20 Oct What is website usability, and why is it important?
Website Usability Overview
The usability of a website is an indicator of its “user friendliness.” This refers to the ease of use of technology in general, but it is particularly applicable to online media, such as the Internet. Websites should be user-friendly and accessible to those who use them.
Web usability is heavily influenced by responsive design. In responsive design, the idea is to make websites accessible from multiple device displays, including laptops and mobile phones with smaller displays. Website administrators use the responsive design approach across the Internet to make their sites more accessible and user-friendly for a broader range of visitors.
Web designers also adhere to accepted best practices when it comes to website usability. For example, the number of factors determines how well content can be read or scanned, such as the size of the font and the color of the text. Several usability test methods can also be applied to a website.
Enhancing a website’s usability is about more than just the layout of the text and broader design issues like responsiveness. It is also about how the site promotes a particular use and how it reaches its visitors. In addition, the quality of a website’s usability plays a crucial role in creating high-quality web projects and efforts in search engine optimization and visibility.
Website usability principles
1. Accessibility and Availability
If your website is not accessible – for whatever reason – it becomes pointless. Having an unreliable site will frustrate users and result in losing out on new customers and revenue.
Listed below are some essential accessibility and availability principles:
- Availability of servers
When your visitors try to access your website, you want to ensure that they do not get an error message. Make sure your site is hosted correctly. Make sure you invest in a good hosting company. Our web hosts are the best in the business, so we never cut corners.
- Broken links
Ensure that your website does not have any dead links. A website crawler like Ahrefs or Screaming Frog can find all the broken links on your site for you.
- Accessibility on mobile devices
A website must be able to handle a wide range of screen sizes and slow connections. The Google index also has a “mobile-first” philosophy, which indexes mobile-friendly versions of sites. A mobile-friendly site helps you to rank higher in the Google results.
Clarity is at the core of usability. You might need to spend more time guiding visitors to what they came for, or they might forget what they came for altogether if you confuse and distract them. The user will not perceive your website to be user-friendly either way, and the chances are that they will leave dissatisfied and without intent to return. Your website’s visitors come with specific goals in mind. As a website owner, your objective is to help them achieve their objectives. Having managed to accomplish that, your visitors will be pleased, and you will have laid the foundation for a positive experience.
Designing for clarity and usability involves:
Don’t lose sight of what matters. Avoid distracting your visitors, and they will do what you want them to do. Please keep it simple.
Stay out of the cutesy territory. Instead, keep your visitors at ease by creating an experience that’s consistent across every page of your website.
Don’t be afraid to hold the hand of your guests. They aren’t going to find your site by themselves. Show them what you have to offer instead by guiding them through your site.
- Effective information architecture
Understand how your visitors view your site and how you can structure your content accordingly.
3. Learning Capability
Another important aspect of usability is learnability. Your goal should be to design intuitive interfaces – interfaces that don’t require users to follow instructions or go through a trial-and-error process. Designing intuitively means using what people already know or creating something easy for people to learn. The concept of web design has been around for quite some time now, and most people are familiar with it. It is essential to use these concepts consistently in your web design. This will assist them in achieving their goals more quickly. Humans are drawn to patterns and recognition, so we are better at managing familiar situations than unfamiliar ones. Make sure you use new concepts consistently throughout your design. During the initial learning phase, give people a hand if they need it. The first time they use your site or product, you can provide them with additional information or instructions. Keeping things short and straightforward will aid in people’s retention.
An essential aspect of any website is its trustworthiness. No matter what content people look for, if they don’t trust you, that content has no worth. There are various reasons why website visitors might be skeptical of your business, from whether you exist to whether your content is of good quality. Having real people on your team is essential for people to feel like they are dealing with an honest company. You should have an “About Us” section that includes contact information and a physical address if you can. The content of your site also plays a significant role in its perceived trustworthiness. Make sure that your content is accurate and honest. It would help if you avoided errors like misspellings or incorrect grammar. It would help if you were not modest about your knowledge. Make sure others know how well you know your subject. Your site visitors may be influenced by third-party testimonials, references from your job, or links to your social media accounts.
5. The Relevance
Relevance, last but not least, contributes to a good user experience. The content on your website must be relevant to your visitors, along with being precise. Knowing your users and why they visit your website is essential. Defining your customers is the first step. It would help if you also talked to them about what their purpose is for visiting your site. Next, decide which type of content your visitors might search for in different situations on your site. Any design decision you make should give your users an easier time navigating your website.
Benefits of Website Usability
Conversions are improved by usability
Your website will perform more conversions if it’s easy to locate all the information and make a conversion. Increasing your sales, subscriptions, form submissions, and other business goals is good for you. Usability has a significant impact here. A shopping cart or checkout abandonment caused by complicated forms and incorrect error handling would be illustrative.
Customer loyalty is enhanced by usability
The more users feel like they belong on your website, the more likely they are to return. Potential customers may also share their impressions with others.
SEO rankings are improved by usability
It has never been easier to combine SEO and usability like it is now. The search rankings are based on Google’s ability to determine which websites are helpful and not. Bounce rates are prominent examples. Sites are abandoned after a first visit, which is usually caused by poor usability.
Factors should be considered to create a user-friendly website
Easy to understand & Simple
Keeping things simple is the gold standard of usability. Throughout your website, your visitors should always experience a positive and productive experience. Your website does not have to be designed for educating, converting visitors to customers, or just promoting your personal brand. A simple website design should have minimal clutter to draw attention away from your brand. The design should be straightforward.
Visitors can easily find their way around a user-friendly website by employing menus, headings, and topic-specific pages. These navigational features also make the site more search engine-friendly. Search engines search content that is engaging and original. Other indicators of an organized website include headings and subheadings. They are apparent indicators of an organized site. The buttons and links on your website should be easily accessible, and the content should not cause any confusion for your users. As a general rule, you always want to assume that your visitors are pressed for time when they browse your website. Make your design straightforward.
It is imperative to design websites accessible to people with complex disabilities, including sensory and motor impairments. In addition, visitors to your site may have vision impairments, while others will have trouble using a mouse. Adapt your site to meet the needs of all your visitors. Providing your website visitors with a challenging browsing experience will result in you losing prospective customers.
A user will be more likely to enjoy their experience on your site if its usability is better. Therefore, it is imperative to have a website with an excellent design, unique content and is easy to navigate.
To achieve the best possible results, you should keep these three foundational principles in mind clear navigation i.e. Performance, responsiveness, and readability.