The Importance Of Website Usability

Website usability is very important for your visitors. When you decide to put up your website or blog, whether it be to sell a physical product or information, make sure you choose a certain web designer that’s well aware of certain principles.

The first thing in website usability you want to be sure of is that your site is designed so when prospects land on the site they know within seconds exactly what your site is about. You don’t want them to have to figure out what’s going on because they will hit the ‘back’ button very quickly. Users skim information faster than they read so they’re looking for their information fast.

Test have proven that website visitors have very short attention spans so if they have to spend time trying to figure out how to find what they’re looking for they may click away and never come back. Over the years people have been scanning newspapers and magazines and they know how to find information they want quickly. It’s no different when they visit web pages to scan and find what they need. Never let your website designer convince you how pretty the site is. Pretty does not sell. Usability and finding relevant content and good useful information is what visitors want. So don’t let a website designer talk about how pretty a website is.

You want to know how easy it is for a visitor to navigate through the site and find what they’re looking for. Some web designers can make beautiful websites but they don’t convert very well or engage people on the site to click through to more pages.

If you’re selling a physical product (eCommerce store) you want to make sure that the images are big and sharp. You don’t want glaring small thumbnail images. Big bright sharp images are what contribute to conversion. Now that doesn’t mean you want the image so big that it overwhelms the whole page. You should use your common judgment and make sure you strike a balance where the images are not too big or small.

A mistake that we made early on with our website usability was having a black background with grey text and it was very hard to read. Once we changed the changed the text to white it was much easier to read, so we found that the engagement that people had on the site increased significantly. So make sure whatever background and text you choose, make sure that it’s easy to read so people won’t have to strain their eyes.

Most visitors now are used to seeing click-able links in blue underlined so that’s what the convention is now. I would suggest that you use blue underlined links for your click-able links. Also make sure that all of your links are working. There’s nothing worse for a visitor to come to a site and click on a broken link with a “404 error” so make sure your links are working at all times.

Prior to launching your site and having it go live I would suggest a usability test. There are companies that you can actually pay to do a usability test. You can Google and find companies that will give the usability test for you. But you can also simply get friends and family (use more than one person when doing this) to click through your website and they can let you know what kind of difficulties they might be having with functionality and navigation.

In conclusion, remember that your visitors always scan your website. They don’t actually read every word so make sure your sub-headlines and bullets are legible and easy to read. Keep those points in mind as well as testing your site continuously. On a last note, remember that this is about website usability. This has nothing to do with website optimization for the search engines. While they compliment each other, you always want to make sure your usability is properly functioning and you keep the visitor in mind first.

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