The success of a webpage is directly proportional to the kind of usability it provides to the site visitors. In simple terms, Usability is the experience a visitor has on a particular site. Let’s face it; users are not too concerned with understanding the intricacies of a web page and trying to understand the fine print. If users think a webpage is overly complicated or just plain boring, they will leave the site. There are several key points you can keep in mind to ensure that your website is usable and will retain users. The information on your site is the most important aspect that you want users to get to without any hitch. If users cannot access your site it does not matter how attractive you make it look. Let’s take a look some important points that will help you ensure that your website is usable:
1.) Less Load time
With broadband connections reaching every nook and corner of the world, users have lost the patience to wait for a site to load.
2.) Text to Background Contrast
While it may sound shallow, no one wants to stick around on a page that is an eyesore. Keep your website contrast high in order to make it an appealing experience for the user.
3.) Spacing and size of font
This is usually a debatable topic as various designers have their own opinion on what the font size should be for a particular page. Avoid having miniature font that is difficult to read or extra large font that will keep the user scrolling continuously to get through a small amount of content. Also ensure that the spacing is adequate and gives a clean look to the content.
4.) Avoid flash that takes a long time to load
While flash may look interesting on a web page, no user wants to wait for a long time till it loads.
5.) Use adequate ALT tags
ALT tags are important from a search engine perspective and it is important to use appropriate ones that will define your image.
6.) Custom 404 Page
If your website has a page does not exist users will be faced with a 404 page that can be a hindrance if you want them to scan the rest of the site. In this case you can create a custom 404 page that will direct them to the other content that is relevant.
7.) Prominence of Logo
The logo of your company is its identity and must be placed at a prominent location that will attract attention and foster recognition.
8.) Use a Tagline
A tagline is the shortest way in which you can make the purpose of your company clear and it is important to use this to your advantage. This is also a plus point from an SEO perspective.
9.) Remember the 5-Second rule
In usability the 5-second rule is very important in order to please your site visitors. Website visitors have a low threshold for patience and it is important to enable them to get a gist of the entire home page in the shortest time possible.
10.) About Us and Contact pages
Don’t underestimate the power of the “About Us” page. This is the platform in which you can explain the value of your company and capture the user’s attention. There should also be a clear path which will lead users to your contact page and maximize conversions.
This is the 1st of a 2-part series where we take you through the “Website-Usability” checklist which will help you to make the pages on your website more user-friendly. This will obviously result in more conversions as users will have a very smooth and pleasant experience on your site.