Principles of usability by website design company cbil360.com
BASIC PRINCIPLES OF USABILITY
WHAT IS USABILITY? Usability is the measure of the quality of a users experience when interacting with a product or system - Whether a web site Software application Mobile technology Any user-operated device
IMPORTANCE OF USABILITY According to Usability Expert Jakob Nielsen: In the Web, usability is a necessary condition for survival. If a website is difficult to use, people leave. If the homepage of your website does not clearly provide details about a company or about what it offers and what users can do on the site, people will leave your website. If users get lost or confused while browsing your website and they lack clarity they instantly leave the website. If a websites content is difficult to read or it doesnt answer important key questions, it immediately drives away the users. Note a pattern here? If the website does not satisfy the users leaving it is their first line of defense.
THE 4 CHARACTERISTICS OF USABILITYARE: Quick and easy to learn; Efficient to use; Allows rapid recovery from errors; Easy to remember;
Basic Principles Feature exposure Effective writing Info hierarchySimplicity Don’t waste timeUse of white space Usability Don’t make me think How do user’s think Visible language Test early, Test Often Conventions
1.HOW DO USERS THINK? Be it the Web or a physical store user behavior and habits remain the same. When browsing a website, users search for something clickable. Users are mainly looking for quality and credibility in a website. Users don’t read, they scan. While browsing the web, users are impatient and are looking for instant gratification
2. DON’T MAKE USERS THINK• The web-page should be obvious and self-explanatory. Let’s take a look at an example. ABC Company claims to be “beyond channels, beyond products, beyond distribution”. What does it mean? Since users tend to explore web-sites according to the “F”-pattern, these three statements would be the first elements users will see on the page once it is loaded
3. DON’T WASTE USER’S TIME Users hate lengthy and complex processes. If you want users to test a feature or a service make it quick and easy. The simpler the process, the more likely a random visitor is to actually try it out.
4. INFORMATION HIERARCHY Usually websites provide two forms of content - static and dynamic. Of that, some aspects of the user interface attract attention more than others. ABC.co perfectly uses the principle of focus. The only element which is directly visible to the users is the word “free” which works attractive and appealing, but still calm and purely informative. Subtle hints provide users with enough information of how to find more about the “free” product.
5. FEATURE EXPOSURE The fundamental principle of successful user interface design is to clearly and immediately show all the features and functionalities available.
6. MAKE USE OF EFFECTIVE WRITING Copy must be short, crisp and concise (come to the point as quickly as possible). Break down content so that it is easy to scan (use multiple heading levels, use visual elements and bullet points). Use plain and objective language (a promotion doesn’tPqr productions gets directly to the point. No cute words, no need to sound likeexaggerated statements. Instead a price: just what visitorsare looking for advertisement; give your users some reasonable and objective reason why they should use your service or stay on your website)
7. SIMPLICITY Make user interfaces simple and minimalistic. Complexity leads to confusing, overwhelming interfaces. Use only those features that are absolutely vital and necessary. Hide the complex features that you cannot get rid of altogether. Minimize visual noise.Strive for simplicity instead of Reuse visual componentscomplexity. whenever possible. Don’t leave blank state blank.
8. WHITE SPACE White space allows breathing space between two components. Not only does it help to reduce the cognitive load for the visitors, but it makes it easier to grasp the content presented on the screen.
9. VISIBLE LANGUAGE Organize: Refers to providing a clear and consistent conceptual structure to the user. Economize: Refer to showing or offering range of functionalities with the least amount of cues and visual elements. Communicate: Refers to matching the presentation with the capabilities of the user. The user interface must keep in balance legibility, readability, typography, symbolism, multiple views, and color or texture in order to communicate successfully. Use max. 3 typefaces in a maximum of 3 point sizes— a maximum of 18 words or 50-80 characters per line of text.
10. CONVENTIONS Use of conventional designs don’t necessarily make a website boring. Conventional design reduce the learning curve and the need to figure out how things work.
11. TEST EARLY TEST OFTEN The TETO-principle should be applied to every web design project. This helps in tracking how the users react to the designs and interfaces and continue to improvise.
USERS BENEFITS FROM USABILITY The benefits of usability include: Users enjoy interacting with the web interface. Since they get all the information easily, it ensures that they are satisfied with it. It ensures that they achieve their goals effectively and efficiently; It helps in cultivating confidence and trust in the product or web site. If your users are satisfied, they will become loyal customers, and even recommend your product or service to others.
PROVIDERS BENEFITS FROM USABILITY As a provider, you may benefit from usability in many ways, including: Reduced development time and costs; Reduced support costs; Reduced user errors; Reduced training time and costs; Return on Investment.
Usability is a potent weapon that can save your preciousmoney, improve your competitive position and improvecustomer loyalty. Now is the time to invest in the research.