Great website usability helps visitors quickly and easily find what they’re looking for. Visitors use search engines to find your site, but once they arrive, they have to be able to actually use the site and understand the content. Otherwise, your site is a waste of their time. The idea behind most websites is to deliver information, products or services to an end user.
We’ve highlighted five important components of a usable website:
Eye-catching design may attract visitors but content is what keeps them at the site. Providing excellent content sustains search engine rankings as well. Although SEO is important, the main audience is still human visitors. The most important content should be placed at the upper portion of the page so it’s visible as soon as the page loads.
Supply descriptive titles. Most people just quickly scan a page to find what they are looking for, and if they don’t find what they need, they are likely to leave. Using descriptive titles give users an impression that they are on the right track. Also, add ALT and TITLE attributes to all images.
Add a Touch of Creativity
A web page that is all text can be boring. Incorporate rich media: photos, videos or audio clips. These things often explain something even better than plain words can. It is also believed to be able to retain the attention of an average user longer than a website without rich media.
Clear and Simple Navigation System
The navigation system or site menu should be in the same place on every page and have the same format. Visitors may land on your site through an article or page, but they presumably want to view the homepage too. Adding a home page link in the main navigation system and linking the site logo to home page is recommended.
Underlined text is indicative of a hyperlink and visitors are most likely going to click on them but if you wish not to use this visual style, it is acceptable to use a different font, or text color that indicates a hyperlink. Also, use appropriate text inside links. Visitors should be able to anticipate a link’s destination by reading the text in the link or on the navigation button.
Add a Site Map to show the entire collection of links. Visitors would sometimes like to browse through a list of links within a website. This will surely help people find what they are looking for and positively impact your SEO efforts.
More often than not, users need a Search box to quickly locate information within the site content. The search box must be prominent configured to search your entire site. This element is essential for sites with a rich product database or huge volume of articles or information.
Include your business phone number and postal address on the contact page. Listing a phone number is probably the best way to provide assistance if people can’t find the information they need anywhere else on the website although some may prefer to contact you by email or a form. Any site usually needs at least one form to allow for user feedback. Keep feedback forms short and indicate which information is required to successfully submit the form. If you are capable of supporting forums or live chat, that would be nice. Users feel more comfortable with a site that allows several contact methods.
Think like an Average Website User
What about errors? Usability testing is critical to assess how well the entire site functions. All components must work together to guide visitors through the site and help them get what they need.
As for the websites we’re building, YDO works tirelessly with our clients to identify any potential issues before their online visitors find them or immediately upon discovery of the issue, if any. We know that if a site operates well, users stay longer and read more content.
Good usability is critical to any site’s success. This is one of many things that Your Design Online treats with utmost importance: building websites that satisfy our clients and their targeted visitors.