Think about how you surf the web. Now think about all of the other tasks you’re usually doing while surfing. Can we all come to an agreement that we read websites in their entirety on only the rarest of occasions?
Today, most internet surfers use websites to find information – information about a company, a phone number or address. How often are we on a website just for the sake of it? (Never) It would be like walking into a restaurant with no intention to eat food.
That being said, having a fully functional website isn’t the only factor you need to consider when creating your website. It also has to be usable. If your website is complicated or hard to navigate, visitors will get fed up and will click out to search for another website offering the same information as yours.
Some simple usability, or UX design, tactics require a good eye for design, but you’ll see how these tweaks will improve your website.
1) Simple Navigation
It’s highly important to have a navigation bar that’s well, easy to navigate. If users can’t figure out how to get to a certain page on your website, you just lost another potential customer or client right there.
Use “breadcrumbs” or some way to tell visitors that “you are here”. Make it easy for user to know which page they are on and how they got there. Some sites will use a drop-down method; others will simple use a list that shows you the pages. This way, it’s impossible to get lost. Highlighting the current page is also effective because you’re able to tell where within the website you are at that very moment.
2) Company Logo Links To Homepage
How many of you have clicked on the logo and it led nowhere? Truth is, it’s almost become a natural instinct to click on the logo to bring you back to the home page. Linking your logo to the home page will create a better feel overall for the user, since it’s what that majority is used to at this point.
3) Visuals are kept to a minimum
An overhaul of visuals on a website is distracting and aesthetically distasteful. Users are left confused and they don’t know what to do or where to go next. If you are going to utilize multiple images, a slider is your best option.
4) Watch Your Fonts
Simply put, if it’s not legible, it’s not going to be read. Using legible font in the proper size and color is crucial because if visitors can’t even read your content, why should they stay? That being said, don’t use yellow font on a red background.
If you are going to have a lot of content, try breaking it up with headers. Truth of the matter is that we skim now-a-days when reading almost anything. Because of that, it’s important to label the content accordingly so that users will have a better idea about the content.
A great way to test the usability of your website is to have someone just…use it! Have them navigate your site as they take note of the critical – navigation, company logo, visuals, and clear content. Making your website usable isn’t a daunting task at all and is in fact quite simple. If done correctly, traffic to your site will increase and there will be more revisits as well.
Currently, how usable is your website?
Kelsey Belgrave is a digital media coordinator at MSM DesignZ, Inc., a full service advertising and design firm based in Westchester County, New York.