Basics of website usability


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What do you look for when checking the usability of your site? Is your website easy to navigate? Does the structure make sense to a first time visitor? All of these are answered in this website usability presentation.

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Basics of website usability

  1. 1. Basics of Website UsabilityWhen focusing on the usability of your website, your primary thought should be about making the desired actionson your site effortless for the browser. Think of a website as a physical shop, if everything is laid out in a logicaland easy-to-navigate way you can browse the shelves, find what you’re looking for efficiently, and hopefully leavethe shop a happy customer. The shop has gained your trust and you will probably shop there again. Websites arethe same; they should be quick to load, easy to navigate, and easy to read.However, usability is still a really subjective topic. Even with W3C (an independent body which develops commonweb protocols and standards) benchmarks being laid down, most web designers have their own opinions aboutwhat works and what doesn’t.How does my website fare?The likelihood is that you visit your website often. For this reason it’s very easy to become accustomed to the wayit works and overlook any usability issues that may be obvious to a first time visitor. There may be severalimprovements you can make to your site’s performance with little time or effort needed.The information given below should inspire you to run a few usability experiments of your own.Top Tips  See how people use your website. Sit them down and observe how they access pages and other information. You may be shocked by the results. Never be afraid of asking for your customers’ opinions. They are the people visiting your site to (hopefully) make a purchase. It can even make them feel even more valued as a customer.  Most people scan websites, they don’t read them. Break up content with headings, bold text, shorter paragraphs, and bulleted lists.  Use relevant text for linking. If an article is about Trousers then use Trousers as the link. Try not to use the much-overused ‘click here’ unless you really have to.  The average web user isn’t willing to wait more than about 5 seconds for a website to load. Optimise site images and source code to ensure that you are within this guideline.  Keep navigation consistent across your site so people dont get lost.  Structure your website so its flows in a logical way.  One thing that will infuriate a visitor and drive them away for good is broken links. Ensure there are no broken links anywhere on your site.  Ensure the visitor can contact you easily if they have a query. Is it easy for them to find a telephone number or email address/contact form? Put this info at the top of the homepage to take away any doubt.And finally...You know your products and customers best. Bear them in mind at every stage of the website build process. Onceit’s live, make sure all information on your site is accurate and any questions your visitors may have are answeredwithout having to get in touch. Above all, browse your own site. You are just as good a judge of website usabilityand if it frustrates you it will frustrate your customers too.© indium online 101865 980