Website Usability Factors to Consider
There are many schools of thought about what makes up a good website. Often, top designers may have completely opposite ideas. We think that the most important thing to consider when building a website is the users. Here are some areas we look at to improve the user experience.
- Each page should be clear and concise, focused on one subject with no distractions.
- Someone with no knowledge of your business or website should be able to tell immediately what you offer.
- Use basic wording that is not open to interpretation to minimize complication of the user thought process.
- Calls to action should stand out from the rest of the page to offer clarity on what you want the user to do.
- We tend not to read the entire page, rather then scan through it.
- We typically are in a hurry and want to find the desired information quickly.
- We usually don't need or want to read everything, just the interesting bits.
- We often pick the first reasonable option, rather then comparing all the options and choosing the best one.
- If we find something that works, we tend to stick with it.
- Utilize a clear visual hierarchy.
- Separate pages into clearly defined areas.
- Ensure it is obvious what can be clicked on.
- Reduce and remove visual distractions.
Removal of Unnecessary Words
- Most people are visual, drawn to images or videos.
- Reducing the amount of words makes useful content more visible.
- Removing words reduces the page size, so all content is available at a glance without scrolling.
- Eliminate the need for instruction text by making the action required more obvious.
- Remove redundant wording such as "Welcome to" and other small talk that doesn't add value.
- Cater to the "searchers" and the "browsers" by having clear categories and a prominent search box visible without scrolling.
- "Browsers" tend to navigate from top level categories through a hierarchy of subcategories until they find what they want.
- "Searchers" usually utilize the search box before anything else.
- Search boxes should be used instead of links to a search tool.
- Good navigation implicity tells users where to go, eliminating the need for instructions.
- Well thought out navigation creates a good impression and actually reduces bounce rates.
- Make sure users have a clear way home such as a linked logo at the top of each page.
- Use breadcrumbs as a "you are here" indicator, that allows users to return to any of the previous categories.
Home Page Clutter
- Do not put every piece of information on the home page.
- Keep it very clear and concise, even on larger sites.
- As much as possible, keep the important content visible without scrolling and try to eliminate the rest.
Posted on Tue, October 21, 2014
by Jonathan Kervin filed under