Usability is now key to all website designs. There’s no point in creating beautiful content when the sites functionality is not top quality. Usability is a commodity nowadays and well, if you don’t already hold this at the top of your web design podium then you’d better start now.
We’ve become used to an extremely high standard of design and aesthetic, and because we need our sites usable this doesn’t mean sacrificing one for the other, these two things should work hand in hand to ensure an excellent customer experience is met.
Focus on the audience and user when designing, think of their requirements and make sure their objectives are being fulfilled.
We have broken down our key aspects for creating an effective and engaging website whilst not forgetting usability.
Availability and Accessibility
Simple, basic and you’re probably well aware of this one but not one to be overlooked. If someone attempts to view your website and it isn’t functioning correctly or just simply won’t load, there is no value in your site.
A few things to remember are;
- Double check all links are working. Avoid at all costs a 404 page as your viewer will resort to another site to help fix their problem.
Load time and responsiveness
- Ensure your site is user friendly for all devices and the unfortunate slow connection.
Make sure there are no distractions, clarity is key to allowing a visitor to have good experience. They will find what they were looking for and won’t waste their time doing so if everything is clearly navigable.
Customers are looking at your site in the first place with an intention and a certain goal. It is your job to make certain they reach these goals as quickly as possible.
Some rules to follow:
- Consistency – from your website through to other channels of communication. Customers want a simple and easy experience on your site.
- Simplicity – Still to your targets and focus on them. No distractions or unnecessary pages. Keep it as clear to your point as possible.
- Show what you have to offer – guide visitors through your site so they get the best out of it.
- Interact – Approach customers that have visited your site. If they have abandoned their basket ask if there is anything you can do to help or if they were looking for something in particular. Create a dialogue with them, they’ll appreciate the service.
- Structure – creating a good structure to your website will emphasise the ease of usability.
Although your website may now be clear and usable it is vital that content is relevant. Find out your demographic of users and interact with them. Find out their goals and what they are hoping to achieve by visiting your site.
Probably the most fundamental principle to creating a user friendly website. You need to create trust between your company and the reader. From the very outset you need to implement your reputation at an incredibly high standard. Make sure all your details are correct – through to the smallest feature. Spelling mistakes and incorrect grammar can put customers off your business, people want to know you are professional in what you are offering. Show off your expertise, if you excel in your field, make sure your visitors know it! Include references and testimonials to corroborate this.
Lastly, check, test and check again. Ensure there are no holes in your design or any issues that could cause a problem for yourself or your users. Test and refine, this is key to usability.