from the user’s point of view. If you get lost or confused, it might be time to consider a new website design.