Website usability is so important when you have a business. Essentially website usability means how user-friendly is your website for the users accessing your site. If a user logs on to a website and it is taking a long time to load, there are error pages, and there are minimal text or pictures users will deem the website as not user-friendly.
Ultimately, website usability is important because it's about customer service. The goal of any organization or business is to meet their customer's expectations and needs, as quickly and dependably as possible.
Here are ten tips to increase website usability:
Use White Space – White space can be seen as a negative aspect of a website, but that is not necessarily true. White space is essential to a good design because it makes your content more legible while also allowing the user to focus on elements surrounding the text.
Optimize Your Page Speed – Users get frustrated when they click on a page and have to wait for it to load up. Slow-loading web pages make people leave your website. To improve page speed, start by compressing images before loading them onto your website. There are many other steps to improving page loading speed.
Use Attractive Calls-to-Action - Calls to action (CTAs) that are clearly marked with an action word enable your website users to more easily navigate your site and get exactly what they want, where they expect to find it. A great way to make CTAs attractive is by adding a cool design to a button on your website.
User Hyperlink Differentiation - When you add a link to another page on your website (referred to as an “internal link”), you're saying you want the user to click there. Make sure links are easily identifiable by visual cues. Some ways to make a hyperlink stand out include making the text bold, italicized, underlining it, and changing the color. Hyperlinks can also be differentiated by putting them into a button, with “click here”, “download now”, or a variety of other things.
Segment Key Information Differently – A great way to segment key information is by putting the information into bullet points. Bullet points make your propositions more attractive and enable your user to get all the information they need quickly. When important information is segmented differently than the rest of the text on the page it stands out and draws the user to that material.
Use Images – Having images on a website is extremely important, but they need to be used wisely. Website visitors can easily tell a generic stock photo from the real deal. Ultimately, no stock photography will be as capable of conveying your brand, services, and products as well as original images. Only your own actual images can do that while also speaking clearly to your potential customer. When it comes to images the best thing to do is strategically place them in your website to support the content and allow the users a visual break from text.
Include Well-Designed and Written Headlines - Your headings and content should be driven by what your potential customers are looking for. Including keywords in your title is also very important for targeting your message and attracting the right audience. Having the right headings can improve your SEO performance, but more importantly will help guide visitors through your website. Make sure to have informative headlines that are cohesive and consistent in terms of design.
Keep Website Pages Consistent - Consistency means making everything match. Some of these design elements include heading sizes, font choices, coloring, button styles, spacing, illustration styles, photo choices, and much more. Everything should be themed to make your design coherent between pages and on the same page. This will allow a user to have a seamless transition from page to page and it makes your website easier to navigate.
Catch 404s – 404 pages are error pages. Search engines do not punish you for having 404 pages, but your users will. Users find these pages annoying and it makes them feel like you are not paying attention to your website. To increase your usability, make sure all your pages are live and active so none of your visitors end up starring at a dead-end 404 page.
Be Responsive and Mobile-Friendly – Technology has advanced to the point that people are no longer using their computers to look at a company’s website and instead are using their phone. This means that any website must be equally accessible on mobile devices, phones and all computers. This goes for different browsers, too (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, Safari). Recently, Google started penalizing sites that aren't optimized for mobile devices, making the need for responsiveness even more crucial. This might be the single-most valuable way in which you can improve your website's usability.
Remember that just because your website looks pretty does not mean it is user-friendly. Make sure you follow our ten tips to ensure that your website provides a great experience for all your visitors.
If you need help designing a website or if you would like a free website audit to know if your website is user-friendly please contact us today.
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