VITAL ELEMENTS OF A USER FRIENDLY WEBSITE

What do you think of when you envision a good website design? Is it creative with tons of style or are you a minimalist that only cares about the function? A good designer will argue that BOTH are important! A site should represent your individual brand, but also function well for the end-user. So how can you achieve both? Here are some great tips on how to craft the perfect website.

1. Keep it Simple

Since the invention of the smartphone, complicated, flashy sites are no longer desirable. Instead, you have to have a site that works well on both the phone and the desktop, as well as every size in between. Keep the navigation simple and the important things easy to find. Avoid too many images and too much text can make your page extra-long on a mobile device. Instead, remember most people’s attention spans are short and they just want to get their answers quickly. FAQ sections are great for this!

2. Usability is King

If the average user can’t figure out your website, you did something wrong. Your site could have all the bells and whistles, but if it’s impossible to find simple information, it won’t rank high on the list of best sites. Make sure you are thinking like a user when formulating the plan for your site. Sharing your design with someone else can help ensure your site is user friendly.

3. Websites Must Be Responsive

If your website doesn’t automatically change with the different screen sizes, it’s time to get a new website. Not only is this hurting your overall design, but it also hurts your SEO score.

4. Time is Precious

If you have a website that takes an hour to load, no one is going to actually use it. They are going to hit the back button before you can say .. you get the point. You can achieve this by keeping image sizes small, having a good host and keeping your software up to date. If you’re using WordPress and you have plugins that you no longer use, delete them. Having too many plugins can slow down the speed of your site. Only keep the ones that are necessary. Click here to view your site’s page speed – are you in the green??

5. Play the Browser Game

There are just as many browsers as there are phones. It’s a challenge, but you have to make sure your website looks good on all of them. Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Internet Explorer – even if they’re out of date, you may have viewers using them. This can get tedious, but it will help your SEO game in the long run.

6. What’s in a Form?

Forms are great for generating new leads or having users reach out to you – except when they don’t work. Make sure your forms are functioning correctly and clear and easy to use. And most importantly, make sure you are receiving the submissions so you can respond quickly!

There is so much that drives a usable, beautiful website, but if you follow these basic steps, your website will be on its way to looking and functioning great!


MEET HARRY SEMERJIAN

If you need something cleaned, call Harry. Seriously! Even if it’s not his mess, he’ll offer to fix it for you. As Stellar’s SEO expert, Harry's insight into a client's business is a valuable tool reaching more than just online audiences, but customers in the real world too! Harry has owned a handful of businesses since the ripe old age of 13 ranging from manufacturing to real estate to business services. A true Renaissance man, Harry can speak with someone for less than 30 minutes and have a complete business strategy worked out in his head leading them to definite success. A father of two teenage boys, Harry knows a thing or two about dealing with people on the brink of insanity. He fits in well at Stellar.


MEET BODHI

Named after Patrick Swayze’s character in Point Break, Bodhi joined the Stellar team in May 2017 and we don’t know how we got through the prior 6 years without an office dog! Adopted from Animal House Shelter, Bodhi is a Pitbull/American Bulldog mix that his human Lindsay cannot believe someone gave up. Bully breeds definitely get a bad rap because there is nothing sweeter than this 65-pound “lap dog” climbing into someone’s chair as we gather around the conference table. With as much charisma as his namesake, Bodhi greets visitors to the office with a toy in his mouth ready to play. He hasn’t quite developed any marketing skills just yet, but he can spot a duck or another dog out the window like nobody’s business.


MEET KRISTIN KILIAN

Anything that gets thrown Kristin’s way is handled with ease… at least as far as we know. Coming from the retail industry, Kristin is no stranger to a fast paced, ever-changing environment and has no problem adapting to the chaos that comes with managing Stellar’s high profile clients. With years of experience managing all aspects of communications for Fortune 500 companies, Kristin is able to schmooze clients, conquer any task, and ensure everything is running smoothly… even when it’s not! A Hallmark movie fan, Kristin loves spending time with her firefighter husband and rambunctious toddler.


MEET SYLVIA CARRANO

Lover of tacos, dogs, and all things Justin Timberlake, Sylvia brings an honest perspective to not only projects, but office chit-chat as well! When onboarding new clients, tons of experience making people happy in the service industry and her marketing degree from DePaul allows Sylvia to jump right in and hit the ground running. In her role as Account Manager, Sylvia truly gets to know a client – understanding all the ins and outs that make them stand out from their competitors. Sylvia’s skillset is continually expanding and ranges from social media to email marketing to web design and more. She loves to travel and has been around the world and has visited 45 of our nation's 50 great states!


MEET LYNNE HARKIN

Using a space heater at her desk year-round, Lynne is no stranger to turning it up. With a background in retail and corporate sales, Lynne brings practical knowledge to help Stellar clients determine their path to success. As our content writer extraordinaire, Lynne helps brands find their voice and reaches a whole new world of customers. You may hear her getting flustered from time to time, but it’s always short-lived. Her get ‘er done, take charge attitude works in her capacity at Stellar and as the busy mom of 3 busy boys.


MEET CHRISTINA WOJTOWICZ

As a lover of spicy treats, Christina is a no-nonsense, get the job done kind of a girl. Any task thrown her way is done quicker than you can say Siracha! As our resident Web Developer, troubleshooting issues is her specialty… just like at home as the mother of two young sons! Christina’s ad agency background and experience developing websites adds another layer of insight to our client’s marketing efforts. You’ll often see her hiking and biking with her family (with a stop off at their favorite Dairy Queen for a treat!).


MEET MOLLY FIVELSON

Known around the office as Molly Pee Pee Pants, our resident Graphic Designer has more than just a small bladder. Her experience designing logos, developing brands, and creating amazing materials for Stellar clients brings a fresh perspective and artistic flair.  Molly’s easy-going attitude makes her the perfect candidate to work with constant changes and multiple ongoing projects. When she’s not out saving lives along the side of the road, she lives as a baseball widow and chauffeurs her kids to all their activities.


MEET SIN VAN V

Known for her rainbow hair, Sin is never one to settle for just one style. She pushes the Stellar team to think outside the box and consider things they would have never done before. Her Bachelor’s in Graphic Arts & Illustration from the American Academy of Art is just the tip of what she’s learned. With real-world experience in business management, marketing and promotions, event planning, and vendor coordination, Sin’s experience gives Stellar an Edge over the competition (see what we did there?). Despite her edgy moniker, Sin is a kid at heart riding her scooter, dragging the Stellar team on crazy outings, and smothering her adult son and daughter with embarrassing hugs and kisses.


MEET LINDSAY COATS

Known as the Dream Crusher, Lindsay’s level head keeps the office running like a well-oiled machine. When everyone else is trying to get in human-sized balloons and doing mid-day yoga, Lindsay is crunching numbers in a spreadsheet – literally one of her favorite things to do. With a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Lindsay has the know-how to help Stellar clients make the right decisions to reach their goals. She loves problem-solving and making things work. She has a soft spot for kids and animals… she’s been known to grab babies from strangers and roll on the ground with any dog that will snuggle her.